Presentation on theme: "The Doane Plan and Trends in General Education August 2008 John M. Burney."— Presentation transcript:
The Doane Plan and Trends in General Education August 2008 John M. Burney
Question 1 What do you think the Doane Plan does best to help student learning – what would you like to retain about the Doane Plan?
Question 2 What is the biggest problem you face with your students? If we were going to make changes in the Doane Plan to improve student learning – what most needs to be revised or improved ?
Today’s Agenda Why Discuss General Education, Part I – Accreditation – Benefits of a well-designed general education program Why Discuss General Education, Part II – Bok and the critique of distribution systems – Shifting pedagogy – AAC&U : Liberal Education and America’s Promise – Doane’s Mission Questions leading to integrated programs Some examples Outcomes -- Return to discussion of the mission and achieving it through the Doane Plan
Why I– Higher Learning Commission Accreditation is based on whether your college is achieving its own mission.
Benefits of Focusing General Education on the Mission for Faculty, Staff, Students College Identity –provides a language to help shape both co-curricular programming and curriculum planning. Intentionality –puts a distinctive stamp on Doane’s curriculum and allows us to sequence knowledge. Consensus/Shared Responsibility – Faculty from all divisions can be involved in developing courses and co- curricular experiences. Collaboration – Faculty, student leadership staff, campus and student organizations can collaborate. Student Learning –Doane students will be able to connect the general education requirements, the mission of the college, their major, and their own goals in learning.
Why II: Bok, Our Underachieving Colleges Critique of Distribution systems: No choices are made -- General education programs take on so many responsibilities that they cannot possibly do justice to them all Faculty do not design courses for general education, but simply add major courses to distribution lists Students see no connections between courses and thus forget content soon after each course ends – treat them as something to just check-off
Active Learning To teach is to engage students in learning; thus teaching consists of getting students involved in the active construction of knowledge...The aim of teaching is not only to transmit information, but also to transform students from passive recipients of other people's knowledge into active constructors of their own and others' knowledge...Teaching is fundamentally about creating the pedagogical, social, and ethical conditions under which students agree to take charge of their own learning, individually and collectively Education for judgment: The artistry of discussion leadership. Edited by C. Roland Christensen, David A. Garvin, and Ann Sweet
Active Learning What I hear, I forget; what I see, I remember; what I do, I understand. -Chinese proverb Let the main object of this, our Didactic, be as follows: To seek and find a method by which teachers may teach less, but learners learn more. -John Amos Comenius
Lila M. Smith & Karl Smith
Seven Principles of Good Practice. By Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson 1. Encourages Contact Between Students and Faculty 2. Develops Reciprocity and Cooperation Among Students 3. Encourages Active Learning 4. Gives Prompt Feedback 5. Emphasizes Time on Task 6. Communicates High Expectations 7. Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning
AAC&U LEAP Project: Importance of Liberal Education Consensus on basic outcomes from across every field of college study: liberal arts and professional programs Engaged democratic citizenship Education of the whole student – the development of individual capability Dynamic 21 st century global economy – Cultural knowledge – Collaboration
Liberal Education and America’s Promise “The LEAP National Leadership Council recommends, in sum, an education that intentionally fosters, across multiple fields of study, wide-ranging knowledge of science, cultures, and society; high-level intellectual and practical skills; an active commitment to personal and social responsibility; and the demonstrated ability to apply learning to complex problems and challenges.”
LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World Intellectual and Practical Skills Personal and Social Responsibility Integrative Learning
LEAP Principles Aim High – and Make Excellence Inclusive Give Students a Compass Teach the Arts of Inquiry and Innovation Engage the Big Questions Connect Knowledge with Choices and Actions Foster Civic, Intercultural, and Ethical learning Assess Students’ Ability to Apply Learning to Complex Problems
LEAP: Effective Educational Practices First Year Seminars and Experiences Common Intellectual Experiences Learning Communities Writing-Intensive Courses Collaborative Assignments and Projects Undergraduate Research Diversity/Global Learning Service Learning, Community-Based Learning Internships Capstone Courses and Projects [Reacting to the Past: Role-Playing Simulations)
Resources AAC&U, College Learning for the New Global Century, AAC&U, General Education & Liberal Learning: Principles of Effective Practice, AAC&U, Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College, John Tagg, The Learning Paradigm College, George Kuh, et al, Student Success in College: Creating Conditions that Matter, Derek Bok, Our Underachieving Colleges, 2006.
Counter Opinion -- American Council of Trustees and Alumni Composition. A college writing class focusing on grammar, style, clarity, and argument. These courses should be taught by instructors trained to evaluate and teach writing. “Across-the-curriculum” and “writing intensive” courses taught in disciplines other than English do not count Foreign Language. Competency at the intermediate level, defined as at least three semesters of college-level study U.S. Government or History. A course in either American history or government with enough breadth to give a broad sweep of American history and institutions. Narrow, niche courses do not count Economics. A course covering basic economic principles, preferably an introductory micro- or macroeconomics course Mathematics. A college-level course in mathematics. Specific topics may vary, but must involve study beyond the level of intermediate algebra. Natural or Physical Science. A course in biology, geology, chemistry, physics, or environmental science, preferably with a laboratory component. Overly narrow courses and courses with weak scientific content are not counted.
