Instructor Insights

Instructor Insights pages are part of the OCW Educator initiative, which seeks to enhance the value of OCW for educators.

Instructor Insights

Smiling man wearing orange shirt, colorful scarf, and glasses. Bookshelves and file cabinets in the background.

Professor Michel DeGraff in his office on the MIT campus. (Image courtesy of MIT OpenCourseWare.)

Rich discussions are best arrived at if they stem from a personal basis where students are invested in trying to find an answer that can work for them in their personal lives, the lives of their families, or their communities.

— Michel DeGraff

In the following dual language videos, Michel DeGraff describes various aspects of how he taught 24.908 Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities.

View in English:

View in Creole:

 

Student Insights

It’s not just about the curriculum; it’s about the space you create.

— Dalila Stanfield

In the following videos, two students share their experiences in 24.908 Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities.

José Esparza, MIT Student

Dalila Stanfield, Wellesley Student

 

Curriculum Information

Prerequisites

None

Requirements Satisfied

  • HASS-S
  • CI-H
  • Unrestricted elective

Offered

Offered periodically

The Classroom

  • Small classroom with whiteboard lined walls and a single table in the center lined with chairs.

    Seminar

    Seminars were held in a classroom equipped with whiteboards, an A/V system, and a table for discussions.

 

Assessment

Grade Breakdown

The students' grades were based on the following activities:

The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by Essay 1. 15% Essay 1
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by Essay 2. 15% Essay 2
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by Essay 3. 15% Essay 3
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by Essay 4 (20%) and oral presentation (20%). 40% Essay 4 (20%) and oral presentation (20%)
The color used on the preceding chart which represents the percentage of the total grade contributed by attendance & participation. 15% Attendance & Participation

Rubrics

A rubric (PDF) was used to assess the essay assignments.

Student Information

Less than 10 students took this course when it was taught in Spring 2017.

Breakdown by Year

Mostly juniors and seniors

Breakdown by Major

Linguistics, bio-engineering, earth science, mathematics, and materials science

Typical Student Background

Most students were from MIT; there were also visiting students from Wellesley. Many students were first generation Americans with parents or grandparents from Mauritius, India and Mexico, among other places. Students came to the course with the understanding that ideology around identities or identity politics are yet another “metaphor for power” (who belongs, who doesn’t belong).

 

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

3 hours per week
  • Met 1 time per week for 3 hours per session; 14 sessions total.
  • Class sessions were discussion-based. Students also made oral presentations in which they connected course readings to their lived experiences. 
 

Out of Class

9 hours per week
  • Students wrote essays and completed readings outside of class.
 

Semester Breakdown

WEEK M T W Th F
1 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Class meeting scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
2 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
3 No classes throughout MIT. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
4 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
5 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled and essay was due. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
6 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
7 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
8 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
9 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled and essay was due. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
10 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
11 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
12 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled and essay was due. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
13 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
14 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled and essay was due. No session scheduled. No session scheduled.
15 No session scheduled. No session scheduled. Class meeting and student presentations scheduled. No session scheduled. No classes throughout MIT.
16 No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT. No classes throughout MIT.
Displays the color and pattern used on the preceding table to indicate dates when classes are not held at MIT. No classes throughout MIT
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when class meetings are held. Class meeting
Displays the symbol used on the preceding table to indicate dates when essays are due. Essay due
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when no class session is scheduled. No class session scheduled
Displays the color used on the preceding table to indicate dates when student presentations are held. Student presentations