ERIC Number: ED223163
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Undergraduate Practicum in a Liberal Education.
The goals and nature of liberal education, the status of psychology within liberal arts, and the undergraduate practicum are discussed. A new development in psychology has been the practicum course, which some critics have claimed is a threat to the goals of liberal education. It is claimed that three dimensions are persistent themes in most definitions of liberal arts: the development of broad knowledge, critical judgment, and self-exploration. Among the threats to the concepts of a liberal education are the following: a "new vocationalism" whereby education is defined in terms of marketable skills; the presence of professional or preprofessional baccalaureate programs; the professionalization of existing undergraduate courses; alternative models of education, such as cooperative education and the "credit for living" mechanisms for earning college credit; and new forms of management within colleges and universities that demand accountability and that exert pressure to indicate measurable outcomes that can compete with vocational training and preprofessional education. While the combination of lecture, reading, and tests is the device most frequently used to teach undergraduates, others argue that learning is facilitated by participation and a more active role by students. In the practicum, the student spends the majority of time outside the classroom. It is suggested that the practicum has the potential to be an excellent addition to a liberal education or to be the opposite, a form of closeted vocational training. (SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).