ERIC Number: ED416811
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998
Contemporary Understandings of Liberal Education: The Academy in Transition.
Schneider, Carol Geary; Shoenberg, Robert
This paper, the first in a series of discussion papers for faculty members and administrators, contends that outdated structures, practices, and reward systems frustrate higher education's ability to reap the benefits of new directions in student learning. It finds that broad agreement is emerging on what students ought to learn from their baccalaureate studies, with a trend toward modes of learning that are collaborative, experiential, service, and integrative. Part 1 identifies and discusses major themes in campus-based educational change. It sees an emerging conceptualization of liberal learning with such learning goals as acquisition of intellectual skills, understanding of multiple modes of inquiry, and development of societal, civic, and global knowledge. The concomitant developing pedagogy and curriculum includes collaborative inquiry, experiential learning, service learning, research or inquiry-based learning, and integrative learning. Part 2 identifies well-entrenched practices and structures that work against learning quality, including disciplinarity as a sufficient framework for advanced learning, the distinction between general education and the major, the system of courses and credits, credit transfer practices, the undefined baccalaureate degree, and the faculty-reward question. The final section proposes ways of rethinking and reframing the educational architecture of the undergraduate experience. These focus on connecting educational goals and institutional practices, and developing a new curricular architecture. (Contains 17 reference notes.) (DB)
Descriptors: Bachelors Degrees, Change Strategies, College Curriculum, College Instruction, Curriculum Development, Educational Change, Educational Methods, Educational Objectives, Educational Practices, Educational Quality, Educational Trends, General Education, Higher Education, Instructional Improvement, Learning Strategies, Outcomes of Education, Student Educational Objectives, Trend Analysis
Association of American Colleges and Universities, 1818 R St. N.W., Washington, DC 20009; phone: 202-387-3760; fax: 202-265-9532 ($10).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association of American Colleges and Universities, Washington, DC.