Staff-Initiated Cognitio Pods
A History of Ideas: From Greece to the Modern World
The reading group will be an enquiry into the history of ideas, cultures and civilisation and the philosophers that formed them. The pod will selectively read and discuss works of philosophy, history, and literature from antiquity to our contemporary world. It will begin with ancient and Greek philosophy and end with some readings from more recent writings in political philosophy.
In between, students will discuss how the ideas of different societies across history reflected the social context of the time and how ideas mutated to conform to the requirements of modern society. Possible readings include: the political and educational ideals of the ancient Greek city-states, Roman notions of justice and power, the transformation of pagan antiquity, the orient and science, the scholasticism of medieval Europe, the Renaissance and Reformation, the scientific revolution, the enlightenment, the French Revolution, Romanticism, liberalism, and modern feminism. The point of these readings is to engage with the beauty of the text and learn that how past is only superficially alive in the present.
Achieving Fulfillment and Happiness in Life: Role Models
Years ago, one of Prof Richardson’s respected and wise mentors shared the following insight: "If you want to understand what happiness and fulfillment in life entails, seek out individuals who have reached the age of 55 or more and who self-report that they have achieved these ends (happiness and fulfilment)."
The proposed pod will include modest readings/podcasts on fulfillment and happiness. However, the major endeavor will be interviews, presentations and subsequent discussions with the group (probably by pairs of students) of individuals, age 55 plus, who self-report that they have achieved happiness and fulfillment in their lives.
Going Native: Exploring Local Writing and Experimenting with Creativity
In 'Going Native', students will be reading and discussing the work of local writers. The texts will be chosen in the first two weeks, according to the interests of the group, and they will embark on a journey of discovery together. As far as possible, the authors of their texts will be invited to the discussions so as to share their perspectives of their stories, and also to guide the students in their writing.
The aim of the pod is for the students to have a richer personal understanding of Singapore’s literary scene, as well as experiment creatively with producing their own poetries, plays or short stories.
Learning to play. Playing to learn.
The main objective of this pod can be summarised in this quote: “People learn as they play. More importantly, in play, people learn how to learn” – O Fred Donaldson. In this pod, students will experience and examine play activities and make attempt to figure out how these activities can improve our ability to learn as an individual. They will have a chance to learn how to play with a wide variety of medium ranging from LEGO bricks to customized props and facilitated play activities. They will reflect upon these play experiences and distil wisdom about themselves and about their ability to learn.
As the saying goes, ‘You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation’ – Plato. The pod will also provide a rare opportunity for enrolled students to discover deep insights about their RC4 friends through these interactive and fun play activities.
The Veritas Forum @ RC4
Is Science incompatible with religion? What is there suffering in the world? What is the meaning of life? What is happiness? What is truth? Where does morality come from? Is there life after death?
In this Cognitio Pod, students will listen to the arguments put forward by some of the world’s most highly esteemed thinkers, following which they share and discuss any new insights that they may have gained of life’s hardest questions.
Student-Initiated Cognitio Pods
Global Citizens' Society
In this new age of globalisation, individuals all over the world are connected to one another. As a participant in this "global society", one is frequently bombarded with news and information, fake and real. If he/she wants to be able to foster deeper connections, understanding global issues and other cultures is key. One would be surprised to discover how issues in another part of the world relate closely to issues occurring in their own backyard. Through the Global Citizens' Society, students can start having vibrant conversations with like-minded individuals who are keen to play a part in today’s global society.
RC4Code would be a place for exposure to coding, and members would learn by participating in projects. The first and only course the pod would have for now is HTML and CSS website coding, though as more people join, the pod can encompass other kinds of coding. The goal is to encourage more people to start coding by exposing them to the process of coding and its applications.
RC4 Debate is a debate Cognitio pod aiming to build the combination between debate with student life and systems dynamics.
RC4 Debate aims to provide a stage for students to actively perform their own opinions towards hot topics in the modern world. It will also organise games related with logic training such as werewolves.
RC4EARTH is a team of passionate environmental activists that aims to work towards reducing all kinds of waste within the college by carrying out green initiatives and raising awareness for the environment.
Its vision is to cultivate a strong sense of environmentalism in RC4 and promote sustainable living in UTown.
RC4SPACE community was born out of passion for flight and the aviation industry, with the intention of stimulating interests and self-motivation among students in learning and applying various concepts along with modern technologies in various problem-solving situation. RC4SPACE also works with NUS Drone Club in conducting drone building workshops, contributing and spreading the knowledge to the entire NUS community.
Besides building flying machines, RC4SPACE also introduces several basic micro courses to complement students with the necessary digital skills. Some micro courses includes basic C++ programming through the use of Arduino development board and electronic circuit prototyping by building cars.
Stress is an inherent part of students’ lives, be it arising from studies, relationships or non-academic commitments etc. When excessive or overwhelming, such stress can become detrimental to students’ mental well-being. Hence, RC4Wellness aims to raise awareness among RC4 students about the importance of mental well-being. Through educational sessions conducted by students and professionals, the group hopes to equip students with knowledge and skills on how to better cope with mental health issues, be it in themselves or in their friends. Through these sessions, they also hope to encourage dialogue about such issues, and in doing so, build and strengthen the social support systems in RC4. The group also places posters around the college that serve as simple reminders of the importance of mental wellness.