To many students, hearing the phrase ‘GenEd’ (short for general education courses) brings to mind images of math, English and other standard lectures. However, for students looking to keep their credits interesting, that is not always the case.
There are many GenEd courses that mix up the old formula and provide students with a unique and enriching experience.
One such class is Philadelphia Dance Experience, a course dedicated to the critical analysis of various pieces of dance.
Bijaan Jiwani, a freshman at Temple, said this class stands out because of its different structure. In this GenEd, students learn hands-on.
“It’s engaging in a very different way from my other classes,” Jiwani said. “There is no professor droning on and on about some lecture they have prepared. We see real performances.”
Following a performance, students in the class discuss its relevance and meaningfulness.
“We talk about how dance is used as a form of communication and why it’s still an important part of culture today, especially in a city like Philadelphia,” Jiwani said.
Jiwani recommends this class to anyone seeking to become more culturally aware.
Another noteworthy GenEd at Temple is Race & Ethnicity in American Cinema. This course encourages students to dig deeper into the portrayal of race and ethnicities in film.
“Since the early years of filmmaking, movies have stereotyped race and therefore play a powerful role in how people perceive ethnic groups,” said Professor Ginger Jolly, one of the course’s instructors.
But this class goes more in-depth than just watching movies.
“Typically, audiences don’t discuss movies in terms beyond ‘like it’ or ‘don’t like it,’” Jolly said. “However, class discussion gives each student the opportunity to think and speak analytically about the film and to have a richer viewing experience.”
Student Shaun Luberski recommended another film class called Disasters: Geology Vs. Hollywood.
“We watch disaster movies about hurricanes, volcanoes, tornados and more. When we are done, we learn the science behind it and whether or not the film accurately portrayed the events,” Luberski said.
An interesting GenEd option not linked to the creative arts is a course called Doing Justice. This class views procedures and protocol within the field over the course of history.
“We learn about the history of police corruption in the 20s and 30s,” senior Jess Messink said. “It’s fascinating to see how it relates to the present. It’s true that history repeats itself.”
The class requires time and effort, since it relates to the real occupational field.
“It’s a great experience for anyone interested in the topic,” Messink said.
Written by Ben Hoermann
Photographed by Sarah Whitehead