||CentreTerm course makes it to Jeopardy!
RELEASED: May 21, 2009
DANVILLE, KY—Centre College's "The Art of Walking" CentreTerm course was featured on Jeopardy! last week during 2009 College Week. The answer, which was worth $1,000, was the last question in the "Scintillating Syllabus" category:Answer: Kentucky's Centre College offered "The Art of" this, a lost mode of transportation; Monty Python likes it silly.
Question: What is "walking"?
A contestant answered the question correctly.
"The Art of Walking," taught by Dr. Ken Keffer, Stodghill Professor of French and German, takes an approach to philosophy that is anything but business-as-usual.
Keffer explores with his students Immanuel Kant's "Critique of Judgment" in a variety of unusual settings during the College's unique CentreTerm. No nodding off in this class and nothing stiff, either, beyond the muscles of those unaccustomed to three-hour walks. The class discusses hefty reading assignments in the morning and then explores the ideas in more informal "walk and talk" sessions in the afternoon. Keffer and his students stroll through nature preserves, battlefields, cemeteries, the nearby Shaker Village, campuses and farms of the Bluegrass.
"Our Kantian discussions in the morning sessions are as hard as marble. Sometimes we need something like a chisel and hammer to get through to the ideas," Keffer says. "The afternoon walks flow like water in comparison, loosen tongues in the free play of unsupervised conversation. More interestingly, the adventurous, wild and curious nature of the students comes out, something you see less easily, if at all, in class. You don't have to go far to walk."
Now in its sixth iteration, the class has become a signature course for both Keffer and Centre College. It has been featured in "The Chronicle of Higher Education" and picked up by the Kentucky Associated Press. Students are inspired to discover new ways to view their own existence and to see that they're surrounded by natural beauty—when they slow down enough to apprehend it. Keffer hopes his students are inspired to walk even after his class ends and, in association with the College, issues each one an official "license to walk" at the conclusion of CentreTerm.
CentreTerm is a three-week January term in which creative, unusual and unique courses are the rule, not the exception. Professors teach a subject that may be on the periphery of their chosen field and explore new and interesting ways to teach it. They teach—and students take—only one class.
For more information on CentreTerm, click here.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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