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General EducationGeneral Education The national perspective.

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Presentation on theme: "General EducationGeneral Education The national perspective."— Presentation transcript:

1 General EducationGeneral Education The national perspective

2 Global ContextGlobal Context In this global century, every student …will need wide-ranging and cross-disciplinary knowledge, higher-level skills, an active sense of personal and social responsibility, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge to complex problems. --AAC&U/LEAP, College Learning for the New Global Century (2007)AAC&U

3 National Consensus on Liberal Learning Outcomes from College Learning for the New Global Century (AAC&U LEAP project) Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World Through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts Focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring

4 National Consensus on Liberal Learning Outcomes Intellectual and Practical Skills, Including Inquiry and analysis Critical and creative thinking Written and oral communication Quantitative literacy Information literacy Teamwork and problem solving Practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance

5 National Consensus on Liberal Learning Outcomes Personal and Social Responsibility, Including Civic knowledge and engagementlocal and global Intercultural knowledge and competence Ethical reasoning and action Foundations and skills for lifelong learning Anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges

6 National Consensus on Liberal Learning Outcomes Integrative and Applied Learning, Including Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies Demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems

7 Liberal and Professional Education The world is changing dramatically, and designs for learning that have long drawn clear distinctions between liberal education intended for future leadersand more targeted job training envisioned as workforce developmentnow are obsolete. Today, even highly technical jobs require the high-level intellectual skills, contextual understanding, and ethical judgment that long were identified with liberal education in arts and sciences fields. (The Quality Imperative, AAC&U 2010)

8 8 What Employers Want: 2009 AAC&U Employer Survey Survey among 302 executives at private sector and non-profit organizations that have 25 or more employees Each reports that 25% or more of their new hires hold an associates degree from a two-year college or a bachelors degree from a four-year college. Overall margin of error = +5.7 percentage points

9 9 Broad skills/knowledge AND specific skills/ knowledge are needed for career success. Which is more important for recent college graduates who want to pursue advancement and long-term career success at your company? BOTH in-depth AND broad range of skills and knowledge In-depth knowledge and skills that apply to a specific field or position Broad range of skills and knowledge that apply to a range of fields or positions


11 11 Expecting students to complete a significant project before graduation that demonstrates their depth of knowledge in their major AND their acquisition of analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills (62% help a lot) Expecting students to complete an internship or community-based field project to connect classroom learning with real-world experiences (66%) Ensuring that students develop the skills to research questions in their field and develop evidence-based analyses(57%) Expecting students to work through ethical issues and debates to form their own judgments about the issues at stake (48%) Employers assess the potential value of high impact educational practices. % saying each would help a lot/fair amount to prepare college students for success 84% 81% 73%

12 12 Expecting students to acquire hands-on or direct experience with the methods of science so they will understand how scientific judgments are reached (40% help a lot) Expecting students to learn about cultural and ethnic diversity in the context of the United States (34%) Expecting students to learn about the point of view of societies other than those of Western Europe or North America (35%) Expecting students to take courses that explore big challenges facing society, such as environmental sustainability, public health, or human rights (28%) Employers assess the potential value of high impact educational practices. % saying each would help a lot/fair amount to prepare college students for success 65% 60% 58% 50%

13 13 % saying two- and four-year colleges should place MORE emphasis on helping students develop these skills, qualities, capabilities, knowledge Employers Top Priorities For Student Learning Outcomes In College Effective oral/written communication Critical thinking/ analytical reasoning Knowledge/skills applied to real world settings Analyze/solve complex problems Connect choices and actions to ethical decisions Teamwork skills/ ability to collaborate Ability to innovate and be creative Concepts/developments in science/technology

14 Challenges for the Standard Model of General Education Yet another drawback for many simple distribution systems is that few of the offerings from which students choose are designed for the specific purposes of furthering the goals of general education. Some are introductory courses designed for students planning to major in a department; others are staple items in an established discipline; still others simply reflect the current interests of the professors teaching them. Derek Bok, Our Underachieving Colleges (2006)

15 AASCUs Red Balloon ChallengeAASCUs Red Balloon Challenge Those of us in public higher education are approaching our own crisis of imagination and adaptation. We confront rapid changes in the circumstances and context in which public higher education operates and yet we seem unable to respond with the creative and innovative solutions that will ensure our success.... [T]he core problem is that higher education was designed in the 11th century and operates on a 19th century agrarian calendar, while trying to prepare students for life and work in the 21st century.

16 The three Red Balloon challengesThe three Red Balloon challenges 1.Declining Funding 2.Rising Expectations (graduate more students more quickly who are better educated) 3.A Technologically transformed world

17 What I think general education is and isntWhat I think general education is and isnt (Measurable) Outcome- not input-driven Liberal learning, not preparation for major Breadth not a necessary condition for depth Content knowledge important primarily in context of abilities and understanding Integrative learning through interdisciplinary approaches Integration of learning inside and outside the classroom Centrality of writing/communication Engage big questions, not little answers Groundwork for lifelong learning

18 What I think we need to doWhat I think we need to do Start with the students: give them a compass for finding meaning, rather than bits of knowledge Balance challenge and support Try it/Assess it/Improve ita process rather than a set curriculum Responsibility of entire campus

19 Challenges/Opportunities in South Dakota Necessary transferability of credits rather than outcomes BOR-mandated outcomes and courses BOR/BHSU outcomes & requirements Reduced resources Diversity of students and delivery methods

20 Possible Approaches: Building on Current Practices HLC pathways experiential learning project Integration at the student, as well as the course level Curricular and co-curricular freshman Experience Writing (and others) across the curriculum Undergraduate researchnot confined to courses Active & reflective learning pedagogies Technology as a means for learning and a topic of discussion Teach the conflicts (Gerald Graff) Change the system At Board level Structures on campus

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