University of Houston

Selected Papers

from the

Texas Seminar

on the Core Curriculum

1993, 1994, 1995

Sponsored by the

University of Houston

and supported by

The National Endowment

for the Humanities

Fall 1995


The Texas Center for Undergraduate Education at the University of Houston is sponsor of the " Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum," a three-year, state-wide project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Over 300 faculty and administrators from public colleges and universities, community colleges, baccalaureate institutions, research univer sities and comprehensive colleges and universities in Texas, selected by an external panel, have participated in the semi nars. A highlight of the seminars has been the summer planning workshops, lectures and presentations held on the Univer sity of Houston campus in 1993, 1994, and 1995. Printed here are just some of the papers presented by the speakers from all three years.

The intensive planning sessions held each summer gave participants the opportunity to interact with faculty representa tives from colleges and universities across the country acting as consulting institutions, sharing their own successfully implemented and innovative core curricula through selected readings, hands-on workshops and presentations. The semi nars were designed to provide opportunities for universities and their faculty and administrators to create coherent under graduate curricula that prepare students for the 21st century. The seminars provided opportunities for theoretical and practical reflection about the nature and goals of undergraduate education, and were designed to assist the selected institutions in working systematically through the complex processes of devising and implementing coherent, integrated core curricula. Specifically, they were designed to guide the establishment of new core curricula in the participating colleges and universities; create local, regional and statewide networks of colleges and universities committed to compre hensive reform of undergraduate education; and provide a forum for nationally prominent scholars to describe creative solutions to specific problems facing higher education. We hope that participation in the Seminars helped to cultivate leaders equipped to create a more coherent, integrated educational experience for Texas students.

We also wanted the Seminars to serve as the focus for the development of new programs to foster the continued study and improvement of higher education in Texas. By the end of the program's second full year, each of the participating cam puses had developed, debated, refined and begun to implement a core curriculum which not only conformed to their institution's unique mission but also satisfied the legislative intent of House Bill 2183. In 1987, the Texas Legislature required all 101 public universities and community colleges to implement a core curriculum by 1995 (House Bill 2183).

Our goal was for the information shared during the Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum to provide a framework for statewide reforms in undergraduate education that respond to the present and future needs of the citizens of Texas.


My thanks to the Co-Directors of the Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum, Dr. Cynthia Freeland and Dr. John Ettling; and Conference Coordinators Denise Kohn, Katherine Oldmixon and Michelle Miller, and Pam Macaul. Special thanks goes to our keynote speakers, Dr. Wayne Booth, Dr. Carlos Cortés, and Dr. Troy Duster; and faculty and administrators from the consulting institutions: Brooklyn College, Washington University, Richland Commu nity College, Trenton State University, UCLA, SUNY-Buffalo, and Utah State University.

Many faculty and staff from the University of Houston gave their time and energy to making this project a reality, and I thank you all, too numerous to mention here, for your commitment and efforts. Also, I greatly appreciate the continued support of the President's and Provost's office administrators of the University of Houston. I'm especially grateful for the assistance of my office staff throughout the project, including Dr. Brian McKinney and Dr. Cay Osmon.

And lastly, my thanks to the National Endowment for the Humanities for its generous grant in support of this very important project.

Dr. Shirley D. Ezell

University of Houston

The Aims of EducationCome the Millennium


e're gathered here to try

dent cultural relativist: no culture has ever survived without educating adults who can reproduce, perhaps modify, and carry it forward. Sooner or later the vast majority of cultures have either frozen or disintegrated and have been swept aside by what appeared to be barbarians.

In most cultures I know anything about, the older generations have tried to save the younger generations, and thus the whole culture, by educating the kids in strict codes: a set of fairly simple rules forbidding certain vices: first some shalt nots like the Ten Commandments or the code of Hammurabi, then some fairly complex rituals of initiation into adult membership. Such codes have often worked, for awhile, but they are always on the defensive against youngsters who ask rude questions about where the codes come from, or even fight openly against them. Soon everyone is hurling charges of wickedness back and forth, like "a wicked and adulterous generation" and before you can say "Ham, Shem and Japeth" we have near total wipeout: God says to himself, there's nothing we can do about that bad lot, let's just forget it and start over.

