Exercises to Prepare

KQ Exercise


This exercise comes with expectations that you'll do some exploration without worrying about whether there's a "right way" to do PBL and to pursue cultural interpreation of science (and of other knowledge making, such as interpreation of science). Instructor feedback will help you tease out various lines of questioning that occur to you and then focus those inquiries. 

You should do steps 1 & 2 before Class 2. You are welcome to start the video and the following steps, but we will also do this together during class. Be reassured that there will be a Focusing In phase in Class 3 after the Opening Up exercise.


  1. Re-read scenario for Project 1. Read and post an annotation of Haraway, Donna J."Teddy Bear Patriarchy: Taxidermy in the Garden of Eden, New York City, 1908-1936." Social Text 11 (Winter 1984–1985): 20–64. View the Paper Tiger video, stopping every few minutes to make notes (4 parts; 1, 2, 3, 4).

    Note questions that interest you opened up by connections that Haraway draws. Prepare, then later post as comments/replies on the blog, at least 5 Knowldege claims of Haraway's in the video or "Teddy Bear Patriarchy" chapter, related to the issue of establishment of knowledge in a certain place at a certain time for a certain people.

    Prepare, then later post as replies to your own comment at least 5 Questions that you might like to inquire into, raised by the video, the chapter or Project 1 itself, about how to place.

    Review Ks and Qs from other students.

    Pursue inquiries (on the web, in publication) that build on the Questions you raised and anything else that arises subsequently. Post as comments/replies to the designated blog post, queries and requests for assistance and clarification to the instructors, who will try to respond before Class 3.

    Bring to Class 3: Notes about inquiries you undertook, including inquiries that did not yield answers yet, and any new Knowledge claims and Questions that have arisen relevant to Project 1 and its central issue of how knowledge gets established in a certain place at a certain time for a certain people.

    In Class 3, we will review these inquiries with a view to your inquiring further over the next week and preparing focused presentations for Week 4. Feedback from the instructors on this exercise should help in focusing your inquiries and preparing your presentations.

  2. Work in progress presentation on Project 2 as described by Taylor and Szeiter: "When you prepare to give a presentation, when you hear yourselves deliver your presentations, and when you get feedback, it usually leads to self-clarification of the Overall Argument underlying your research and the eventual written reports. This, in turn, influences your priorities (see Research Design) for the time remaining."

  3. Situational Map

    Map some of the complexity of promises, fears, and claims being made about genetics in this evolving digital era, especially as they concern race and gender. Use the websites listed below as entry points to the complexity. If you have a definite angle of your own (e.g., incarceration), feel free to follow leads into the complexity that take you away from or beyond these websites.

    Method of mapping = Situational map as described in Clarke (2005, chap. 3). The map should convey what you learn or discern about:

    • What kinds of knowledge claims are made on these websites?
    • What kinds of events and institutions are linked on these websites?
    • Who and what are the actors that emerge from these pages and what kinds of actions do they take?

    Here is an example from a previous year:

    Come to class prepared to speak about the processing of mapping the complexity, the outcome, and what you plan to carry over into your inquiries for Project 3.

    Websites as entry points to the complexity:

    Possible Angles of Entry into the Complexity

    BRCA: Universal testing

    Free the Data and the Myriad genetic patent case

    Preventative & prophylactic oophorectomy

    Target gene therap

    E-patients and social media

    ALS and viral ice bucket videos

    23andme (direct-to consumer testing)

    Quantified Self movement & DIY medicine/data collection

    Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, PKU

    Infant testing, and lifelong treatment genetic counseling eugenics and reproductive medicine: designer babies

    Surveillance and self-surveillance


    Racial identity and DNA

    Genetic ancestry testing

    Surrogacy and parental rights

    Hereditary disease research

    CRSPR and human genome editing

    Donor siblings 

    Preimplantation genetic diagnosis and prenatal testing

    Big data and privacy issues

    Genetics vs. epigentics & trickle-down rhetoric

    Celebrity disease and disclosures (Angelina Jolie & Melissa Etheridge)

    Medical blogging & support groups

    Precision vs. personalized medicine

    Data ownership vs. data sharing

    HIPAA laws in a digital and genomic era

    Access to healthcare and genetic medicine

    Race-based discrepancies in health outcomes

    Dystopias & representations of genetic futurism



    Native/First Nations and paternity gametes

    Privacy and anonymity in gamete donation

  4. Rapid PBL

    A 'briefing' to help you and other (prospective) teachers learn and get support to move in the direction of more feminist and/or anti-racist pedagogy, especially around science.

    Project 3 asks you to "contribute to a syllabus for a course that would prepare someone like you to study and engage with [the] promises, fears, and claims being made about genetics in this evolving digital era, especially as these developments shift our ideas and actions concerning race and gender."

    Given this project's focus on building a syllabus, today's class activity is a rapid PBL on what can we learn from sources on the internet about how teachers (incl. grad. students) learn and get support for experiments in teaching that might take them in the direction of more feminist and/or anti-racist pedagogy around science (in the various ways that you might see that evolving ideal of feminist and/or anti-racist pedagogy)?

    The product of the PBL is a 'briefing' to help you and others learn and get support to move in the direction of more feminist and/or anti-racist pedagogy, especially around science. The briefing is simply a blog post that provides or points to about six key resources, e.g., issues or controversies, concepts and arguments, evidence, annotated references or websites, summaries of case studies, quotes, images, organizations, people to contact, research already under way, research questions and proposals, statements of principles or guidelines. Exactly what might be a 'resource' concerning feminist and/or anti-racist pedagogy is up for you to decide.

    Aim to post the briefing by 7:15 and then spend 30 minutes a) reading the briefing posts of others, and b) adding a comment on your own post, in which you copy and paste (with attribution) about six items from other students' briefings that supplement your briefing. That is, the items add to what you have proposed will help you learn and get support to move in the direction of more feminist and/or anti-racist pedagogy, especially around science.

    To get warmed up, we'll start with free-writing about angles to pursue, then share our thinking in pairs, then in 20-minute turn-taking dialogue in one of two small groups. After that, each of us will explore resources on the internet (*) and draft a briefing. Feel free to sound out ideas with instructors and other students along the way. The last 10 minutes of the class will be a reflection on the experience of this rapid PBL format.

    * Briefings, which include sources, of past students will be made available during the rapid PBL (2013, 2015).