ERIC Number: ED200298
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
A Quest for Common Learning: The Aims of General Education. A Carnegie Foundation Essay.
Boyer, Ernest L.; Levine, Arthur
The five chapters in this monograph discuss current issues in general education. Chapter I examines the weakness of general education programming, comparing general education to a spare room that has no agreed upon function. Chapter II notes the recent surge of interest in general education; examines the variety of social and educational problems general education is being called upon to solve; and compares this resurgence of interest with two earlier general education movements in the 20th Century. Drawing upon this historical analysis, Chapter III argues that the fundamental rationale for general education lies in the need to help students in today's fragmented society understand the human community to which they are accountable. Chapter IV critically examines current general education practices in terms of: course content; the place of general education in the curriculum; and the information, attitudes, and values students are expected to acquire through general education courses. Finally, Chapter V proposes a structure for general education curricula based on six areas of shared human experience: language, membership in groups and institutions, the activities of production and consumption, the scientific workings of the natural world, history, and the development of values and beliefs. Chapter V also discusses alternative delivery systems for general education and the receptiveness of students and faculty to increased general education programming. (JP)
Descriptors: Core Curriculum, Curriculum Development, Educational History, Educational Objectives, Educational Trends, Elective Courses, General Education, Human Relations, Outcomes of Education, Postsecondary Education, Program Content, Social Organizations
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1785 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20036 ($6.95).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Princeton, NJ.