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.


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?