We will be using the graphic novel, Parable of the Sower, as a reference in order to anaylze social problems in modern government. Click here to review several buying options as low as $2.99.

I will also provide excerpts from the novel to help us think about particular parts together.

Click here for the syllabus.

On this page you will find: a link to the course reader, grading info, answers to common questions, links to weekly work, a free textbook if you need it, and a welcome video:

Major Assignments as they relate to your course grade:

  1. Letter to Future Self due in the 4th week of class meetings. 15%
  2. Comprehension Quiz due in the 5th week of class meetings. 30%
  3. Letter to Past Self due in the 6th week of class meetings. 15%
  4. Final Letter to Professor as a Thought Paper and a Map Analysis through Google Forms in final week of class meetings. 30%
  5. Self Graded Final Exam on Google Forms using “Well-Reasoned Arguments” and Inquiry/Problem Solving Rubric. 10%


Frequently Asked Questions:

A. Why should I complete assignments that are not listed above? While you will not be graded down if you do not complete ungraded assignments, it will be much harder for me to give you feedback as to how you are doing. The graded assignments are your chance to show me and the college adminsitrators that you are learning the outcomes and materials provided. I have designed the non-graded assignmets to provide snaphsots of your progress so that I can tailor responsive video lectures to the class, in that way it feels a bit mroe like in person classes, and to help prepare you for the major assignments by breaking down the steps and content you need to learn.

B. How will I know “how I am doing” in this class? As far as grading goes, you simply need to check Blackboard Grade Book for your grade of major assignments. I am always happy to talk with you one on one or you can join one of the activity based office hour sessions.  Most importantly though, you should be honest and communicate whether you are learning something you value. Students are always learning something but not necessarily what I or you want to learn. That can be modified within reason.

C. Do I have to buy the graphic novel? I think you should because 1) it is a good habit; and 2) it will help you make sense of the larger concepts and policies we are covering. If you cannot, I am providing excepts (short clips) from both the graphic novel and actual novel. It may be harder to understand the context of these readings without the graphic novel but I will do my best to fill in the gaps through video lectures.

D. What is a learning community? This approach to teaching has been around for quite awhile and is pretty common at elite institutions and four year Universities. Kingsborough has offered them for over 15 years and your 3 instructors have all taught these many times. The basic principle is that buy having three professors and a student support specialist work together we can make sure you are staying on top of your work, managing life challenges, and better understanding the content across our three classes. Becuase all three of these courses are required you are also completing a large chunk of your general education requirements. Finally, because we know and like each other we have planned these courses together. This means they will not be unrelated, disconnected and inconsitent but rather they are integrative. Teaching and learning research has long established that this deepens learning and increases your chances of completing your degree. For your part we just ask that you think about the concept of “community” and what you can contribute to making this experience as positive as can be.


Weekly Assignments: to view short weekly video lectures click here

Week 1: Click here

Week 2: Click here

Week 3: Click here

Week 4: Click here

Week 5: Click here

Week 6: Click here


Assignments for Weeks 6 to end of semester will be uploaded at a later date.


A Free Supplemental Textbook.

If you feel like you need a textbook then click here.