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ERIC Number: EJ1094763
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
Think about Your Thinking: Reclaiming a Foundation of Liberal Education at the Evergreen State College
Koppelman, Nancy
Liberal Education, v99 n2 Spr 2013
At colleges and universities, thinking one's own thoughts is at the heart of all the other activity that, together, constitutes a liberal education. Self-examination and reflection enable people to make sense of the world and their places in it. Each individual can experience the mind as it grasps its own dynamics and spawns deep and unique understandings that can shape life on purpose. In 2011, the faculty of the Evergreen State College, a public liberal arts college in Olympia, Washington, decided that this activity--thinking about one's thinking--is so important that they ought to make time in the curriculum to help students learn how to do it well, and how to tell the stories of their thinking. They instituted a new graduation requirement: each student will write an academic statement about her or his college education. Students begin this reflective statement during orientation week when they first enroll and, as their fund of knowledge grows, annually rework it with faculty guidance. Periodic revisions enable students to consider carefully how their liberal education bears on one of the central responsibilities of citizenship: making public commitments to their communities and to the future. By the time they graduate, students will have created transcript-ready statements that demonstrate how they think about their thinking about the shape and significance of their college education. All colleges can create structures explicitly designed to help students become active and committed citizens who know how to reflect carefully on their own ideas. Thinking about one's thinking is a crucial step that serves these aims and realizes them in practice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A