Instructor: Roger F. Cram
INTERDISCIPLINARY 377-51: The Tuskegee Airmen –
A Study in Group-Leadership Theory and Non-verbal Communication
Summer Semester, 2015
Dates and Times: Friday, May 22, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 10, 6:00pm-10:00pm
Credit Hours: 4
Instructor: Roger F. Cram, Adjunct Faculty. B.A., Hiram College; M.B.A., Kent State University. President Member Tuskegee Airmen North Coast Chapter, Scholarship Committee, Central Division, National Tuskegee Airmen, FAA Certified Flight Instructor.
Course Description: This course will study group dynamics and leadership theories using the Tuskegee Airmen experiment as a basis. We will examine how racism can be successfully combated with ethics, and how goal setting, nonverbal communications, and strong group leadership can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Despite many, almost insurmountable obstacles intentionally placed in the way of their success, the black Tuskegee-trained airmen triumphed over all opposition and developed into the most skilled and formidable fighting air force ever known. This course will attempt to find answers to the following questions: How could this be when the architecture of the Tuskegee Airmen program was designed for failure? How did the Tuskegee Airmen’s group dynamics serve as a “substitute” for outside managerial leadership? How did nonverbal communication play a major role in the Tuskegee Airmen achieving their objectives? How did the Tuskegee group leaders employ various leadership theories to successfully overcome their obstacles.
Course Requirements: Attendance, two quizzes (20% each), one final exam (20%), one research paper (20%), two short essays (5%) each, and one field trip (10%).
Homan, L.M. & Reilly, T. (2001). Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen. Pelican.
First Assignment: Read Chapters I-II in the Black Knights, Read Chapter 1 in Human Communication
Prerequisite: No prerequisite.
This course will satisfy one or more of the following:
General Graduation Requirement
Core Requirement for Major
Correlative, Track or Additional
Coursework for Major
4-hour class sessions
A Study in Group Leadership and Nonverbal Communications
Summer 2015 - WEC
Friday, May 22, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 10, 6:00pm-10:00pm
Tentative Weekend College Syllabus
WEC - Summer 2015 TRI-C
The Tuskegee Airmen-A Study in Group-Leadership
Weekend I – May 22
Text – Black Knights – The Story of Tuskegee Airmen - Chapters I through II – to be read before first class
Text – Social Context of Nonverbal Behavior - Chapter 1 – Presented in class lectures (book not necessary)
Video – The Tuskegee Airmen - Laurence Fishburn
Discuss class presentations on July 3, 2015, form two-person team
Weekend II – May 29
Text - Black Knights – Story of Tuskegee Airmen - Chapters III through IV
Text – Social Context of Nonverbal Behavior - Chapter 2 - Presented in class lectures (book not necessary)
Video – The Tuskegee Airmen – They Fought Two Wars.
Video - The Tuskegee Airmen Gold Medal Presentation in Washington
The Tuskegee Airmen Value System
Class III – June 5
Text - Black Knights – Story of Tuskegee Airmen - Chapters V through VI
Text – Social Context of Nonverbal Behavior - Chapter 3 - Presented in class lectures (book not necessary)
Video – Nightfighters – The True Story of the 332nd Fighter Group – The Tuskegee Airmen
Extra Credit: A Tuskegee Airman Research Paper: Why did the Tuskegee Airmen fight for a country that didn’t want them? This will count up to 3% of the final grade if the student feels extra credit is needed.
Group discussions/activities and group assignments
Test One – take-home quiz, to be turned in at the June 12 class
Class IV – June 12
Text - Black Knights – Story of Tuskegee Airmen - Chapters VII through IX
Text – Social Context of Nonverbal Behavior - Chapter 7 - Presented in class lectures (book not necessary)
The Tuskegee Airmen Problem-Solving Model
Video: Flying for Freedom
Other world heroes of peace employing Tuskegee Airmen Values
Class V – June 19
Text - Black Knights – Story of Tuskegee Airmen - Chapters XIII through XIV
Text – Social Context of Nonverbal Behavior - Chapter 10 - Presented in class lectures (book not necessary)
Test Two – Take-home quiz – to be turned in at the June 26, 2015 class through the last class; student's choice. The quiz will cover similarities between the Heroes' values and those presented in the documentary film Passion and Discipline. Notes from Passion and Discipline and Quiz Two description are located below this syllabus. Click here.
Tuskegee Airmen 4-TEST (GAP) Problem-Solving Model (Click above Mustang)
The Value System of World Heroes attributes - Click on VALUES.
Video - Passion and Discipline
Take home final exam issued, due last class on July 9, 2015.
