ERIC Number: ED214830
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
World History as a General Education Course at a Liberal Arts College.
Schilling, Donald G.
The paper discusses the choice of world history as a foundation course in the liberal arts college at Denison University, Ohio. It discusses why world history was chosen as a required course over the standard, introductory course, Western Civilization, compulsory in the 1960s. It also describes the kind and design of the world history course offered and discusses how well this course met its objectives. Specific objectives include to provide students with a wide, global view of the world to break down student parochialism; to acquaint students with aspects of western heritage; to have students analyze the interactions between major civilizations; and to introduce students to the discipline of history. This course is comprised of History 101 which treats world history from its origins to the 15th century, followed by History 102, which examines the period from the 15th century on. Team-taught by up to five staff members, the course format for the first and second semesters featured two or three large-lecture sessions per week coupled with a small-group discussion section. The reading materials consisted of assignments from a text, selections of appropriate documents, and an occasional novel or monograph. After the first semester, an evaluation showed that the course did not provide students with much intellectual satisfaction or generate much enthusiasm. The evaluations after the second semester identified various problems, for example, the mass lectures tended to alienate students and the single small-group discussion section per week was inadequate. Also students felt that there was a problem of balancing the breadth and depth of the content of the course. As a result of the formative evaluations, substantive changes in Denison's teaching of world history were implemented. For example, the courses were decentralized and more time was allocated to discussion. These efforts began to show results: the courses are now fully enrolled. (Author/NE)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Core Curriculum, Course Content, Course Descriptions, Course Evaluation, Course Objectives, Course Organization, Formative Evaluation, Global Approach, Graduation Requirements, Higher Education, History Instruction, Introductory Courses, Liberal Arts, Non Western Civilization, Western Civilization, World History
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A