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ERIC Number: ED179169
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
The Search for General Education: The Pendulum Swings Back. Issues in Higher Education, No. 15, 1979.
Galambos, Eva C.
The state of undergraduate general education is examined with particular emphasis on the trend toward providing a common core curriculum for college students. A decline in the number of degrees awarded in the traditional liberal arts fields is noted with a corresponding increase in recent years in the number of degrees awarded in occupationally-oriented fields. According to the Carnegie Council, from 1969 to 1976 enrollments in humanities majors dropped from 9 to 5 percent of all undergraduates. It is suggested that the preoccupation of college graduates with preparing for the job market has steered students toward career-oriented majors. The dominance of departments within the structure of American colleges and universities is also cited as having hindered the struggle of general education. Students majoring in professional, career-oriented fields are the least likely to confront breadth or general education requirements. Various approaches to general education are discussed including the core curriculum and interdisciplinary approach. Each approach emphasizes the importance of basic skills for both the liberal arts and professional-area majors. Declining SAT scores and complaints that many college graduates cannot write are strong underlying forces for curriculum reform. It is suggested that students in the 1980's will have less latitude in curriculum choices as the general education reform movement strengthens. (SF)
Descriptors: College Curriculum, College Students, Competence, Core Curriculum, Curriculum Design, Educational Change, Educational Quality, General Education, Higher Education, Humanities, Interdisciplinary Approach, Liberal Arts, Trend Analysis, Undergraduate Study
Southern Regional Education Board, 130 Sixth Street, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30313
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Regional Education Board, Atlanta, GA.