The obvious failure of rote codes to stand up under criticism has in many cultures produced educational philosophers who have tried, as we are doing here, to think behind or beneath the codes to discover the true principles that should govern the best education.

Wayne C. Booth

University of Chicago

to think, for the ten millionth time in human history, about the aims of education, not just the aims of education for chemists or physicists or historians or musicologists or computer scientists or English teachers, but the targets we should all be aiming at for all of our students: the aims of general education. Too many teachers who are NOT at this seminar have never bothered to think much about that kind of aiming. But all of you, voluntarily coming to a conference like this, have already thought a lot about aiming. But we know that every teacher is willy-nilly aiming at something, whatever the subject matter and techniques. And by coming to a two- week conference like this you confirm that we simply have to keep trying to become better archers.

To aim well, at anything, is a much more complex task than we usually realize. Indeed, anyone who pretends to proclaim the aim of education is claiming a terrible lot: such a claimant must claim to know not just the why of the aiming, not just the direction of the shot, not just the likely skills of the archer, but the likely qualities of the target, including whether it will be harmed or harming it will matter much.

It's no wonder, then, that debates about the aims of education started early in recorded history, if not before that, and have continued unresolved for millennia.

The history of those debates among would-be master archers has been full of grotesque simplification

s, as the would-be Robin Hoods have looked askance at this or that product of their educational programs the various adults around them, all products of current education and gasped: "My God, my God, how could we have allowed that to happen? Our educational system is a total failure, my neighbor Samuel here doesn't even know a deer from an antelope, and Hephsibah, my housemaid, is so clumsy she can't even thread a needle, and my cousin George doesn't even know that it's evil to marry one's deceased wife's sister. Let's get down to business and educate our children right."

Sometimes such simple laments have been justified: we could claim and marshall evidence to support our claim, that every annihilation of a human culture has been caused by a failure in general education. If we think of educational aiming not just as asking what schools should doubt asking just how our children should be brought up into adulthood that is, educated in the sense of being drawn out from birth into responsible, effective maturity, it's clear that most educational efforts throughout history have eventually failed. Any culture surviveseven the animal culture of any lower speciesonly by producing adults who can somehow carry on that culture, not only maintaining the justified values of the past but meet ing and mastering new challenges. That is one universal that underlines the claims of even the most ar


Wayne C. Booth, The Aims of EducationCome the Millennium

Wherever one turns these days one hears claims that western civilization is following all those other dead cultures into ultimate annihilation. [Just this week I read a thoughtful piece in the latest issue of Philosophy and Literature taking for granted that western civilization has already lost it, is indeed already in the abyss. Ivan Klima, holocaust survivor, attempting to think about the causes of diverse 20th century atrocities committed by highly educated people in highly civilized nations, claims that the various barbarities in this century show that the very values that we honor as central to our culture have them- selves led to the atrocities. Klima does not use the phrase general education, but his claim about the fall could be considered as an unusually challenging entry in a long list of claims that our culture is failing or has failed because we have educated ourselves in the wrong way.]

Such claims are of course usually accompanied by some simplified nostrum that will save us. [For Klima the cure, advanced with modesty, would be some kind of general education (not, of course, just in schools and colleges) that would teach at every stage the necessity of limits a repudiation of the perfectionism that has destroyed us. At least Klima has done some hard thinking about our woes and their causes.] Too many oth ers have simply consulted their own egos: when I was a lad, by God, we learned Latin, or we read the right hard books, or we learned good grammar.

This evening and throughout this conference, we ought to be interested instead in some real thinking, not mere campaigning for this or that traditional code or simplified revolution against it. For those of you who think that the genuine values of our culture are on their last legs but must be somehow restored, this will be inevitably thinking of a somewhat desperate kind.

