The folllowing calendar worked well at my undergraduate institution (New College of Florida) and might work well for Furman. Both are highly selective instutions with smart students and similar student/faculty ratios. Even if you don't buy the whole New College pedagogical approach, there might be elements worth considering. Here's the plan:
School would start in late August, and go for seven weeks, at
we would have a week off for "Fall Break."
We would then return to classes and go another seven weeks, at
we would break for Winter Holidays. We would also have a 1/2 wk. off for
School would start up again in January for a four-week winter
formal classes would be offered, but students would have to seek out
professors to sponsor Independent Study Projects, and professors would
have to sponsor some of them (though of course they could turn down
requests, too). [The content of the ISPs range considerably. Some
involve travel; some are internships; some involve theatrical productions,
others look like formal research papers, etc.]
Spring semester would be roughly the same as the Fall -- Go for
weeks, have a week off for "Spring break", and then it's graduation at the
end of May.
Professors would generally be required to teach four, semester
courses a year; eight, seven week "module" courses; or some combination of
each. Courses would be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays;
Tuesdays and Fridays; or Mondays and Thursdays.
One difference between Furman and New College, however, is that
College, students could take (and professors were expected to sponsor)
either individual or group tutorials, as well as Independent Reading
Projects, and also every student had to write a senior thesis.
Sponsorship of these projects, were considered part of a faculty member's
teaching load. But if we required all faculty to do some work over the
January term, I think the teaching load would be roughly the same, even
without the thesis.
I enjoyed this calendar system when I was a student, and from
what I can
tell, it worked well for faculty, too. The Tuesday/Friday;
Monday/Thursday meeting times were also good, as you had two full days
between classes. In the nat. sciences, I think they ascribed more to a
traditional MWF schedule.
Posted by love at
October 14, 2004 01:33 PM
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