STPEC 494A: Praxis
STPEC 494A: Praxis is a 2 credit course that accompanies STPEC 498Y: Field Experience and Critical Analysis (which fulfills the STPEC internship requirement). It is a seminar course best taken by students either after or during their internship experience.
“Praxis” is a widely overused term, but generally refers to the intersection of theory and practice. For our purposes in this class, praxis is a process. It is an opportunity, and an ethical intention, to reevaluate organization, structures, outcomes and the beliefs that underlie them in order to understand how power, organizational culture and policy are created and maintained. It is an inquiry into the role of institutions in social change, and the role of theory in those institutions. Students will be asked to rigorously analyze and effectively communicate both concretely and abstractly about the organizations in which they interned and the theories and ideologies they saw acting within them.
Terms students should be thinking about:
The internship requirement is a graded 12-15 page analytical and narrative paper about their experiences and the organization. Students will be required in this class to write 4 3-5 page papers on topics of discussion. They may then combine these smaller papers into the longer paper they turn in for 498Y.
Small papers should be between 3-5 pages (not including charts, graphs, images, etc). They should be double spaced, in 12 point font with one-inch margins and page numbers. Please also, and always, proofread & spell-check your work!
Final grades for STPEC 494A will be:
Papers will be graded based on:
I will accept one paper up to one week late without penalty. If extenuating circumstances prevent you from completing assignments on time, talk to me as soon as possible so that we can adjust the due date accordingly.
It is unwise to come to class late or skip class because you have not finished your paper. The penalty for missing class is higher than the penalty for turning papers a few days late. Class time is where most of the work for this course is carried out. Our discussion will suffer at your absence …. and plus your comrades will miss you.
Sample Course Calendar (from Spring 2008 Praxis class):
February 14, 21, 28:
----- Theory versus Ideology, “The joy of Revolution” (chap. 2). www.bosecrets.org/PS/joyrev2.html
March 6: Organizational structure and funding
Rasmussen, Virginia. (2002) The Struggle for Democracy: Activists Take the Offense. Remarks delivered at the Empowering Democracy Conference, NYC. April 13, 2002.
March 13: Identity
March 27: Historical contexts