General Education and American Commitments: A National Report on Diversity Courses and Requirements

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Association of American Colleges and Universities, Jan 1, 1997 - Education - 112 pages
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This monograph reports on a study which examined how 92 colleges participating in a multiproject initiative, "American Commitments: Diversity, Democracy and Liberal Learning," are addressing issues of diversity in their general education curricula, policies, and practices. Chapter 1 focuses on emerging trends and promising practices, and includes discussions of: U.S. pluralism; culture and identity; prejudice, discrimination, and the pursuits of justice; education for social responsibility; and diversity in the core curriculum. Chapter 2 considers the process and politics of curricular change. Topics addressed include: effective diversity learning, defining learning goals, questions for faculty dialogue, the change process, and pedagogical change and faculty development. Chapter 3 covers the shaping of effective curricular models, including infusing diversity across the curriculum, requirements allowing students to choose among many courses, and the single course or course sequence requirement. A conclusion urges a four-part curricular engagement for effective citizenship: study of one's own culture, pluralism and pursuit of justice, justice seeking, and pluralism in majors and concentrations. An afterword by Carol Geary Schneider is titled: "Education for Cultural and Democratic Pluralism." Extensive appendices include exemplary syllabi, a listing of participating institutions, a list of resources, and a summary review of the literature. (Contains 11 references.) (DB)

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Contents

The Process and Politics of Curricular Change
21
Shaping Effective Curricular Models
31
CONCLUSION
39
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