The Ideal General Education Program (and Why Our Institutions Don’t Have One)

Credit: Lentz
For a number of reasons, including the publication of Rescuing Socrates, participating in a wonderful seminar on general education sponsored by the Association for Undergraduate Education at Research Universities, and ongoing general education revision at my own institution, I have been spending a fair bit of time fantasizing about how the ideal general education program at a public university would be structured. It’s an unrealistic pursuit, of course, but as institutions of higher education rethink what our future structures, students, and curricula should be to continue to be of educational value to our communities, perhaps this is also the moment to rethink general education. It’s time to transform it from a suite of courses that students almost universally just want “to get out of the way” into an aspect of their university experience that they understand is providing them with the skills and predispositions they will need in the future.

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