ACTA Ratings Appalachian State University D Barnard College C Appalachian State UniversityBarnard College Beloit College F Carleton College D Beloit CollegeCarleton College College of St. Benedict & St. John's University C Colorado College F College of St. Benedict & St. John's UniversityColorado College Doane College D Drake University D Doane CollegeDrake University Drury University C Elon University C Drury UniversityElon University Grinnell College F IUPUI C Grinnell CollegeIUPUI Kalamazoo College F Luther College F Kalamazoo CollegeLuther College Macalester College D Wabash College C Macalester College Wabash College Portland State University F Portland State University University of Nebraska - Lincoln B University of Nebraska - Lincoln Washington University in St. Louis F Washington University in St. Louis
Doane Mission - Intentionality Doane College, a comprehensive college in the liberal arts tradition, offers an academic curriculum to stimulate inquiry, enhance knowledge, and promote examination and development of values and perspectives through majors and the liberal arts. The college prepares students by offering academic and co-curricular opportunities to develop abilities and skills needed in and out of the workplace. Doane also provides opportunities for students, faculty and staff to develop and practice leadership skills.
Evolving Doane Mission Discussion DRAFTDRAFTDRAFTDRAFT DRAFT Doane College provides a distinctive liberal arts education grounded in the tradition of free inquiry. We empower students to be life-long learners who possess the knowledge and skills to pursue intellectual and ethical inquiry, apply theories to practical problems, and engage in a life of service and leadership in the global community.
Mission -- Intentionality I. To read, listen, write, and speak effectively. II. To think critically. III. To integrate theories with practice. IV. To collect and process information by selecting methods to improve understanding and solve problems. V. To use problem-solving skills effectively. VI. To work with others. VII. To act ethically and to lead responsibly.
Mission -- Intentionality Mapping those outcomes on the current Doane Plan how would you answer these questions? Do faculty have a common understanding of the definition of the key outcomes?
Does the Doane Plan? 1. Help students to identify their own learning goals? 2. Develop skills that students can use to adapt to new learning challenges? 3. Provide students with frequent opportunities to practice skills or apply knowledge? 4. Align learning so that Jr. and Sr. courses deliberately build on the skills and knowledge developed in first and second year courses?
Does the Doane Plan 5. Provide students with frequent and ongoing feedback with enough information so that they can improve their performance? 6. Provide students with the motivation to take their learning beyond the end of the course or semester? 7. Provide students with an understanding of the connections between courses/categories and the mission outcomes? 8. Provide students with an understanding of the connections between general education courses/experiences and their major fields of study? 9. Provide students with a stable community of practice within which to develop (as opposed to moving through the curriculum as an isolated individual)?
Best Practices in Curriculum Design: Paul Gaston Coherence Continuity Common learning Competence development Community consciousness
Coherence Does the general education curriculum reflect—and influence—the institution’s mission? Are its goals clear? Well understood? Does the curriculum embody genuine choices? Does the curriculum express a conscious emphasis on learning? Are the objectives of courses clearly stated? Is there a recognizable logic to the curriculum?
Continuity Are there clear links between general education and education in the chosen field? Are values of general education expressed in chosen field study? Vice-versa ? Are there opportunities for students and faculty to build (and cross) bridges between general education and education in the chosen field?
Common Learning What are the odds that two students, meeting at random on campus, will have read the same book? Considered similar intellectual issues? Explored analogous questions? Does the curriculum embody an overall understanding that effective common learning (what is learned) requires a deliberate focus on learning (how it is learned)?
Competence Development Can students who complete the institution’s foreign language requirement order a croissant in Paris or a latte in Florence? Are students who complete the quantitative reasoning requirement “numerate”? Are all students effective epistemologists? I.e., “computer fluent”? I.e., if you say that your graduates can write, speak, pilot a Missouri river Boat, or howl at the moon – can they demonstrate that competence after 4 years?
Community Consciousness Do students have the opportunity to celebrate campus and community diversity? Do students confront competing notions of the common good? Are issues of citizenship raised? Explored? Tested? Enacted?
Examples from Other Institutions Drury University Beloit College Kalamazoo College Wagner College Elon University Portland State
Example 1: Drury mission outcomes “Education at Drury seeks · To cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties, as well as ethical insight and critical thought · To foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge · To liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to life in a global community.”