Class VI – June 26
Optional hors d'oeuvres party provided by students
Text - Black Knights – Story of Tuskegee Airmen - Chapters XV through XIII
Text – Social Context of Nonverbal Behavior- Chapter 13 - Presented in class lectures (book not necessary)
Turn in Research Paper
Turn in take-home test two
July 3 - NO CLASS - 4th JULY WEEKEND
Class VII - July 10
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Research Paper Requirements:
Compare the Tuskegee Airmen's remarkable peaceful conflict resolution abilities with similarities of your assigned hero. 750 words
Class Presentation Requirements:
Make a 30-minute class presentation with your group (including 10 minutes for questions) regarding a dilemma involving prejudice against the Tuskegee Airmen. Discuss why this prejudice might have existed, how the Tuskegee Airmen addressed the situation, the values they used to peacefully resolve the issue, and what can be learned from the experience.
Take Home Quiz One - Summer Semester 2015
Name ____________________________ Date: ___________Possible 100 points
Section One: Individual Identification: 2 points each, possible 28 points
1. _____ Charles McGee A. Flew with Eleanor Roosevelt
2. _____ Span Watson B. Living airmen and a practicing architect
Alexander JeffersonC. Tuskegee Airmen’s only ACE
4. _____ Benjamin O.
Jr. D. Shot down the first German jet fighter Davis
5._____ Yancy Williams E. Supportive commander of the
6. _____ Roscoe Brown F. A P-40 fighter pilot living in Cleveland
7. _____ Noel Parrish G. Saw Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis
8. _____ Frederick Von Kimble H. West Point Graduate
9. _____ Arthur Saunders
I.Filed a law suit against the U.S. Military
10. _____ Charles Dryden J. Flew 149 Tuskegee Combat missions
11. _____ Herbert Carter K. Red tail pilot who trained German’s in jets
12. _____ Lee Archer L. Unsupportive commander of the
13. _____ Clarence Jamison M. A red tail pilot shot down on a strafing run
14. _____ Alfred Anderson N. The real A-Train
Section Two: Fill in the Blank: 4 points each, possible 32 points
15. How many cadets were in the first class at
? _______ Tuskegee
16. How many of the cadets in question 15 graduated? _______
17. The military number assigned to the first Tuskegee Airmen pursuit squadron? _____
18. What was the number of the final fighter squadron group after all the squadrons combined? _______
19. Who was the founder of the Tuskegee Institute in
? ___________________________ Tuskegee Alabama
20. The military number assigned to the Tuskegee Airmen bombing group? _______
21. Who was the bigot commander of the medium bombardment group at Freeman Field mentioned in question 20? ___________________________________
22. Who was Lt. Col. John T. Hazard and what was his job? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Section Three: Short Answer: 4 points each, possible 28 points
23. The Tuskegee Airmen were good shots in their aircraft; why was their only one ACE?
24. Where do you think the Tuskegee Airmen leaders received their values?
25. Give several examples of non-verbal communications as it pertains to the Tuskegee Airmen story.
26. The Tuskegee Airmen fought two wars; what were they?
27. What are and give some examples of Jim Crow laws? (look this up on the Internet)
28. Why were the original Tuskegee Airmen first assigned to Northern Africa where, for the most part, the war was coming to a close and there was little enemy in the area?
29. Why did several Tuskegee Airmen not tell their children the role they played in World War II?
Section Four - Miscellaneous
30. 12 possible points Review the first twelve attributes in the value system at: http://oldhome.hiram.edu/tuskegeeairmen/hiram%20high%20school%20syllabus.htm
Which two do you think are the most inspiring? Why do you think so? Give two examples of how the Tuskegee Airmen applied each of your two chosen values.
Quiz Two - Take Home - Summer 2015
Passion and Discipline
On the top portion of this webpage, under the P-51 Mustang, there is a link to the documentary film Passion and Discipline shown on YouTube. This film was shown in class and can be viewed again by clicking on the top-of-the page link. Your Quiz Two is to write a 750 word essay comparing the Tuskegee Airmen's fourteen values to the values and virtues presented in Passion and Discipline. Not only compare the values, but compare the acts, the deeds, and the sacrifices undertaken that demonstrate the values. Use at least five Heroes' Values in this quiz for comparison.
Example 1: Don Quixote rarely considered the possible consequences when performing what he considered a necessary and heroic deed. He instead felt he was needed to "right a wrong" or rescue someone unable to fight for themselves.
1. The Tuskegee Airmen protected the bombers with their lives, without regard to consequences, knowing that ..."if any bomber got shot down, they must be shot down first."
