Ground Rules for Curriculum Revision Discussion

Hi, all –

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I wanted to see if, before we get immersed in the details of curriculum revision, if there were some basic principles we could all agree on to guide us.  I came up with a list of my own, informed by my experience in the last revision which was very early in my career at Guilford. I’m sure many of you have deeper insight and more relevant experience, so feel free to propose additions, deletions, or edits. And also feel free to let me know if this is way out of line, or a stupid idea, because it may well be.

Anyway, here are some concepts I think might be useful for us all to consider:

  • My discipline is awesome.
  • My discipline will be awesome even if it’s not specifically represented in the general education curriculum.
  • The future of my department at the college does not depend on inclusion in the general education curriculum.
  • General education is not specific disciplines. General education is ideas and skills.
  • Whenever possible, we should give students as many choices as possible in how they receive the ideas and skills we think they need.
  • General education should be exciting, not a burden. Students should be clamoring to take their general education courses, not enduring them. Faculty should feel the same way.
  • A general education curriculum with many points of entry for faculty will also be one that improves choices and serves our students well.

Any ideas or comments?

One Comment

  1. Dave, these are great points for all of us to consider. As part of a conference I attended on gen ed revision, I also did a back-of-the-napkin list. Here is what I wrote:

    General education should:

    Emphasize student transformation as a core measure of success.
    Balance measures of content, skills, values and personal wellness.
    Embrace innovation, assessment, and entrepreneurship.
    Anticipate changing future professional, personal and academic needs of our students.
    Integrate easily with a student’s areas of interest (major, minor, etc.).
    Retain simplicity and clarity in design and use.
    Attract diverse faculty and staff to participate in its goals.
    Reflect the values and uniqueness of our heritage and community.
    Value teachers as models for learning, sharing and thinking.
    Empower responsible students to demonstrate and share their success.
    Strengthen the overall academic reputation of the College.

    Thanks for starting this conversation.