This page provided ways to share feedback during the St. Edward’s University core curriculum revision process. For questions about the current curriculum, contact the appropriate individual listed here: General Education Administration and Oversight.
Have feedback on the proposed curriculum framework? Please share it here. You can find the models linked below. There are three ways to share feedback:
- Submit a comment to our feedback survey: http://stedwards.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_55t8EpRZcf8cEZL
- Upload a document below.
- Contact a member of GERC: See the list with contact information on the People page.
The one-course model ensures that students are exposed to problems in American history and the American culture. It forces them to critically analyze the nation’s past and hopefully make connections between that past and the present in which they live. Personally, I dislike calling this course a “diversity” course because diversity is a throw away word, and more importantly its focus would not be diversity but the interaction between groups divided by culturally-constructed social identities. If students are not exposed to this in college, they will never be exposed to it.
But there are some problems. If the CULF scaffolded courses go away, then this “social identities” course stands alone. It doesn’t prepare the students for further investigation and analysis as occurs now with Am Dil. The course curriculum would need to be designed from scratch to fit the goals of this new course. Finally, creating a stand alone American history course can create trouble for transfer and transferring students. Would we allow AP US history students out of this class? Dual credit students? Transfer students with US history credits? If we do, and I think we probably would, then why would we require every other student to have to take this particular course?
The “take a history course that fits a theme” model increases enrollment in HIST courses, allows History and Am Studies folks to teach courses within their discipline, and supposedly allows students to take courses in which they are interested. What it doesn’t do, however, is expose all students to the same important material. It also does not compel the instructors to re-imagine their course as part of a gen ed curriculum that has a higher purpose than just making students aware of that particular subject. More practically, it presupposes a familiarity with the past and history skills that many of these students will not have.
Kathy, an Americanist, and Christie both favor the latter. Mity told me this morning that she favored the former, but her views may have changed. Mine have. I initially preferred the one-course model. But having hashed it out I think it has some serious deficiencies. Is it possible that instead of having just one stand alone course we could have three, all slightly different, that students could choose from? This would give students some choice, but ensure that students are exposed to some common ideas.
I think that US history can be a good way to accomplish diversity education, but perhaps it is not the only way to do it. I do think that it is important for students to have a course that has significant content in US history in college–that being said, I am not convinced that a survey is ideal. There are several reasons for this, including changes in the discipline that are moving away from surveys and toward classes that are more narrow in their content and chronology and have a focus on skill building in areas such as perspective building, information literacy, etc.–liberal arts skills that definitely fit into the EULOs. I think that this approach could be very flexible and contribute to several of our curricular goals and help students have a clearer understanding of where we have been as a nation and to think about questions of identity and critically examine the promise and reality of the republic. These questions invite students to further inform their decision making as individuals and citizens which are central to the mission. Courses that cover the span of US history but are focused could fit into this model. As I imagine this approach, courses could be explicitly focused on issues of diversity, identity, etc., even if they focused on the experience of specific groups in US history or on themes (eg: liberty, labor, etc.) that fit into a set of SLOs.
With regard to globalization I feel like I have a clearer vision (which is perhaps not surprising). I can imagine a series of classes that covered the time period of the current class (from 1500 to the present), but are focused on a particular theme (such as sugar or transportation) or areas that are connected but that cross borders (such as Britain and India). These classes would have SLOs that bound them together and I could imagine would cover economics, culture, and politics, along with social justice, but would allow for more depth with the focus and some element that would allow students to choose and focus in a way that could align with their interest and/or major. I believe that in order to understand the modern world, students need to understand something about the nature of how societies have been connected and interacted in the past. In my experience, their prior education in these areas is very mixed.
I think that we have a significant number of full time faculty who could contribute to teaching courses such as this who have graduate hours in history. By saying that, I do not think that the only way to address some critical issues of interaction, etc., is through history, but knowing where we (as a society) have been in the past is very important to understanding the nature of current interactions.
Thank you again for asking for input–I completely understand that you are being asked to balance a number of competing voices.