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We can make knowledge more complete with action. By including a practicum component in this course we provide opportunity to experiment with personal change in partnership with others. We use "experiment" to denote consciously chosen behavior that we carefully observe, record, and analyze.


You build your practicum around a "keystone habit" as described by Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit. You read relevant sections of this book and use what you learn to identify a keystone habit. Next you experiment with changing this habit. Please design experiment(s) to be completed, including recording and analysis, in three hours per week, Stanford's benchmark for one academic unit of credit. Plan to engage in experimental behavior, to journal your practice, and to note differences in other aspects of life that you perceive to be possibly related to practice.


For example, you might:

  • Sleep an additional 15-20 minutes each night
  • Exercise 40 minutes on each of three days
  • Meditate 30 minutes on each of four days
  • Write emails or letters of appreciation for an hour on each of two days
  • Take a two-hour hike or bike ride once a week
  • Alter idiolect to affect feeling, thought, and perception (e.g., use negative words less often)
  • Change dietary pattern (e.g., eliminate corn syrup)
  • Do an electronic device "fast" (e.g., during meals, for an hour before bed, FB one day per week)
  • Do some combination of the above

Construct a practicum about which you can be wholehearted. Feel free to mix and match: you may adopt one practice for ten weeks, or you may adopt one for two weeks, another for two weeks, or different ones on different days of the week, etc.. Author a life you want with experiment(s) you deem well-suited to you. Please address one or more keystone habits. Please see Duhigg, Charles. (2012). "Keystone Habits, or the Ballad of Paul O'Neill." (Chapter 4, pp. 46-56 and appendix). LinkThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. For the whole book, please visit the following Link.

Each instructional team member is engaged in her or his practicum. We've more than a century of practice among us. We're glad to share this experience. You may also find one or more partners among other course participants.

As soon as you've even preliminary ideas about your proposed experiment(s), please submit them as your "Practicum Proposal" on the assignments page in Canvas, and email practicum coordinator hilary@ {} to let her know that you've done so. We look forward to sharing satisfaction generated by being and doing more as each of us intends.


A full practicum comprises a proposal and nine weekly reports. Students may complete a practicum with a proposal and five weekly reports. If you reach the date for dropping a course without having submitted sufficient reports to make a complete practicum possible we will require you to change your registration to 3 units.

An approved proposal and each weekly report counts for up to ten points. We deduct one or more points for late submittals. We weight your practicum according to how many submittals you make. Each is 2% of your grade. If you've fewer than 10 submittals, we weight your final an additional 2% for each submittal you miss. (e.g. Submit a proposal and seven reports and your practicum becomes worth 16% of your grade, and your final worth 4% more.)