2. Councilman Corey set up a huge tent in an apartment complex where drug trafficking was so heavy that security guards were chased away by the dealers. He went on a hunger strike
until something was done about this dangerous and unacceptable drug problem. He was not concerned with consequences, most of which were unknown, but only concerned with positive results. (See Heroes' value: Character)
The notes from Passion and Discipline are below for your convenience.
Don Quixote's message is to find meaning in life, to understand oneself and to define success other than by material means. The word "errant" deviating from the normal, traveling as a medieval knight in quest of adventure, moving about aimlessly in an aimless manner such as a light changing breeze.
The knight-errant hero of one of the great classics of literature showed the key ingredients of leadership in his quests for adventure and grievances to redress, says Dr. March, an emeritus professor of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Don Quixote had imagination, passion, commitment, discipline, and joy; he just wasn't connected to the real world.
"We live in a world that emphasizes realistic expectations and clear successes. Quixote had neither. But through failure after failure, he persists in his vision and his commitment. He persists because he knows who he is."
Quixote lived his life with passion and discipline, March says, much as a flamenco dancer performs with seeming abandon, yet acts within the strictures of the art. Leaders can learn from Quixote, whose life was dedicated to imagination (See Heroes' value: Vision), commitment (See Heroes' value: Perseverance), and joy (See Heroes' value: Character). "The critical concerns of leadership are not technical questions of management or power, they are fundamental issues of life," March says.
"What was important to Don Quixote was his sense of himself," (See Heroes' value: Value). Dr. March emphasizes. "Consequences were secondary to him (See our Heroes' value: Character). What was important was being a proper knight errant."
Dr. March seeks to go beyond the conventional business model, where plans are justified by the expected consequences (See Heroes' value: Character), into Don Quixote's world, ruled by vision a (See Heroes' value: Vision) and a strong sense of self. "I always give a footnote in California," he adds. "Don Quixote's sense of himself was not self-indulgent; it was not me-me-me. He wanted to be a proper knight errant" -- which involves discipline and commitment.
Dr. March concludes his film: "A life of leadership requires passion and discipline (See Heroes' values: Character and Values) -- being able to say 'I know who I am.'"
Quixote reminds us:
"If we trust only when trust is warranted, (See Heroes' value: Trust)
love only when love is returned, and (See Heroes' value: Behavior)
learn only when learning is valuable,
we abandon an essential feature of our humanness*." (See Heroes' value: Values)
*Humanness = qualities and characteristics of charity, love, compassion, forgiveness, free choice, wisdom, volunteerism, and other positive attributes that animals do not possess. (Roger Cram definition)
Don Quixote addresses two questions:
(1) Why fight when success is not assumed?
(2) Why be virtuous when virtue is not rewarded? (See Heroes' values: Character, Judging, and Values)
a. How do we use vision and imagination? (See Heroes' value: Vision)
b. How do we sustain commitment? (See Heroes' value: Perseverance)
a. What justifies commitment and persistence?
b. Passion without discipline will not bring wisdom.
c. Discipline without passion will not give us joy.
Possibility of joy— deep emotion of the soul
Video clip: Bobby Kennedy [quoting George Bernard Shaw]:
“Some men see things as they are, and say 'Why?'
I dream of things that never were and say, 'Why not?'”
Don Quixote's lesson for leadership is akin to Lao Tzu's advice for the ruler: "The reason the river is the lord of ten thousand mountain streams is because it knows how to remain beneath them." Thus the ruler places himself not at the mountaintop but below in the marketplace so as to serve his people better.
The Tuskegee Airmen
A Study in Group Leadership and Nonverbal Communications
Summer 2015 TRI-C
This final is to be submitted in class no later than July 12, 2015
All papers are to be double spaced and printed using Microsoft Word. Illustrations, charts, and graphs may be used and are encouraged, but will not count as part of the 750 word requirement. The text students write is to be pertinent to the question; words comprising your name and address and other "filler" like repeating the question or describing your personal experiences will not count at part of the 750 word requirement. This final exam consists of two 750 word essay questions. Question One is required. Then select either question 2 or 3.
Essay Question One: From the list of the heroes of peace mentioned at http://www.modelingfutureheroes.com/Famous%20Peace%20Heroes.htm -
research one of these leader’s accomplishments and write a 750+ word paper describing the similarities between his/her problem-solving techniques and those of the Tuskegee Airmen. Pay particular attention to describing how the value system was used by both the Tuskegee Airmen and your selected hero.
Essay Question Two: Write a 750 word paper describing how the Tuskegee Airmen's non-verbal communications spoke louder than their verbal and written communications. Be very specific giving clear examples from your text and/or from class lectures.
Essay Question Three: Write a 750 word paper researching how the problem-solving methods of slaves (the Tuskegee Airmen's grandparents) and how their conflict-resolution techniques might have proven beneficial to the Tuskegee Airmen. This will require additional research other than the material presented in class.
