Sunday, July 19, 2020

Teaching Gerontology Classes at UE

UE's Mascot is Ace, the River Gambler
I've had the good fortune of teaching part-time at the University of Evansville, which is a liberal arts university located in the tristate area of Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois.

I was giddy when the chair of sociology hired me to teach their series of gerontology classes.

(I also teach at USI; I previously taught at WSU.)

Later Life and Spirituality (Fall 2019 & Spring 2022) 

The class explored issues of spirituality and religion by using research from the social sciences and the humanities. The textbook was Spirituality, Religion, and Aging: Illuminations for Therapeutic Practice (2018) by Holly Nelson-Becker.

My Goodreads Review

Biology, Health, and Personal Dimensions of Aging (Summer 2019, Spring 2020 & Fall 2021) 

The class primarily investigated the functions of various systems (skeletal, neurological, gastrointestinal, etc.). After establishing basic biology and function, we would look the most common physical problems that people face, many of them age-correlated (i.e., hypertension, diverticulitis, diabetes, glaucoma, hearing loss, dementia).  The textbook was Physical Change & Aging: A Guide for the Helping Professions. 6th Edition by Sue V. Saxon, Mary Jean Etten & Elizabeth A. Perkins.

My Goodreads Review.

Economics of Aging and Social Policies (Fall 2020 & Fall 2022) 

I am now preparing the syllabus and other course materials for this class, which will investigate government programs and services for older adults as well as demographic and economic trends that affect the aging process. The textbook is Social Policy for an Aging Society: A Human Rights Perspective by Carole B. Cox.

Goodreads Entry

(I'll write my own textbook review after I see how the students respond to it.)

In the Spring of 2020, I may end up teaching the forth class that is part of UE's certificate program (smaller than a minor, but still accredited classes. Several majors require one of more of theses courses or accept them as electives).

Institutional Care and Geriatric Assessment (Maybe Fall 2023?) 

I teach a class about the continuum of care at another university. This UE course will be a 75% overlap to that. I am looking for a current textbook about geriatric assessment, so textbook information TBA.

Films about Aging (Maybe 2023)

I have taught this before at Wichita State University. My version already prepared for UE is structed to ask why so many feature films about aging depict a very narrow demographic of society. There are some documentaries that broaden the depiction of aging. We will watch a few films in common, but more work will be about students finding and watching lesser-know films and increasing their visibility while explaining why such visibility is important. 

Also, I teach Writing-Intensive Classes using the People, Politics, and Philosophy of Ancient Athens (5th C. BCE). 

I sometimes teach writing-intensive classes for UE's first-year students.

FYS 111 (two sections in Fall 2018)
FYS 312 (for transfer students Fall 2018, Fall 2021, Fall 2022)
FYS 112 (Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022)

First-Year Seminar is a skills-based, writing-intensive course with an intro to research component, but we have to have content.

I work with a team of about six UE faculty and adjuncts who are using the Barnard University's Reacting to the Past (RTTP) model of education. They have several settings / events. I use the one set in Ancient Athens 403 BCE. Students delivers speeches, debate issues, and vote. Issues are about justice, citizenship, voting rites, economics (particularly mining and trade), the risk/benefits of tribute missions, and the evaluation of Socrates' role within the democracy.

A little birdie told the First-Year Experience director that I studied composition and rhetoric on the graduate level and taught composition courses for decades. So I teach for two different departments at UE.

Because this blog focuses on issues of aging, I only providing detail about the classes in gerontology.


Teaching Gerontology at USI
Studying Gerontology at WSU and then Teaching Gerontology

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