2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Patterns of Intelligence: Beyond the Individual


Fall 2011 quarter

Douglas Schuler social informatics, computer supported cooperative work, computer science, software engineering
Fields of Study
community studies and sociology

Since the early 20th Century, there have been many attempts to judge and measure intelligence in individuals; but teams, seminar groups, companies, and countless other groups of people can also be intelligent.  The ability of groups to act intelligently for the common good will be critical to our future, so we must attempt to understand patterns of intelligence for groups.

The program will explore a variety of research questions related to intelligence.  In what ways are a collection of individuals intelligent?  What can be done to help groups act more intelligently?  How can you tell if a community is acting intelligently, and what could you try to do to change it if it isn't?  How can an educational institution promote this type of civic intelligence? What would a "research / action laboratory" with this focus look like at Evergreen?

At the same time, this program will investigate the nature of some of the problems we would like intelligent groups to solve.  Some problems, for example, can be answered with facts while others require extensive deliberation and action and even then won't be "solved" like a problem in mathematics can be said to be solved.  Some problems are urgent while others may go away, more or less on their own.

Our studies will make use of concepts from sociology and other relevant fields such as social capital, networks, framing, mental models, and participatory design.  We will see a variety of films and TED talks and read texts from a variety of disciplines including sociology, geography, political science, media studies, and cognitive science.

This program is designed to lead into the winter program Patterns of Intelligence: Civic Intelligence and the spring program Patterns of Intelligence: Collective Action.  Work in those future programs will be more project-based as we form partnerships and collaborate with real-world communities and organizations locally and across the region and the globe.

Advertised Schedule
6-10p Wed, 10a-5p Sat (Oct. 1, 15, Nov. 5, Dec. 3)
Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Offered During
Evening and Weekend

Program Revisions

Date Revision
July 28th, 2011 Program added