A3Writer: Higher Education Paradigm Shift
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Higher Education Paradigm Shift

            I wrote earlier about de-specialization, and I think that is the key to saving higher education. The first two years of any college experience should revolve around showing students how subjects relate to one another, and how to view subjects with a critical eye towards making still more connections. English, math, psychology, history, and art are not separate subjects, but rather pieces of a whole education that is the very baseline of higher thinking. It is for this reason that colleges and universities require subjects in what is termed general education, but the term and lists of classes are as far as anyone has taken it.
            The fact of the matter is that various departments segregate these general education courses from one another. Each department concerns itself only with its internal business and the competition to make it rise above its peers.
            Complicating this structure is that the general education courses within a given department are disdained. They are not real courses that the department cares about. The courses are relegated to teaching assistants and adjuncts as full professors feel such subjects are beneath them.

            It’s time to pull these courses away from their departments to form a new collective group purely for general education. It would take all of these courses from the various departments and coordinate them, teach them in such a way that the connections between subjects are emphasized. Let the individual departments worry about further specializing the students.

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