This is a course in which I hope and expect we will enter into civil discussions of public policy issues.
As instructor, I will provide materials to inform our discussions, some background to provide context, and some broad rubrics that will help give shape to our discussions. But I won’t be telling you what positions to take about policy policy issues. That’s for you to figure out.
We will find that there are disagreements among us. Those disagreements are not something to shy away from. Honest people of good will disagree about what we should do as “we the people.” Disagreements are the very substance of public policy. The materials I ask you to read will come from across the spectrum of opinion about public policy matters in the United States.
Even though this is an election year (or perhaps because) I’ll want us to talk about policy issues, not candidates. I’ll be firm about enforcing this expectation. No candidate talk! You can do that outside class.
I will expect all class members to be participants, not spectators. I promise to try to draw everyone into the discussions.
I will expect (and you should, too) that everyone speak with respect to one another, and listen with respect to one another. Civil discussion in which we learn from one another is our goal. Try to assume good intentions on the part of everyone in the course, even if they say things with which you strongly disagree.
Each of us should try not to dominate the discussions or go on at length, and each of us should try not to interrupt one another.
All class members will need regular access to the internet to gain access to course materials.
During Class Sessions
Please be on time to class. I’ll try to end each session promptly.
We will take a short break midway through each session.
No cell phone use during class, please. No web browsing or e-mail (etc.) during class, please.