Course Objectives

The course format is designed to enhance students' abilities to:

understand theoretical perspectives in medical anthropology;

understand the interrelationship of culture, social stratification, health and the natural environment;

analyze ethnographic data and other social science research data;

communicate effectively (both orally and in writing) regarding social and cultural dimensions of environmental health issues. This includes being able to formulate and support assertions with evidence from scholarly materials;

think critically about global environmental health issues, particularly by identifying and challenging assumptions embedded in Western and industrial environmental practices. This may include questioning personal values, ideas, and practices regarding environmental issues.

Philosophy of Teaching and Learning
I use a student-centered and active-learning approach because I think students learn best when they actively engage ideas raised in and by the course. In fact, I think this approach is a good way to learn anthropology since discussions and writing are activities anthropologists do when they study cultures. I conduct classes with discussions each week, and I expect all students to be prepared to discuss course materials during each class (whether a student volunteers ideas or whether I call on a student). I may ask students to discuss course materials in pairs, groups, or the entire class, and I may ask students to do presentations of class materials. I require students to complete many written assignments, and I include essay questions on quizzes. I also ask students to write in class about ideas raised in and by the course. Overall, students should expect to demonstrate their ability to read and analyze anthropology texts, discuss social and cultural issues, and write in a scholarly manner.