Drury – connection to curriculum Global Perspectives 21 curriculum, “students gain an integrated understanding of how to live a life of meaning and success in a rapidly shrinking global community “ Students develop competency in a second language and an understanding of distinctive cultures Global Futures course Global Studies minor
Example 2 – Beloit College: Emphasis on Engaged Learning International Education: 2 units involving study or experience of a language and/or culture not their own and of their relations between nations or other entities in a global context. Experiential Learning - required Interdisciplinary Learning: 1 unit of interdisciplinary studies courses or 2 units of paired courses designated by faculty as a cluster. Writing Across the Curriculum: Students must complete at least 3 courses designated as Learning to Write (LW), Writing to Learn (WL), or both. Breadth of Learning: 2 courses each in “Natural Sciences and Math,” “Social Sciences,” “Arts and Humanities”
Beloit: Initiatives First Year Initiative: seminars of students on a range of topics Sophomore Year Initiative: – Venture grants – for intellectually challenging projects – Welcome-Back Activities and Sophomore Dinners – Sophomore Retreat (2 days each November) – SOAR Week (Sophomores’ Opportunities, Activities, and Resources) – My Academic Plan
Example 3 - Kalamazoo “ Kalamazoo College’s unique K-Plan encourages students to become “At Home in the World” by providing a curriculum that allows them to: develop life-long learning and communication skills; explore disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields; identify and pursue an intellectual passion, personal aspiration, or career path; and forge a customized, coherent education by integrating classroom and experiential learning, study abroad, and co-curricular activities into a unified whole.”
Kalamazoo – K-Plan continued Career Development Internships – 80% Study Abroad – 85% 3 Shared Passages Seminars Senior Individualized Project Unique calendar
K-Plan First-year seminars, prepare students for further work at the College by focusing on foundational skills, such as writing, oral expression, information literacy, and critical thinking; introducing global or intercultural ideas; and encouraging students to reflect on and integrate their high school experiences and transition to college Sophomore (or sophomore/junior) seminars delve more deeply into cultural issues and intercultural understanding, preparing students for study abroad and living in a global world. Senior seminars, whether disciplinary or interdisciplinary, focus on integrating students’ Kalamazoo College experiences and preparing them for future lives beyond “K.” Disciplinary seminars integrate students’ experiences inside and outside a particular major, while interdisciplinary seminars allow students from a variety of majors to apply diverse aspects of their Kalamazoo education to an interesting topic or problem.
Example 4: The Wagner (College) Plan Emphasis on location, experiential learning, and learning communities The First Year Program integrate 3 courses to help students discover connections between subjects link all 3 courses to field work to connect ideas and real world problems 3 hours per week in field linked to one of the courses--a Reflective Tutorial faculty member for the Reflective Tutorial is the student’s advisor
The Wagner Plan Intermediate Learning Community taken anytime between first year and senior learning community can be used to fulfill CORE requirements addresses interdisciplinary topics (e.g. Economics and the Environment, Asian History, Politics and Film) Senior Capstone learning community linked to the major synthesizes knowledge with 100 hours of fieldwork in chosen area of study senior capstone seminar is in the major
Example 5: Elon University Interdisciplinary Initiatives: The Global Experience (first year core course) Team-taught Honors Seminars (sophomore year) Study Abroad Courses General Studies Interdisciplinary Capstone Seminars
The Global Experience Faculty are recruited from all departments and schools of the University and meet every Monday for lunch discussions and workshops. This first-year seminar examines public responsibility in a global context. It explores some of the implications created by cultural and natural diversity and the possibilities for human communication and cooperation within this diversity. The course emphasizes student and faculty creativity through active and collaborative learning; the seminar is writing intensive.
General Studies Interdisciplinary Capstone Seminars Proposed by individual faculty from across campus Approved by the General Studies Council Recent offerings: The Five Freedoms: First Amendment Under Attack Counter-Terrorism: Are We Headed for Another 9/11? Gender Issues in Education Identifying a Nation: Viva la Opera! At Death’s Door Perspectives on Women’s Health Math Origami The Economics, Politics, and Science of Cigarettes Wealth and Poverty The Media and the Middle East
Portland State – sequence of seminars Freshman Inquiry A year-long 15 credit experience developed by a team of faculty from different disciplines Maximum class size of 40 Features peer mentored sessions led by upper-division students
Portland State Sophomore Inquiry: Students select 3 courses, each one representing one of 27 themes. Each course is a “gateway” into the upper division cluster courses Thematic Cluster: students select the sophomore theme that they found most interesting, and continue a more in depth study of that theme
Portland State: Senior Capstone A community-based learning project that provides an interdisciplinary group of students the opportunity to apply their knowledge base in a real world situation The team produces a summation project under the supervision of a faculty member
Portland State CURRICULUM MAP Freshman Inquiry (FRINQ) Sophomore Inquiry (SINQ) ClusterCapstones Inquiry & Critical Thinking IntroducedPracticed Demonstrated Communication IntroducedPracticed Demonstrated Diversity of Human Experience IntroducedPracticed Demonstrated Ethics and Social Responsibility IntroducedPracticed Demonstrated
Returning to Outcomes Look at the Doane and the LEAP goals then write down the 2-3 key learning outcomes that you think are the most important for students to intentionally pursue in their general education courses. Question 3: What are the most important skills, knowledge, dispositions, or learning experiences for Doane students to get out of the general education program?
Returning to Outcomes Question 4: What are the biggest obstacles to achieving those outcomes?
Distinctive Identity Question 5: In developing a sequence of courses, co-curricular and extra- curricular experiences to achieve those outcomes what might put a distinct stamp on Doane’s general education model?
Final thoughts What final thoughts do you have on this discussion? Elements that excite you, interest you, concern you? Questions? Comments?