Principled Problem Solving (PPS)
Mark J. Justad, Director, Center for Principled Problem Solving
Principled Problem Solving (PPS) is a central and unifying aspect of Guilford’s practical liberal arts education. First identified and defined by faculty, staff and students as part of a campus-wide, long-range planning process, PPS builds on the knowledge, skills, interests and life experience of the Guilford and local communities and seeks to address a broad range of problems and opportunities. PPS as philosophy and practice emerges from Quaker testimonies and is grounded in Guilford’s seven articulated Core Values.
In this class, we explore different approaches to civic engagement, survey the status of civic initiatives and social movements across the U.S., and learn from local practices and practitioners.
This course examines models of civic engagement and what is required of citizens in a healthy democracy. Seminar format, may include a community or project-based engagement hours requirement. Prerequisite: PPS 110 or permission of instructor.
May also be offered at 250, 350 and 450 levels.
This course provides an introduction to leadership theory, research and practice in small groups, organizational and societal contexts. This course will focus on applying leadership theories to think about practical problems on campus or in the broader Guilford community.
In this course, we identify students’ core values and commitments, reflect upon how those values (and the Core Values of the College) connect with their education and vocation, identify capacities and strengths within local communities, identify particular problems that contradict students’ and Guilford College’s Core Values, research the intersecting root causes of these problems – as well as efforts already underway to address them, discern our willingness and ability to engage these problems effectively, and begin the process of imagining ethical action in particular contexts. Throughout this process, we will explore narratives and practices of effective approaches to social change and innovation in diverse contexts. This class is limited to students in the PPS Scholars Program.
In this class, we will: research the intersecting root causes of particular social problems – as well as efforts already underway to address them, imagine positive alternatives, explore the roots of our own imagination process for leadership and change, create realistic, achievable plans for action in relation to a particular issue, engage in group action, and reflect about the process, making changes when necessary. Throughout this process, we will explore philosophies and practices of effective approaches to social change and innovation in diverse contexts. In addition, the class will focus on issues and concerns related to ethics and/in leadership within the selected organizations and beyond. The class is limited to students in the PPS Scholars Program.
This seminar is an introduction to interdisciplinary, experiential, place-based learning. You will work with students from other disciplines as you engage with learning opportunities both in and outside the classroom, practice articulating the value and limitations of your discipline, and develop independent research or creative interests. You will reflect (in writing and discussion), develop a basic understanding of some historical trends in the human relationship to water, the history, geography, and contemporary challenges of the Cape Fear River Basin. A three- day canoe camping trip and multiple in-class field trips are mandatory for this course. Prerequisites: ENGL 102 and instructor permission.
This course builds on PPS 151 and is designed to develop the capacity to exercise leadership to make progress on personal and community issues. In addition, students will have an opportunity to engage with speakers from a variety of different walks of life who have exercised leadership in their personal and professional lives and can help students understand how to evaluate external and internal pressures in ethical-decision making.
May also be offered at 360 and 460 levels.
May also be offered at 390 level.
This seminar is an immersion in interdisciplinary, experiential, place-based learning. You will practice applying the skills of your discipline as you work on an independent or collaborative research or creative project that is relevant to some aspect of our place, the Cape Fear River Basin. You will engage in reflection, discussion and presentation to gain practice articulating the value and limitations of your discipline in developing knowledge that might eventually lead to positive change. A three-day canoe camping trip and multiple in-class field trips are mandatory for this course. Prerequisites: ENVS/PPS 240 with approved research proposal, or instructor permission.