Course Syllabus

HUMI 1 – Creative Minds

De Anza College Winter ‘18 -- 4 units                  

Instructor: Lori Bhumi Clinchard, Ph.D.;

Office Hours: F2 building (near L Quad and cafeteria); M,T,W,Th: 12:30-1:20

De Anza Disability Support Services 

De Anza Plagiarism Policy: 


“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” Edward de Bono


“Creativity is not just for artists. It’s for business people looking for a new way to close a sale; it’s for engineers trying to solve a problem; it’s for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way.” - Twyla Tharp


“Science means constantly walking a tightrope between blind faith and curiosity; between expertise and creativity; between bias and openness; between experience and epiphany; between ambition and passion; and between arrogance and conviction - in short, between an old today and a new tomorrow.’  -Heinrich Rohrer


“But the person who scored well on an SAT will not necessarily be the best doctor or the best lawyer or the best businessman. These tests do not measure character, leadership, creativity, perseverance.” –William Julius Wilson


Course Description:

This course is an introduction to the study of creativity in human life, its sources, development, social purposes, and role in culture change. Students analyze creativity as a central source of meaning and purpose in their lives as well as a development of their unique combination of human intelligences. Lives of creative people from all over the world are examined and contextualized.


This course is specifically designed to build commitment to civic and moral responsibility for diverse, equitable, healthy and sustainable communities. Students are expected to recognize themselves as members of larger social fabrics and to develop the abilities and willingness to take informed action for change.


Required Reading:

  1. Eisenstein, Charles. (2013).   The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books. ISBN: 9781583947241
  2. Gelb, Michael J. (2004). How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. New York: Delta Trade Paperback. ISBN: 978-0-440-50827-4

The Eisenstein book is also available on the author’s website:


*Note: important class announcements are often made in the first 5 minutes of class. If you are late, you are still responsible for this information, so please make sure you are on time.


Course Requirements:

  1. Class Participation: Daily attendance, engagement, and participation in class discussions is required.


  1. On-line Discussions: By Friday, every other week, you will have responded to discussion questions online related to the two previous weeks’ reading assignments and in-class topics. Then you’ll have two additional days to respond to your classmates (due Sunday evening).


  1. Practice Journal: You will use the book as a guide to create a personal practice journal, writing about your experiences. Follow the course outline to know which principle to work with each week. We will do some of the exercises in class, so bring your book and journals to class. Every other Thursday, you will turn in your journal, with the required exercises completed. Include a section for each of the 7 Da Vincian principles:

1) describe this principle in your own words, based on the author’s explanation

2) do at least 3 of the exercises in your journal that we haven’t done in class

3) find a way to apply this principle in your personal life, work or studies

4) write about how your application went: what happened? what did you learn?

5) Describe your conclusions about the potential of this principle for you.


  1. Final project: Create a life experiment based on the weekly in-class topics. Choose a topic that interests you, and think of a way to use this topic to make interesting or helpful changes in your life. Make a plan; take actions in your life based on the plan; observe and document the results; analyze your experiment and describe your conclusions. Written report should be at least 5 full pages (typed, 12 font, double-spaced, normal margins).


Grading: Total points possible         = 600 pts.

Class Participation - 10 weeks x 4 pts = 40 points

Online Discussions = 5 discussions x 50 pts. each = 250 points

Practice Journal = 5 check-ins x 50 pts. each = 250 points

Final Project= 60 points


Grading Scale

A-=90%; A=93%; A+=98%   / B-=80%; B=83%; B+=88%     /   C=70%; C+=78%
D-=60%; D=63%; D+=68%     /   F=<60%


Late work: Late work is NOT accepted, except with advance permission of instructor.



COURSE OUTLINE – * Check for reading assignments & homework due dates

                                         * Bring “How to Think like LdV” & Journal to class


Week 1 –Don’t Believe Everything You SEE (in-class topic)

               No Reading; Buy the books!


