Why General Education?

From What Will They Learn

Benefit of core curriculum:

Another important benefit of a coherent core curriculum is its ability to foster a “common conversation” among students, connecting them more closely with faculty and with each other. As Columbia University notes on its website, common general education courses “create a community of intellectual discourse that spills over beyond the classroom and into dormitories, dining halls, and the many cafés that surround the campus.”14 Without this common conversation, the campus risks becoming less a community of scholars and more a disjointed jumble of isolated groups. (5)

Reading and writing is necessary.

In considering what should be included in a well-rounded college education, most people will agree that the primary goal is for students to learn critical habits of mind. These skills are not taught in any one class, but are built and refined over time as students wrestle with great thinkers in many fields of knowledge. A necessary prerequisite for studying the human world is an ability to communicate in it. Therefore, it is essential that students become proficient in their reading, writing, and speaking. (7)

Students should take composition.

Composition. An introductory college writing class, focusing on grammar, style, clarity, and argument. “Writing-intensive” courses or seminars and writing “for” a discipline where the instructors are not from the English or composition department do not count if they are the only component of a writing requirement. Remedial courses and SAT scores may not be used to satisfy a composition requirement. (10)

ut-tower-from-voxcdn-dot-comI am happy to note that the university my son is attending received an A for requiring 6-7 of their core courses.

I would be thrilled that of the top 100 schools 72 require composition (22) except for two things.
1. Why not 100 of them?
2. They do it because their students don’t know how to write.

found via a colleague on Facebook

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