Participation in a democratic society demands that citizens form, act on, and vote in ways that support their beliefs about what is good for society. In this first spring-term assignment, students are urged to think about what it means to hold a belief, to examine where their beliefs come from and how salient they are to the larger community.
This I Believe Audio Essay (Podcast)
Early in the course, students read about how, in the ancient polis, opinions were considered public, not private. They came from and were held by the community. NPR’s long-running “This I Believe” series adopts that ancient understanding of opinion. To re-introduce themselves to one another, establish and understanding of their own beliefs, to move this class from analysis and context into persuasion, deliberation, and advocacy, and to practice oral performance in another format, students compose, record, and perform their own “This I Believe” audio essay. The end result is a 3-5 minute podcast that is will uploaded to student blogs for sharing. The course uses NPR’s prompt as guidance and students are encouraged to submit their work to NPR.