R&C / Foreign Language

The First Step of the Discovery Journey: Transforming Beginning Academic Requirements into Discovery-based Courses

The First Step Discovery Journey proposes a profound reimagining of Berkeley’s beginning courses in Reading and Composition (R&C) and in Foreign Languages. We aim to transform these classes from skills-based requirements to gateway inquiry-based experiences connecting first and second year students with the best and most exciting resources of the university. These First Step Discovery classes will create intellectual curiosity and prepare students in their first semesters for subsequent Discovery pathways by embedding inquiry into the pedagogy, integrating primary sources into the curriculum, structuring collaborative and creative projects into each course, and providing experiential learning opportunities. The project will offer a year-long collaborative workshop for instructors across campus in R&C and Foreign Languages who wish to explore how to transform an existing course into a Discovery class. The project also involves development of mid-level writing courses, and creation of a Student Discovery Center where students who have previously taken Discovery R&C and foreign language classes will mentor and support fellow students in their Discovery journey.

French student photo-essay on food sustainability efforts at UC Berkeley

One example of French students’ photo-essays on food sustainability efforts at UC Berkeley.

Students standing next to a figure of Yoshiko Uchida in Doe Library.

"Images of History" R4B students with their figure of author Yoshiko Uchida in Doe from a class Discovery project on the history of the Japanese American internment.