Academics
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Elisabeth McLaughlin / Columbia Daily Spectator

Fulfilling all of your Modes of Thinking requirements can be a challenging thing to do. Often, you’ll look through the list of classes and find one that immediately interests you because it’s related to your potential major or minor, but every once in a while, you’ll stumble across a Mode of Thinking that you’re not quite sure how to fulfill. To provide some inspiration about classes you can take for those difficult-to-fulfill requirements, here’s a list of some highly recommended classes for each Mode of Thinking.

Thinking Locally—New York City

Dance in New York City (DNCE BC2570): Drawing from New York City’s very own dance scene, this class examines the cultural and historical contexts of specific communities with regard to dance. Overall, the workload is pretty light and the course is very interesting, which means this class usually has a pretty long waitlist. As a pro tip, your best chances to get into this course are the first semester of your first year or your senior year.

Science in the City (EDUC BC3058): As listed in the course description, students will learn about “the science of learning, the Next Generation Science Standards, scientific inquiry and engineering design practices, and strategies to include families in fostering student achievement and persistence in science”.In the class, offered by the Barnard education department, students will explore methods for teaching science, and thus priority is given to education majors who are pursuing teaching. It is open to nonscience majors, so don’t be intimidated by the course title.

Thinking through Global Inquiry

Intro to East Asian Civilization: There are four versions of this course that each focus on a different country in East Asia: China (ASCE UN1359), Japan (ASCE UN1361), Vietnam (ASCE UN1367), and Tibet (ASCE UN1365). All of the courses have great reviews and each course studies the formation and history of the civilization in the particular region of interest. While these classes may not have the lightest workloads, they are definitely classes to look into for fulfilling this requirement.

Elementary Spanish I (SPAN UN1101): Not all languages count towards fulfilling the Thinking through Global Inquiry requirement, but if you’re interested in learning Spanish, then you’re in luck. Elementary Spanish I is a great option because, as an elementary language course, it’s not too difficult, you’ll learn a lot, and it will simultaneously fulfill your language requirement.

Thinking about Social Difference

The Origins of Human Society (ANTH UN1007): Taught this upcoming semester by Severin Fowles, this course examines the evolution of human social life and traces the foundational process of our society. This class explores the topics of sexuality, art, and language, and is definitely a good option to consider. According to the course description, this course is “designed for anyone who happens to be human.”

Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies (WMST UN1001): As a Barnard student, you should definitely take advantage of the college’s great women’s studies department. This course focuses on the introduction to key concepts in women’s and gender studies grappling with gender and its intricate intersection with other systems of power and inequality, such as sexuality, class, race, etc.

Thinking with Historical Perspective

Educational Foundations (EDUC BC1510): This course examines the psychological, philosophical, sociological, and historical foundations of education and delves into the questions of what education is, how education has become what it is, and what education should be. Taught by Rachel Throop, this class has a manageable workload with short readings and is very engaging and interesting.

The Politics of Crime and Policing in the U.S. (HIST BC2401): Taught by Matthew Vaz, this course focuses on crime, criminal justice, and their historical context and development in the United States since the Civil War. It cross-examines the discourse of crime and normalcy with the process of policy making. In addition, Vaz is known to be a great lecturer who will certainly keep you engaged throughout the year.

Thinking Quantitatively and Empirically

Statistics (Psychology) (PSYC BC1101): If you’re looking for an easy class to fulfill your Thinking Quantitatively and Empirically requirement, then look no further. Known as Psych Stats, this class is said to be one of the easiest classes and requires minimal effort. In the course, you’ll learn about basic statistical tools and their application in psychological research.

Earth, Moon, and Planets (ASTR UN1403): According to the course description, you’ll study the “overall architecture of the solar system including motions of the celestial sphere, time and the calendar, major planets, the earth-moon system, minor planets, comets, and life in the solar system and beyond”. While it does have a recommended preparation of high school algebra and can be pretty math intensive, this class is overall interesting and worth considering if you are interested in the space beyond.

Thinking Technologically and Digitally

Intro to Information Science (COMS W1001): This class gives you a basic introduction to concepts and skills in information sciences including “human-computer interfaces, representing information digitally, organizing and searching information on the internet, principles of algorithmic problem solving, introduction to database concepts, and introduction to programming in Python.” Taught by Adam Cannon, this course is a great option for people who need to fulfill the Thinking Technologically and Digitally requirement but don’t have much previous knowledge or passion about computer science.

Computing in Context (COMS W1002): Another option, also taught by Adam Cannon and ideal for non-computer science people who need to fulfill the Thinking Technologically and Digitally requirement, is Computing in Context. This course is meant to be an introduction to elementary computing concepts and Python programming with domain-specific applications. So, if you’re looking for something a little harder than Intro to Information Science, but still relatively manageable, check it out.

Staff writer Tian Griffin can be contacted at tian.griffin@columbiaspectator.com. Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

Barnard Modes of Thinking Requirement Foundations Academics Course Registration
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