[For those of you who, like Klima, feel that our plight has been caused precisely by inherent flaws in those so-called genuine values, the thinking will perhaps be even more difficult.] For those of you who, like me, are entirely unclear about whether we're dying or about to experience a grand re-birth, it should still seem important to ask, once again, just what we should be trying to do, as we gird up our loins for the thousandth time and try to produce to repeat my earlier formula adults who can carry us forward, not only maintaining the justified values of the past but meeting the inevitably new challenges of the present and future. To hope for creative adults of that kind we must develop an education that, in the words of our seminar brochure, engages students actively (and permanently) in the learning process.

Now such an introduction as that surely requires me here to lay out in advance just the right outcomes for this Seminar. And of course I do have, at the back of my mind, a fairly detailed picture of just the one right college program I would set up if I were given absolute power. Unfortunately, like every utopian institution and constitution, my college of utopia would be established in total ignorance of the circumstances each of you faces on your own campus: the administration, the political forces outside the campus, the specific forms of learning and ignorance your students bring with them as freshmen.

"Your only hope . . .

if you want to

build core curricula that work . . .

is to build a

curriculum from

the ground up . . . ."

That program would be too much like those lovely constitutions that Rousseau and other French intellectuals dreamed up just when our founding fathers were engaging in their long hot summer. It would be ideal, but it would not have built into it, as the U.S. constitution did, the knowledge of particular human realities and concrete interests and limitations that every local scene imposes on dreams. And, like Rousseau's constitution, or the equally glorious Soviet constitution with its wonderful insistence of every conceivable human right, it would remain in dreamland, shorn of all practical effect.

So you'll find me here [though actually in Utah hacking away in two senses of the word], for the rest of our time together, dwelling mostly on the negativesI have just done in rejecting the notion of a universal educational constitution. Your only hope, I want to claim, if you want to develop core curricula that will really work and not just exist as noble documents in the president's or director's office, is for a curriculum built from the ground up that ground being you earth-bound crea tures here and your fellow teachers and their students back home. A short way of making this central point will sound rude, and goes like this: do not, do not simply put into place any one of the curricula that will be described by other visitors here. Treat them with respect but skepticism, for two reasons. First, the reports will, we can predict, be idealized; with most honest of intentions, the reporters will exaggerate their successes and downplay their failures. And secondly, even if the curricula have been really successful back home, they have not sprung up from your ground. Take their best principles back home with you and then, attending to your genuine resources and circumstantial

limitations, work out what your colleagues will be willing and able to take back into their classrooms, there and now. [I could, if I had time, tell many a story of disasters that have ensued when well-minded enthusiasts have tried to impose, from the top, marvelous curricula borrowed from some other institution or, even worse, from some written utopia.]

Still dwelling on negative warnings, then, let me make more explicit my already hinted suspicion of two disastrous responses to the present seeming chaos. On the one hand we see the widespread, and to me groundless, claim that to argue about the aims of education is pointless, since all educational aiming is simply relative to the personal ego-interests or power interests of the archers.

On the other hand we have self-righteous battlers who tend to justify their claims by the very popularity of various battalions in the first camp: these are the self-styled traditionalists who know for a certainty and proclaim fervently the one true aim of education is to defeat all these modernists and post-modernists and recover from the past precisely what we need, which is . . .

But here of course the recovery programs vary, just as the so-called relativisms do. Underlying the baffling variety is the claim that at some time in the past educators or at least some of themwere on the straight and nar row way to educational paradise, and then the fools and knaves led us off that path into the current mess.

Just how deep runs the torrent of such nostalgia-thought has been revealed both with the successes of William Bennett and Lynn Cheney in marshalling troops behind their plausible lists and by unprecedented sales of the works of Allan Bloom and E.D. Hirsch; Bloom with his call for return to the unquestionably great classics of western thought; Hirsch with his re

