Teaching and Assessing PUL 5: Understanding Society and CultureThis tip sheet focuses on the fifth of the six PULs. Descriptions of all six PULs can be located at http://due.iupui.edu/Undergraduate-Curricula/General-Education/Principles-of-Undergraduate-Learning. General planning considerations for incorporating and assessing PULs in your class can be found here.
Definition of PUL 5: Understanding Society and Culture
The ability of students to recognize their own cultural traditions and to understand and appreciate the diversity of the human experience.
Understanding society and culture is demonstrated by the students’ ability to
- Compare and contrast the range of diversity and universality in human history, societies, and ways of life;
- Analyze and understand the interconnectedness of global and local communities; and
- Operate with civility in a complex world.
Instructional Activity Examples.
- Include and encourage alternative perspectives through role playing, concept mapping, and guest speakers.
- Provide options for assignments that coincide with students’ cultural backgrounds (Chism & Pruitt, 1995).
- Allow for activities in which students can develop an awareness of their own beliefs and the beliefs of others. Whenever appropriate, reflection activities, such as journal writing or self-evaluation, should follow up these activities to ensure awareness of their experiences.
- Collaborative Learning
- Cooperative learning (a group in which students are interdependent on one another for success while working toward a common goal)
- Group work
- Study groups
- Experiential Learning
- Organized community field experiences
- Service learning
- Internship or practicum
- Service learning projects with reflective essays
- Active Learning
- Formal or informal discussions (preferably dialogue, not debate)
- Work in pairs to answer questions requiring critical thinking skills
- Work in small groups to problem-solve a case study
- Work independently in class on short, 5-minute thinking/writing activities that can be shared with the entire class to promote thoughtful discussion
- Peer Teaching
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Branche, Jerome, Mullennix, John, & Cohn, Ellen. (2007). Diversity across the curriculum: A guide for faculty in higher education. Bolton, Massachusetts: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.
Chism, N. & Pruitt, A. (1995). Promoting inclusiveness in college teaching. In W. A. Wright & Associates, Teaching Improvement Practices: Successful Strategies for Higher Education. Bolton, MA: Anker.
Clark, Christine (2002). Effective multicultural curriculum transformation across disciplines. Multicultural Perspectives. 4(3), 37-46.
Gollnick, D. M. & Chinn, P. C. (1994). Multicultural education in a pluralistic society (4th ed.). New York: Macmillan.
Cooperative Learning Center, University of Minnesota. An overview of cooperative learning. Retrieved from http://www.co-operation.org/?page_id=65l
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Authored by Mona Kheiry (August, 2010)
Revised by Terri Tarr (July, 2011; August 2015)