What is it about?

In 2020, multiple disruptions at a global scale combined with an expensive textbook going out of print and personnel changes within a small program made up of junior faculty led us to entirely reimagine our first-year German curriculum to focus on equity and inclusion. In our contribution to the Here and Now Forum, we outline the framework of our language program and focus on several key changes that include eliminating exams in favor of project-based assessments, adopting a free online textbook, building social justice-based topics into classes, and documenting our efforts and setbacks in an online blog. The changes we have made in our first-year curriculum have had a ripple effect: enrollments have increased, student interest in German and related programs has grown, and assessment data indicates that students still meet national language proficiency standards. While we have had strong institutional support to make these changes, we also publish our work in our Critical German Studies blog and share materials with other interested departments, so that our efforts might be adaptable on a larger scale.

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Why is it important?

Our approach is student-centered, aware of IDE issues and faculty strengths and limitations. It decenters traditional ways of instruction and supports a growth-mindset.


Working with my colleagues Kiley and Seth has been very rewarding.

Juliane Schicker
Carleton College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Assessments and accessibility: Building a critical German program at Carleton College, Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, April 2023, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/tger.12235.
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