Philosophy and Religion Program

Outcomes

The Philosophy and Religion Program plays an important role in helping students meet the five major competencies of Gallaudet's new General Studies Curriculum:

  • Language and Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Identity and Culture
  • Knowledge and Inquiry
  • Ethics and Social Responsibility

The Program has established student learning outcomes (SLOs) specific to the philosophy and religion programs.

Philosophy Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successfully completing the program, majors should be able to perform all of the following tasks. Minors and students who take individual courses should be able to perform selected goals, depending on their coursework.

  1. Analyze and critique arguments.
    1. Identify the premises and conclusion of an argument, as well as other relevant features of its logical structure.
    2. Evaluate arguments, judging the quality of the reasoning and the accuracy of the information.
    3. Raise clear, relevant objections against arguments.
  2. Effectively argue in support of an opinion.
    1. Clearly state the opinion to be defended.
    2. Provide compelling reasons in support of the opinion.
    3. Avoid common argument flaws, such as over-simplification, bias, jumping to conclusions, and straw-man arguments.
    4. Pose and thoughtfully respond to objections against one's argument.
  3. Intelligently discuss important philosophical problems and theories.
    1. Identify philosophical questions, clarifying what is at issue and why the question is controversial.
    2. Describe significant attempts to answer these questions (i.e., theories, particular philosophers' responses).
    3. Discuss shortcomings in these attempted answers and how they might be refuted.
  4. Make reasoned decisions about ethical issues.
    1. Articulate multiple points of view on ethics and values.
    2. Describe ethical theories, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses.
    3. Apply ethical concepts and theories to evaluate actions one performs or observes in everyday life.
    4. Apply ethical concepts and theories to debate controversial social issues.
  5. Actively engage with debates and developments in the history of philosophy.
    1. Explain themes, theories, and arguments involving philosophers from the (1) ancient/medieval period, (2) early modern period, and (3) late modern to contemporary period, demonstrating connections among them.
    2. Present arguments that build on other authors' work, but also include original analysis.
    3. Effectively apply writing methods used in the history of philosophy.
    4. Analyze complex arguments within extended primary source texts.
  6. Perform high-quality independent philosophical research.
    1. Identify a clear and specific philosophical question and develop a research plan to address it.
    2. Integrate material from relevant, diverse, high quality sources to apply to the question.
    3. Present arguments that build on other authors' work, but also include original analysis.
    4. Apply a - c to create a substantial scholarly document which explores a student-selected philosophical topic.

