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This assignment was designed to be used in global history survey courses, which are primarily taken by students with little prior experience in college-level history, and who will not go on to major in History. It has not yet been used, but it is best suited for use in in SSH 106 (World History from 1500) and/or SSH 110 (East Asian Civilizations)—courses currently not designated with any one of LaGuardia’s core competencies and communication abilities. These are both writing intensive courses, wherein LaGuardia’s Written Communication Ability can be reinforced. They employ a number of primary and secondary sources to help students engage critically with the discipline of history while also developing important skills in analytical thinking and communication. The assignment outlined below is a reflective, end-of-term writing assignment that is meant to both draw out and synthesize themes about refugees and war from Viet Thanh Nguyen’s edited volume, The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. It also aims to get students to both consider the transferrable skills they can take away from the course, and to better understand the meaning and importance of “historical empathy.” The assignment directly addresses the skills that the Global Learning Core Competency aims to hone, namely critical analyses and engagement with complex global systems and legacies. This assignment is the culmination and reflection upon of several weeks of reading assignments, but the assignment itself takes only one week to complete (the 1-2 page reflection paper). The assignment is worth 10%-15% of the overall grade, similar to a midterm or exam. The readings for this assignment came directly from the Spring 2019 NEH funded Meanings of War seminar syllabus. The assignment was developed for the seminar, and was workshopped and improved upon by my colleagues’ feedback.

LaGuardia’s Core Competencies and Communication Abilities


This resource is part of the Learning Matters Assignment Library.

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