Week 2 – Don’t Believe Everything You THINK (in-class topic)

   Read: More Beautiful World: Separation; Breakdown; Interbeing


Week 3 –Your Culture Tells You What Is Real (and good and true)

   Read: How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci: Part One pp. 2-45

   Read: More Beautiful World: Cynicism; Insanity

   HOMEWORK: Online Discussion by Fri. night (responses by Sun. night)


Week 4 –Fear & the Need to Belong

     Read: How to Think like Leonardo: Part Two – #1:Curiosita pp. 47-75

     Read: More Beautiful World: Science

                 HOMEWORK: Journal due in-class Thursday (Part One & #1:Curiosita)


Week 5 –Lies Your Teacher Told You

              Read: How to Think like Leonardo: #2:Dimonstrazione pp. 76-93

               Read: More Beautiful World: Morphogenesis; Newness

               HOMEWORK: Online Discussion by Fri. night (responses by Sun. night)


Week 6 –You Can Change Your Mind

              Read: How to Think like Leonardo: #3:Sensazione pp. 94-141  

               Read: More Beautiful World: Urgency; Doing; Non-Doing

               HOMEWORK: Journal due in-class Thurs. (#2:Dimonstrazione & #3Sensazione)

Week 7 – “Don’t Just Do Something – Sit There!”

   Read: How to Think like Leonardo: #4:Sfumato pp. 142-163

   Read: More Beautiful World: Struggle, Pain, Pleasure

   HOMEWORK: Online Discussion by Fri. night (responses by Sun. night)


Week 8 –Taking Play Seriously

Read: How to Think like Leonardo: #5:Arte/Scienza pp. 164-191

Read: More Beautiful World: Judgment; Hate; Righteousness

HOMEWORK: Journal due in-class Thursday (#4:Sfumato & #5Arte/Scienza)


Week 9 –You Can’t Fool Mother Nature

Read: How to Think like Leonardo:#6:Corporalita pp. 192-219

Read: More Beautiful World: Psychopathy, Evil

HOMEWORK: Online Discussion by Fri. night (responses by Sun. night)




Week 10 –The Challenge of Our Times

Read: How to Think like Leonardo: #7:Connessione pp. 220-259

Read: More Beautiful World: Disruption, Miracle, Consciousness

           HOMEWORK: Journal due in-class Thursday (#6:Corporalita & #7Connessione)


Week 11 –Revolution

            Read: How to Think like Leonardo: Part Three (review only)          

Read: More Beautiful World: Destiny; Initiation

Read: HOMEWORK: Online Discussion by Fri. night (responses by Sun. night)


Week 12 – Finals Week:

            Final project due



Absences: You may miss 3 classes in the quarter. Any absences beyond 3 need to be discussed with instructor during office hours. You may be dropped after 4 absences. You are responsible for material covered in class while you are absent.


Plagiarism: Any instances of copying and pasting from Internet sources, books, articles, or other students’ papers will be immediately reported to De Anza Administration.




Two extra credit options: Due by Thursday, March 15th (no exceptions) –


  • Watch the film “Connected: a film for change”: and analyze the film in relation to the Charles Eisenstein book (1 page response paper; single-spaced, 12 font, typed) – 5 pts­.


Honors Option:

An Honors cohort is being offered in this section.  Eligibility requirements can be found at If you are interested, please contact Mehrdad Khosravi, Honors Program Coordinator at or at 408-864-8833 for approval.

The cohort entails additional work: an informal research paper on an agreed-upon topic. You must commit to participating in the Honors cohort by the end of the first week of the quarter by dropping the current section of this course and adding the Honors section with a separate add code. You must also sign a written contract with me. Once you commit to the Honors portion, you will be expected to complete the extra work.  Failure to complete the Honors work will result in a lowering of your regular class grade by 2/3 of a grade (ex: A- to B; B+ to B-; B to C+; etc.).  

Course Summary:

Date Details