Rethinking the Curriculum: Toward an Integrated, Interdisciplinary College Education

Rethinking the Curriculum: Toward an Integrated, Interdisciplinary College Education

Rethinking the Curriculum: Toward an Integrated, Interdisciplinary College Education

Rethinking the Curriculum: Toward an Integrated, Interdisciplinary College Education

Synopsis

The 18 contributions and editor's introduction included in this volume represent some of the most dynamic thinking on the how and why of curricular change today. The essays are founded on the consensus that most of what passes for liberal studies and general education is so out of touch with today's world that it is simply beside the point. One of the chief inadequacies brought out by the text is the failure of current disciplines to deal with the inherent "messiness" and complexity of real world issues such as hunger, conflict, and pollution. The contributors identify the issues, provide insights on what can be done and present several challenges as well.

Excerpt

The conference, "Rethinking the Curriculum," on which this volume is based, was held in San Diego, California, June 19-23, 1989, with 250 faculty, students, and administrators attending. Plans, however, began nearly two years earlier among a group of Southern California faculty concerned over the disparity between what is being taught in colleges and universities and what is actually happening in the world. Representatives from five campuses--California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, Glendale Community College, San Diego State University, University of California at San Diego, and University of San Diego--met frequently over this period, identifying the conference themes and planning a format that would permit wide participation by all attending, as well as exposure to some outstanding global thinkers.

The themes drew on a preceding conference with similar concerns, "Sanity, Science, and Global Responsibility," held at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, in July 1988. Each morning, three or four speakers addressed the day's theme in plenary session, and during the afternoons, seminars led by various participants permitted a less formal period for exchanging ideas and sharing experiences. During the conference, there was considerable interest in ongoing future meetings, and an organization, Responsibility International, emerged under the leadership of Robert Malone of the Philosophy Department at Brock University. Clearly, there is widespread interest among North American faculty in rethinking what higher education should be about. We trust that this volume will provide important stepping-stones along that path.

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the many individuals who made this remarkable conference possible. This cadre of . . .

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