What, then, can be done, apart from efforts to expand general education requirements or make it more difficult for students to fulfill liberal arts requirements off-campus by requiring students to meet various “flags” (for example, by requiring a specified amount of reading and writing or a certain portion of course content devoted to diversity).
Four strategies for saving the liberal arts stand out.Strategy 1: Reimagining the First Year Experience(...)~
Strategy 2: Emphasizing Professional Identity Development(...)
Exemplifying this new model are Stanford’s CS+ joint majors that integrate the humanities with Computer Science and require students to complete a capstone project that fuses technology and the humanities. These capstone projects range from digital editions of literary works and digital representations of historic sites or literary venues to natural language processing applied to literary analysis.
Strategy 4: Establishing a 21st Century Skills Ledger
This pragmatic approach seeks to identify the skills essential for success in 21st century workplaces. These are not simply vocational skills, but, rather such future skills as Cross-Cultural Competency, Social Intelligence, Novel, Adaptive and Design Thinking, Sense-Making, New Media Literacy, Transdisciplinarity, and Computational Thinking.
Achievement of these 21st century literacies is recorded on a skills ledger or Comprehensive Student Record. A skills ledger is a new currency of achievement and accomplishment that seeks to supplement (or replace) the credit hour. Unlike the current emphasis on seat time, a skills ledger is a dynamic record of a person’s skills and competencies, which can be obtained from a variety of providers, academic and non-academic, acquired in classrooms or through other kinds of experiences. A 21st century skills ledger seeks to ensure that students acquire critical “soft skills,” most of which are firmly grounded in the liberal arts.
The obstacles to adopting and implementing any of these strategies are obvious. These strategies require cross-departmental collaboration, cooperation, and consensus-building – virtues generally at odds with the academy’s emphasis on faculty and departmental autonomy. Yet if we are to reinvigorate the humanistic ideal of colleges and universities educating the whole person, we must be willing to think outside our disciplinary boxes and imagine ways to explicitly link liberal arts content to broader conversations and to more explicitly focus on the kinds of skills –21st century or otherwise -- that the liberal arts can instill.
Steven Mintz is Executive Director of the University of Texas System's Institute for Transformational Learning and Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin.Ler mais aqui:
Strategies for Saving the Liberal Arts | Higher Ed Gamma (2017)
Saving the Liberal Arts (2016):
“We should not measure the impact of the humanities simply by counting numbers of majors,” she said. “The whole design of the liberal arts system is that courses in the humanities are required of all students, no matter what their major. … Students can major in computer science or engineering, but in such a system they are also required to take general liberal arts courses in history, philosophy and literature. This system has striking advantages, preparing students for their multiple future roles in much more adequate way than a narrow single-subject system.”