Spring 2013

Semester Start Date: 
Friday, February 1, 2013

Ethics of Intervention: Anthropological Approaches

An historical and cross-cultural study of the logics and practices of intervention: the ways that individuals, institutions, and governments identify conditions of need or states of emergency within and across borders that require a response. Examines when a response is viewed as obligatory, when is it deemed unnecessary, and by whom; when the intercession is considered fulfilled; and the rationales or assumptions that are employed in assessing interventions.

Making Sense: Qualitative Methods for Designers & Planners

Surveys uses of qualitative methods in urban design and planning research and practice. Topics include observing environments, physical traces, and environmental behavior; asking questions; focused interviews; standardized questionnaires; use of written archival materials; use of visual materials, including photographs, new media, and maps; case studies; and comparative methods. Emphasizes use of each of these skills to collect and make sense of qualitative data in community and institutional settings.

Quantitative Reasoning and Statistical Methods for Planning I

Develops logical, empirically based arguments using statistical techniques and analytic methods. covers elementary statistics, probability, and other types of quantitative reasoning useful for description, estimation, comparison, and explanation. Emphasis on the use and limitations of analytical techniques in planning practice. Restricted to first-year MCP students. Prerequisites: permission of instructor

Shanghai and China

Considers the history and function of Shanghai, from 1840 to the present, and its rise from provincial backwater to international metropolis. Ex- amines its role as a primary point of economic, political, and social contact between China and the world, and the strong grip Shanghai holds on both the Chinese and foreign imagination. Students discuss the major events and figures of Shanghai, critique the classic historiography, and complete an independent project on Shanghai history.

Innovative Budgeting and Finance for the Public Sector (Urban Public Finance)

Examines how to adequately and effectively attend to public sector responsibilities for basic services with limited financial and human resources, particularly in the context of rapid population growth as well as shrinkage. Provides an introductory framework for understanding methods and processes of budgeting, accounting, and financial mobilization in the public sector. Uses case studies and practice exercises to explore revenue strategies via taxation, capital markets.

Project Appraisal in Developing Countries

Covers techniques of financial analysis of investment expenditures, as well as the economic and distributive appraisal of development projects. Critical analysis of these tools in the political economy of international development is discussed. Topics include appraisal's role in the project cycle, planning under conditions of uncertainty, constraints in data quality and the limits of rational analysis, and the coordination of an interdisciplinary appraisal team. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Enrollment limited; preference to majors.

Educational Theory and Practice III

Three subject sequence focusing on the theory and practice of K-12 classroom education. Subject concentrates on the theory and psychology associated with student learning. Topics include educational theory, educational psychology, and theories of learning. Classroom observation is a key component. Other assignments include readings from educational literature, written reflections on classroom observations, presentations on class topics, and practice teaching.

Computer Games and Simulations for Investigation and Education

Explores how we learn from computer games and simulations, and delve into the process of building and testing their own simulations. First, students investigate the design and use of games and simulations in the classroom, and the research and development issues associated with desktop computer-based, handheld computer based and non-computer based media. Students then develop their own simulations and games, study what and how people learn from them (including field testing of products), and how games and simulations can be implemented in educational settings.

Introduction to Education: Understanding and Evaluating Education

One of two introductory subjects on teaching and learning science and mathematics in a variety of K-12 settings. Topics include student misconceptions, formative assessment, standards and standardized testing, multiple intelligences, and educational technology. Students gain practical experience through weekly visits to schools, classroom discussions, selected readings, and activities to develop a critical and broad understanding of past and current forces that shape the goals and processes of education, and explores the challenges and opportunities of teaching.

Big Plans & Mega-Urban Landscapes

Explores the physical, ecological, technological, political, economic and cultural implications of big plans and mega-urban landscapes in a global context. Uses local and international case studies to understand the process of making major changes to urban landscape and city fabric, and to regional landscape systems. Includes lectures by leading practitioners. Assignments consider planning and design strategies across multiple scales and time frames.