Friday, January 18, 2013

Mothering Syllabus

Mothering Syllabi

Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I draft syllabi in my mind that are unrelated to courses I have ever taught at the university.  Usually, the topics pertain to the course my life has taken through principles I learned by blood, sweat and tears.  The required readings are the touchstones of journey as a mother. 

Week #4  Maternal-Filial Communication
Required reading:  Liedloff, Jean.  The Continuum Concept

  • ·         The risks and benefits of formal education
  • ·         Liedloff’s ethnographic observation methods
  • ·         Cultural practices of Yequana and Sanema people in the Amazon

Week #7  Cooperative Difference
Required reading:  Stadlen, Naomi.  What Mothers Do:  Especially When It Looks Like Nothing

  • ·         Guest speaker (TBA)
  • ·         Essay:  (1000 words, typed, double spaced).  Compare / contrast Stadlen’s unique writing method with Dr. William and Martha Sears’ using specific examples from What Mothers Do and from any of the Sears’ books.  Which parenting practices resonate with your experience?  What ideas and methods challenge you?  What practices mentioned do you disagree with?  Which would you like to incorporate into your own practice of living?

Week #8   Global Childhood Sleep Practices
Required readings:          Jackson, Debra  Three in a Bed
McKenna, James  Sleeping with Your Baby
Levenin, Tine.  The Family Bed

  • Reflection paper:  (300 words, typed, double spaced).  After viewing the slide show during class from photographer James Mollison’s book Where Children Sleep, write a reflection paper about your childhood sleep practices.  Include references to the books in the required readings to demonstrate your understanding of the subject of global sleep practices.

Week #10    Creating a Perinatal Community
Required reading:  Kathleen Kendall-Tackett (Selections from three books.  Copies on reserve)

  • ·         Global perinatal and postpartum cultural practices
  • ·          Reducing risk factors for perinatal depression 
  •       Group project:  In groups of four students, create a village for raising a child from birth to age 3.  (Projects will be graded on the mind-body-spirit balance of the members of each individual in the village, the effectiveness of each member, as well as on the balance and well-being of the village in relation to other villages in our class.  A list of group members, preliminary budget proposals, and your project outlines are due Monday.  Projects will be presented on Thursday and Friday (with a sign-up sheet to be passed in advance). 

Week 16:  Final Exam
Your final exam is cumulative.  The exam consists of writing five essays--selected from a total of ten possible topics. 

You may bring notes from class discussion and from your reading.  You may also use a print dictionary.  You may not, however, bring the readings, books, articles, or images to the exam.  Your hand-written notes and the reflections in your mind are all you need.  Reminder:  All electronic devices are prohibited and must be turned off---their presence or use will be treated as an Honor Code violation.    
The Final Exam will take place in our regular classroom according to the University Exam Schedule.