ERIC Number: ED212319
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Thought, Language and Freedom: An Integrated Approach to Teaching Basic Humanities Courses.
Richardson, Joan; Rossman, Neil
During their first quarter, all nonremedial liberal arts students at LaGuardia Community College take an introductory cluster of four courses. These "freedom clusters" use a single body of material and a common analytical method and have, as their fixed elements, courses in philosophy, English composition, and the research paper. Course goals are to promote the transition from "passive" to "active" knowledge and an understanding that human freedom is a "process of becoming" over which personal responsibility must be taken. During their first stage, the courses involve students in questioning the way they order and define the world, by stripping words to their basic meanings and examining received beliefs. Next, different theories of human nature are explored through an examination of literary and philosophical works by Hobbes, Koestler, and Dewey. Then the question of freedom is studied with the goal of replacing a passive, externalized conception of human freedom with a view based on human activity and individual responsibility. The study of works by Sartre and Camus is linked with assignments and exercises to help students view freedom in terms of an individual's social, historical, and personal context and in terms of external and internal constraints. Students are led from a focus on "freedom from..." to "freedom to..." and eventually to consideration of the question of their own freedom. (This paper explains the sequence in which topics are presented and the instructional methods and materials used to accomplish course goals.) (HB)
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Core Curriculum, Course Content, Course Objectives, Educational Strategies, Humanistic Education, Humanities Instruction, Individual Development, Liberal Arts, Philosophy, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Semantics, Student Development, Student Research, Teaching Methods, Writing (Composition)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Camus (Albert); Dewey (John); Freedom; Hobbes (Thomas); Koestler (Arthur); Sartre (Jean Paul)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Community College Humanities Association Eastern and Southern Divisions (Washington, DC, October 16-17, 1981).