Gallaudet University Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Language & Communication-Students will use American Sign Language (ASL) and written English to communicate effectively with diverse audiences, for a variety of purposes, and in a variety of settings.
    1. Demonstrate competence in academic ASL:
      • select and use appropriate register for the setting and participants (which includes signing space, articulation of signs, sign choice)
      • use appropriate syntax, facial grammar, transitions, eye gaze (for engagement and for turn taking), pace
    2. Demonstrate competence in academic writing:
      • choose appropriate words, phrases, and sentence and paragraph structure for the audience and purpose
      • demonstrate adequate command of mechanical conventions, including English grammar
    3. Demonstrate competence in receptive communication, comprehending written and signed material.
    4. Present content coherently, which involves clarifying points, bringing together information in a well-organized way, and drawing logical connections among ideas.
    5. Express ideas and information effectively in a variety of formats, including one-on-one, group settings, and through appropriate use of media.
  2. Critical Thinking-Student will summarize, synthesize, and critically analyze ideas from multiple sources in order to draw well-supported conclusions and solve problems.
    1. Select relevant and varied sources of information, and accurately state their key points and supporting details.
    2. Bring together ideas, comparing, contrasting, and building on them to arrive at reasonable conclusions.
    3. Evaluate the logic of arguments and strength of evidence, using deductive and inductive methods.
    4. Provide cogent reasons in support of one's opinions, while taking possible objections seriously.
    5. Use critical thinking skills to analyze complex issues, make informed decisions and solve real-life problems, modifying one's approach as needed based on the requirements of particular situations.
  3. Identity & Culture-Students will understand themselves, complex social identities, including deaf identities, and the interrelations within and among diverse cultures and groups.
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of self, including one's multiple social identities and the factors that contribute to one's well-being.
    2. Compare and contrast the perspectives of multiple cultures, including deaf cultures, on various issues and practices.
    3. Show awareness of the range of diversity and universality in human history, societies, and ways of life.
    4. Analyze the interrelations within and among communities and cultures, including deaf communities, attending to the interconnectedness of global and local concerns.
    5. Operate with civility in a complex social world.
  4. Knowledge & Inquiry-Students will apply knowledge, modes of inquiry, and technological competence from a variety of disciplines in order to understand human experience and the natural world.
    1. Demonstrate competence in the fundamental concepts, methods, and technologies used in various fields of study, including scientific methods, quantitative reasoning, and interpretive frameworks.
    2. Apply the modes of inquiry of several disciplines to address issues and questions, comparing and contrasting these approaches.
    3. Demonstrate substantial knowledge of at least one field of study, i.e., one's major, while being able to discuss how this field fits into the larger picture of human knowledge.
    4. Derive meaning from multiple avenues of experience.
    5. Resolve complex problems by integrating knowledge of various types and employing multiple systems and tools.
  5. Ethics & Social Responsibility-Students will make reasoned ethical judgments, showing awareness of multiple value systems and taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions. They will apply these judgments, using collaboration and leadership skills, to promote social justice in their local, national, and global communities.
    1. Support ethical judgments with clear, cogent reasons.
    2. Describe how differences in values, beliefs, and priorities can lead to different conclusions about what is right or wrong.
    3. Assess the consequences of actions.
    4. Demonstrate intellectual honesty, respect and integrity.
    5. Work effectively in teams, including those of diverse composition.
    6. Participate actively in promoting social justice both locally and globally.
    7. Meet the professional standards of the academic community and one's major field.

Religion Student Learning Outcomes

The following is a list of the skills we expect our religion students to attain. Each religion course should provide instruction and practice in at least two of these skills. Religion minors should achieve all of these outcomes.

Students who successfully complete religion courses will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Apply Theories:
    1. Apply methodological theories to the study of religion, including the following: phenomenology, functionalism, Freudian theory, Marxist theory, feminist theory, scientific critiques, symbolic interactionism, and conflict theory.
  2. Think Critically about Religion:
    1. Compare and contrast religious outlooks, explaining conceptual connections among them.
    2. Identify assumptions in religious outlooks and in your own perspective.
    3. Support claims with evidence from religious traditions and/or texts.
  3. Respect Religious Diversity:
    1. Use cross-cultural methods of religious inquiry and analysis.
    2. Appreciate the way our human diversity affects and is affected by religion.
    3. Think both empathetically and critically about conflicting religious claims.
    4. Engage in respectful religious dialogue.
  4. Interpret Cultural Phenomena:
    1. Interpret texts and other cultural phenomena (such as rituals, myths, architecture, film) that have religious presuppositions or implications.
    2. Analyze the vital role religion plays in human history, politics, and psychology.
    3. Describe how religion promotes and retards change as a powerful force in human society.
  5. Connect Religion and Social Justice:
    1. Understand freedom to practice one's religion as an essential human right.
    2. Analyze how religion functions as an instrument of achieving social justice, as well as an instrument of cultural oppression.

