Brown, Beverly J. .
Coffee anyone?: A case study for non-majors.
Many colleges require students to complete general education/liberal arts concentrations. For non-majors, required science classes can be intimidating. I was charged with creating a new non-majors botany class and wanted to reduce this intimidation factor. The culminating project for the class was an interrupted case study focusing on the coffee industry. The case actively involved students in a dilemma: whether a group of coffee harvesters should form their own co-operative or continue working for a large corporation. This case required students to learn about coffee as a plant, explore issues related to sun- vs. shade-grown coffee, consider the business of coffee production and examine the ethics of coffee consumption. In the course of completing this case students had many opportunities to draw on the strengths they brought from their majors. Using familiar tools and concepts helped to reduce general anxiety regarding science and enriched class discussions. Students came away from this project with a strong sense of how botanical information relates to disciplines outside the sciences and to their everyday lives.
1 - Nazareth College of Rochester, Biology Department, 4245 east Avenue, Rochester, New York, 14618, USA
Presentation Type: Paper
Location: Superior A (Cliff Lodge)
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2004
Time: 9:45 AM