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I. Course Description:
In 1925, Major General H. E. Ely, commandant of the
In 1941, the black man was finally allowed to train
in aircraft through a civilian program at the Tuskegee Airfield in
Despite many, almost insurmountable obstacles
intentionally placed in the way of their success, the black Tuskegee-trained
airmen triumphed over all opposition and developed into the most skilled and
formidable fighting air force ever known. How
could this be when the architecture of the Tuskegee Airmen program was designed
for failure? How did the Tuskegee
Airmen’s group dynamics serve as a “substitute for outside-managerial
leadership? How did nonverbal
communications play a major role in the Tuskegee Airmen achieving their
objectives? How did the
This course will study group dynamics and leadership theories using the Tuskegee Airmen experiment as a basis. We will examine how racism can be successfully combated with ethics, and how goal setting, nonverbal communications, quality performance, and strong-group leadership can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
II. Goals and
A. Examine how groups can operate in a management and organizational setting
using the Tuskegee Airmen's persistence, ethics, and commitment to excellence as
B. To learn how a group can succeed in its objectives without
C. To study how individual’s performance and nonverbal communications
affects a group’s outcome.
D. To understand how nonverbal communications can be used (positively or
negatively) to jump gaps in cultures, management, and social status.
E. To understand that many problems can only be solved through groups.
This course provides students with an opportunity to study a hierarchal organization using leadership and group dynamic theories as applied under extreme conditions and how these theories are not mutually exclusive, but rather codependent to insure success.
Tubbs/Moss (2005) 10th Edition, Human Communication Principles
and Contexts. Eastern Michigan University
Homan, Lynn M., Reily, Thomas (2001). Black knights: the story of the
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A. To demonstrate how leadership and goal setting in groups can overcome obstacles.
B. To examine how a group designed to fail by management, can still succeed.
C. To illustrate how subgroups and their behavior contribute to the success or failure of an organizational goal.
D. To understand how ethics and nonverbal communications coupled with strong group leadership skills can offer a formidable opposition to stereotyping and racism.
E. To study nonverbal communications involving management styles, cultural differences, and public perceptions.
The Tuskegee Experiment is a classic example of how a group can succeed in their mission when outside-managerial influences are determined for them to fail. This course offers a hands-on experience in business groups and team case studies allowing groups to succeed in their goals even when outside leadership is conflicting. Using nonverbal communications to reinforce important group objectives and cross cultural barriers is an important part of this course. Students will be divided into groups and given an objective, but support from the professor will be hampering, at best. The evolving group dynamics should reach a necessary level for goal attainment. Similar conflicts frequently occur in today’s business world when technology and older CEO’s often experience conflicts with more modern subordinate groups and their objectives.
Attendance, academic honesty, and class behavior are expected to be equal to or exceed the guidelines already established in our Student Handbook.
Class reading assignments
are expected to be completed before class.
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IV. Assessment and Evaluation:
Points to ponder
(1) Why did the Tuskegee Airmen/women want to fight for the United States when their country was segregated, limiting their rights and privileges, allowing "Jim Crow" laws to prevail, and ignoring their accomplishments?
(2) If the methods the Tuskegee Airmen/Women used in the 1940s to resolve their goals were applied today, would the results be favorable or not? Why?
(3) Why did it take so long for this country to become aware of the Tuskegee Airmen/women and start to recognize their accomplishments - 1941-1943, yet first movie in 1992, first Tuskegee membership group established in 1972?
(4) Why were the Tuskegee Airmen able to succeed?
(5) How do the Tuskegee Airmen problem-solving techniques and group dynamics compare to those of other class-discussed world heroes of peace?
First take-home test = 15%
Second take-home test = 15%
Research paper = 20% of grade
Class presentations = 20%
Attendance = 5%
Take-home final = 25% of grade.
a. Makeup work will be more difficult than the original assignment.
b. 1/2 letter grade will be deducted for work up to 2 days late, 1 letter grade for 2-5 days late, not accepted after 5 days late.
3. Grading Rubric 93-100 = A, 90-92 = A-, 87-89 = B+, 83-86 = B, 80-82 = B-, 77-80 = C+, 74-76 = C, 70-72 = C-, 67-69 = D+, 63-66 = D 60-62 = D-, 60< = F
4. Written Work Guidelines: typed, double spaced
5. Extra Credit may be offered equaling 5% of the final grade, but not in place of required tests and assignments.
6. Plagiarism will be addressed as outlined in the College Student Handbook.
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4. Research on the Internet and through libraries and periodicals.
Guest speakers and/or field trips.
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