Melody M's Second Syllabus Reflection

I'm posting this somewhat late, but I wanted to wait until I was "done" with my syllabus (as if I ever will truly be finished with such a "living" document) before taking a moment to stop and really reflect on what this process has meant to me.

Even though this syllabus is for an as yet fictional course, it has been one of the most rewarding and helpful projects that I've worked on as a graduate student and would-be professor. Workshopping it with my peer review group and the class has made it infinitely better and so I thank you all for your extremely helpful comments--I took a lot of the comments that you made in class in our more general discussion to heart as well, so you've all had a part in this process.

Because I can sense others' presence in my syllabus, your voices, my voice, Berenice Hausman's voice, Sara's voice, I got to thinking about syllabi created for co-taught courses and how that process might differ from this one. Even though we're all in this course together because we are all interested in feminist pegagogies, I doubt that any of us have identical teaching philsophies. Mine is really centered around the body as a site of knowledge formation, but I don't think I've really articulated my position on this all that well in my syllabus.

And so even though I'm at the end of this project for this course, I continue to wonder if my syllabus is a true reflection of myself, my course, and my teaching philosophy. Accepting that this might be an unattainable goal has been a good thing though, because it's freed me to be able to think about creative ways that I can incorporate others' voices into my document. One helpful suggestion that I received both from my group and from Sara was to allow for student-created assignments. In my own pedagogical statement, I emphasize student responsibility in the process of knowledge acquisition. And so for my second written assignment, I've decided to give the students the choice to chose between my prompt and a topic of their own choosing. This might be a minor change to my syllabus, but I feel like it takes large steps in bringing me closer to my own teaching philosophy.