Gallaudet University Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Language & Communication-Students will use American Sign Language (ASL) and written English to communicate effectively with diverse audiences, for a variety of purposes, and in a variety of settings.
    1. Demonstrate competence in academic ASL:
      • select and use appropriate register for the setting and participants (which includes signing space, articulation of signs, sign choice)
      • use appropriate syntax, facial grammar, transitions, eye gaze (for engagement and for turn taking), pace
    2. Demonstrate competence in academic writing:
      • choose appropriate words, phrases, and sentence and paragraph structure for the audience and purpose
      • demonstrate adequate command of mechanical conventions, including English grammar
    3. Demonstrate competence in receptive communication, comprehending written and signed material.
    4. Present content coherently, which involves clarifying points, bringing together information in a well-organized way, and drawing logical connections among ideas.
    5. Express ideas and information effectively in a variety of formats, including one-on-one, group settings, and through appropriate use of media.
  2. Critical Thinking-Student will summarize, synthesize, and critically analyze ideas from multiple sources in order to draw well-supported conclusions and solve problems.
    1. Select relevant and varied sources of information, and accurately state their key points and supporting details.
    2. Bring together ideas, comparing, contrasting, and building on them to arrive at reasonable conclusions.
    3. Evaluate the logic of arguments and strength of evidence, using deductive and inductive methods.
    4. Provide cogent reasons in support of one's opinions, while taking possible objections seriously.
    5. Use critical thinking skills to analyze complex issues, make informed decisions and solve real-life problems, modifying one's approach as needed based on the requirements of particular situations.
  3. Identity & Culture-Students will understand themselves, complex social identities, including deaf identities, and the interrelations within and among diverse cultures and groups.
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of self, including one's multiple social identities and the factors that contribute to one's well-being.
    2. Compare and contrast the perspectives of multiple cultures, including deaf cultures, on various issues and practices.
    3. Show awareness of the range of diversity and universality in human history, societies, and ways of life.
    4. Analyze the interrelations within and among communities and cultures, including deaf communities, attending to the interconnectedness of global and local concerns.
    5. Operate with civility in a complex social world.
  4. Knowledge & Inquiry-Students will apply knowledge, modes of inquiry, and technological competence from a variety of disciplines in order to understand human experience and the natural world.
    1. Demonstrate competence in the fundamental concepts, methods, and technologies used in various fields of study, including scientific methods, quantitative reasoning, and interpretive frameworks.
    2. Apply the modes of inquiry of several disciplines to address issues and questions, comparing and contrasting these approaches.
    3. Demonstrate substantial knowledge of at least one field of study, i.e., one's major, while being able to discuss how this field fits into the larger picture of human knowledge.
    4. Derive meaning from multiple avenues of experience.
    5. Resolve complex problems by integrating knowledge of various types and employing multiple systems and tools.
  5. Ethics & Social Responsibility-Students will make reasoned ethical judgments, showing awareness of multiple value systems and taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions. They will apply these judgments, using collaboration and leadership skills, to promote social justice in their local, national, and global communities.
    1. Support ethical judgments with clear, cogent reasons.
    2. Describe how differences in values, beliefs, and priorities can lead to different conclusions about what is right or wrong.
    3. Assess the consequences of actions.
    4. Demonstrate intellectual honesty, respect and integrity.
    5. Work effectively in teams, including those of diverse composition.
    6. Participate actively in promoting social justice both locally and globally.
    7. Meet the professional standards of the academic community and one's major field.

Careers

Go to work
While an undergraduate degree in philosophy does not train you for particular jobs, philosophy majors are good candidates for jobs requiring a solid liberal arts education. Employers like people who can solve problems and can write and think clearly - skills philosophy enhances. Examples of careers include: research, business, archiving, technical writing, applied ethics, communications, education, journalism, law, management, and politics.

Become a lawyer
At the national level, philosophy majors have scored very well on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test). Philosophy courses emphasize the skills which prepare students for both the LSAT and the typical law school curriculum: comprehending and analyzing complex texts,  synthesizing information, drawing inferences,  evaluating arguments, and researching and writing papers.

Go to graduate school in another area
Obviously, if you want to go to graduate school in biology, you should major in biology. But most graduate programs respect the fact that philosophy is a challenging subject, and appreciate the analytical skills that philosophy majors develop. So, as a second major, philosophy may be ideal. Examples of areas in which philosophy students do well include education, psychology, and political science.

Teach philosophy
A B.A. in philosophy is not sufficient for getting a job teaching philosophy at a college/university. You would need to go on to graduate school to get an M.A. and Ph.D. And the job market is always tight. But if you love philosophy, this is a very rewarding life path.

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