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Redesigning Liberal Education: Innovative Design for a Twenty-First-Century Undergraduate Education

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OMR 26.116

 
 


Redesigning liberal education requires both pragmatic approaches to discover what works and radical visions of what is possible.

The future of liberal education in the United States, in its current form, is fraught but full of possibility. Today's institutions are struggling to maintain viability, sustain revenue, and assert value in the face of rising costs. But we should not abandon the model of pragmatic liberal learning that has made America's colleges and universities the envy of the world. Instead, Redesigning Liberal Education argues, we owe it to students to reform liberal education in ways that put broad and measurable student learning as the highest priority.

Written by experts in higher education, the book is organized into two sections. The first section focuses on innovations at 13 institutions: Brown University, College of the Holy Cross, Connecticut College, Elon University, Florida International University, George Mason University, Georgetown University, Lasell College, Northeastern University, Rollins College, Smith College, Susquehanna University, and the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. Chapters about these institutions consider the vast spectrum of opportunities and challenges currently faced by students, faculty, staff, and administrators, while also offering "radical visions" of the future of liberal education in the United States. Accompanying vision chapters written by some of the foremost leaders in higher education touch on a wide array of subjects and themes, from artificial intelligence and machines to the role that human dispositions, mindsets, resilience, and time play in how we guide students to ideas for bringing playful concepts of creativity and openness into our work.

Ultimately, Redesigning Liberal Education reveals how humanizing forces, including critical thinking, collaboration, cross-cultural competencies, resilience, and empathy, can help drive our world. This uplifting collection is a celebration of the innovative work being done to achieve the promise of a valuable, engaging, and practical undergraduate liberal education.

Isis Artze-Vega, Denise S. Bartell, Randy Bass, John Bodinger de Uriarte, Laurie Ann Britt-Smith, Jacquelyn Dively Brown, Phillip M. Carter, Nancy L. Chick, Michael J. Daley, Maggie Debelius, Janelle Papay Decato, Peter Felten, Ashley Finley, Dennis A. Frey Jr., Chris W. Gallagher, Evan A. Gatti, Lisa Gring-Pemble, Kristína Moss Gudrún Gunnarsdóttir, Anthony Hatcher, Toni Strollo Holbrook, Derek Lackaff, Leo Lambert, Kristin Lange, Sherry Lee Linkon, Anne M. Magro, Maud S. Mandel, Jessica Metzler, Borjana Mikic, William Moner, Phillip Motley, Matthew Pavesich, Uta G. Poiger, Rebecca Pope-Ruark, Michael Reder, Michael S. Roth, Emily Russell, Heather Russell, Ann Schenk, Michael Shanks, Susan Rundell Singer, Andrea A. Sinn, Christina Smith, Allison K. Staudinger, William M. Sullivan, Connie Svabo, Meredith Twombly, Betsy Verhoeven, David J. Voelker, Scott Windham, Mary C. Wright, Catherine Zeek

"This book is a treasure trove of innovative institutional examples and forward thinking about ways to increase the relevance and value of liberal education for both students and society."

(George D. Kuh, Chancellor's Professor Emeritus, Indiana University)

"The authors encourage colleges to imagine radically diverse ways to inspire students to recognize the value of liberal education for meaningful action in the world."

(Johann N. Neem, Western Washington University, author of What's the Point of College? Seeking Purpose in an Age of Reform)

"Redesigning Liberal Education builds its collective case for a new twenty-first-century liberal education. The key here is design: deliberate, iterative, focused on needs and goals. The authors show how to create learning conditions that help all learners develop flexible dispositions that address the real challenges of the twenty-first century."

(Susan D. Blum, University of Notre Dame, author of "I Love Learning; I Hate School": An Anthropology of College)

"A wide-ranging exploration of institutional and learning innovations, this is an illuminating study of how educators are transforming liberal education today. Even more importantly, it offers valuable perspectives on the future as liberal education must continue to evolve to meet the needs of learners in a rapidly changing world."

(Joseph E. Aoun, President, Northeastern University)

"Redesigning Liberal Education explores the urgent question of how to give twenty-first-century students the sort of holistic, transformative learning they need and deserve. At once radically innovative and deeply grounded in the values of liberal learning, the collected case studies and essays offer a provocative, inspiring guide to the best possibilities of change."

(David Scobey, Director, Bringing Theory to Practice)

Redesigning liberal education requires both pragmatic approaches to discover what works and radical visions of what is possible.

William Moner is an assistant professor of communication design at Elon University. Phillip Motley is an associate professor of communications at Elon University. Rebecca Pope-Ruark is a faculty teaching and learning specialist in the Center for Teaching and Learning at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is the author of Agile Faculty: Practical Strategies for Managing Research, Service, and Teaching.

 

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