April 30, 2012

Gen Eds: Rethinking Higher Education

This week, we will discuss the entity of Higher Education. The costs, the curriculum, the desired outcomes, and the alternatives.

GEN ED REQUIREMENTS

My first semester of Freshman year, I enrolled in Pysch 104, more excited about this course than any other on my schedule.

In fact, I was confident I would end up minoring in Psychology. After all, as a marketing student, I wanted to better understand human behavior. The way the mind works. What motivates us. How we learn. Instead, I was given multiple choice tests on the different biological parts of the brain. Disenchanted, I never took another Psych course.

This course was also the entry point course for my friend Diana, a registered Psychology major.

Why were we both taking the same course? Why is the entry level course for a Psych major the same broad "liberal arts" version of Psychology the rest of us are assigned as a Gen Ed?

If our goal within a "liberal arts" education is to give non-majors a broad understanding of the inner-connectivity of all these different fields, shouldn't we design the course more broadly? Not merely boring foundational curriculum that assumes you'll be moving on to next-level stuff next semester?

Why was I memorizing brain parts with the one chance they had to open my mind to the science of Psychology?