The ecological and social challenges we are facing as a human species are multiple, complex, and vexing. The difficulty in finding viable solutions can often lead to a sense of disempowerment. Thomas Berry pointed a way forward with his understanding of the Great Work of our times that would help to give rise to an Ecozoic era of mutually enhancing human-Earth relations. The Great Work implies that each person has a contribution to make toward the flourishing of the Earth community.
That is the invitation of this capstone course for students to become participants in transformative learning.
In this capstone we offer a venue to respond to our contemporary challenges by exploring ways in which the creativity of humans can be more clearly and effectively aligned with the creativity of universe and Earth processes. This is what is intended by “living cosmology”, namely how do we live within a universe story in ways that transform us? How can we dwell within a broadened consciousness of a new story of evolution? How can this empower a new context for education, art, spirituality, and ethics along with ecology, politics, economics, and business?
Projects may involve the humanities or the sciences or an interdisciplinary combination. This could involve arts, literature, poetry, painting, music, or the natural and social sciences, ecological problem solving or policy-making. Both original thought and practical applications are encouraged. Interdisciplinary thinking and fresh solutions will be fostered.
Welcome to "Living Cosmology" This module provides an overview of this capstone course, a timeline for submitting your final project, and grading logistics. Be sure to read all the information carefully and plan accordingly. Once you have a clear idea of what type of project you want to submit, you will be required to submit a peer-review assignment where you define your project for your peers.
Identify Your Project Goals The second stage of the capstone project is to identify your project goals and then provide two questions for feedback from your peers. When submitting your assignment for this week’s milestone, please include all your prior assignment information so that peer reviewers can reference them when evaluating.
Create a Project Outline and Plan The third stage of the capstone project is to create a detailed project outline to help you plan the execution of your project. By the end of this module, you should fee ready to begin your project as you will have identified the major tasks needed to accomplish your project, and you will have broken down the smaller tasks needed to achieve your larger goals. When submitting your assignment for this week’s milestone, please include all your prior assignment information so that peer reviewers can reference them when evaluating.
(Optional) Feedback Peer Review Throughout this capstone course, you’ve had a few opportunities to provide and receive what we hope has been constructive feedback from your peers. Some of the feedback you've received from your peers will seem immediately right, some more challenging to address. At this stage of the course, it is time to engage your metacognition skills and to begin incorporating the feedback you found most helpful from your peers. You will then rework your previous submissions and use that feedback to inform your final project submission. By the end of this module you should have a clear idea of how you'd like to execute your project. Since this Milestone is broad, optional, and allows everyone to resubmit all of their work thus far, you'll have the opportunity to see what your peers who have chosen different lesson tracks from yours have done!
Submit Your Project Draft We hope you found the last module, which focused on revising your work based on previous feedback, to be helpful. Now it is time to take that work a step forward by submitting a draft of your final project. Perhaps your project was to write a song and you're ready to submit a version of you singing it. Or maybe you set out to create a plan for some sort of sustainable living innovation, here, you’ll get to show everyone what that might look like in your community. Some of you may be thinking about creating a workshop or a lesson plan based on Journey of the Universe; now, you get to show us how that might look in a classroom setting.
Submit Your Final Project! This is the last step in our Capstone project. You’ll commit to any final changes in your project in response to the constructive expert and peer review from your last assignment, and then do a revision, and post the result.