duction of basic education to a set of 5,000 or so terms that every literate person must know. I'm not going to spend time today trying to show just what has been wrong with the nostalgia-thinkers. But, those, who like me, deplore the influence of these simplifiers should be aware of one ironic fact: it was almost certainly such thinking that helped to produce the funding for this seminar. We probably wouldn't be here if it were not for the Blooms and Hirschs, the Bennetts and Cheneys. I'd be much surprised if there were not at least a few "up there" in the decision chambers who said, "Let's fund the seminar, in the hope that out of it will emerge a common core curriculum that can be imposed on all twenty of those colleges. And then true education will be restored, at least in those twenty colleges." Our official statement on this seminar neither says nor implies anything as worrisome as that, but I'm sure phrases like "incoherent and fragmented curricula," that is, our enemy and "take back the initiative to create coherent undergraduate curricula" would appeal to those imposers I am imagining. On the other hand, our enabling brochure must have worried some of them a bit with its fortunately stronger emphasis on "experimentation with new courses and new ways of engaging students in the learning process." To me the two phrases, "coherent curricula" and "engaging students in the learning process" can be contradictory, when the word "coherent" carries any one authorization and exclusive notion of just what it might be.

Now of course I'm tempted at this point to continue the negative tone of this talk by moving on to a more detailed attack on the archers I think are aiming wrong, the relativists, and the various dogmatists who aim too confidently. But to do so would fall into our national pastime of thinking

The Aims of EducationCome the Millennium, Wayne C. Booth

demonologically: if we can just identify the devil, then we may have some chance of slaying him. The obvious fact is that our problem is not to identify the devilat least not during this two-week seminar. Our prob lem is to find ways of thinking together productively, as we discover just how many diverse views of proper archery are gathered in this hall.

You may even feel a bit inclined to fight to the death for your preferred outcome. Consequently, unless we have no true seminar but only a pretense at one, some sort of passionate debate, not to say fighting, is likely to occur; when you've taken part in as many curricular battles as I have over the years, you know what to expect.

By this time, in trying to write a fresh talk on a potentially stale topic, I was beginning to feel a bit desperate as you can no doubt tell by my backing and filling, qualifying and disqualifying. Fussing about the desk, up there in the Utah mountains for the past couple of weeks, working through draft after draft, printout after printout, I felt increasingly puzzled about how I could possibly proceed without violating my own insistence that curricular reform must be grounded in a particular time and place and campus community that is, you, the reformers, not in some outsider's program.

My wife observed my tension and suggested that we go for a hike up Mount Timpanogas, a 12,000-foot peak sort of just behind our cabin. So we climbed and though I began to feel better, I felt no lights of insight flashing. But as we approached the top, at about high noon, my wife exclaimed, "What's that?" pointing to a leather packet tucked under a huge boulder. We opened it, of course, and lo and behold, what did we find but a sheaf of eleven papyrus sheets, each with a short message at the top, in large block letters. The fist sheet read sim

Wayne C. Booth, The Aims of EducationCome the Millennium
ply, TABLES OF GENERAL EDUCATION: HOW NOT TO FIGHT WHEN CONSTRUCTING A CORE CURRICULUM OF READINGS. At the top of the page I read: "Hear ye, all who mourn the state of education in any age or climb, hear ye the fol lowing commandments, each of which should be read in the light of his rev elation: that the goal of education is to truly and fully engage students in the learning process.

And lo and behold, when I did turn to the other sheets I found on each one a commandment each of them obviously composed, by whatever gods of education there may be, in the same spirit of negation in which the first half of this talk had been written. So I hastened home, knees creaking as they always do these days on the descent side of a hike , meditated for many hours, and finally composed a short commentary on each commandment. Whatever consistencies or incoherence you may detect as I read these comments is, of course, my fault not the gods'.

Oh, one more preliminary: I apologize for the fact that the commandments seem directed more to how not to fight about reading lists in the humanities and social sciences than problems in other sciences. But with a little translation maybe the "no-no"s will fit across the curriculum.

COMMANDMENT ONE: Thou shalt not fight to put in the Core Curriculum any work unless thou thyself hast lived with it a bit and want to live with it further, in the kind of prolonged intimacy that one experiences with any work one really attempts to teach well.

It didn't take much thought about this one to see what it means: it means you don't fight for a work simply

because it is called a classic or, at the other extreme, simply because it represents this or that daring or neglected new constituency. You don't fight for it because some person or group you admire touts it. You don't fight for it simply because it will, you hope, convert your students to believe something you or your preferred group already believe. In short, you don't recommend any work that will simply deepen the intellectual rut you are already in.

To me, this command implies a search for works that will challenge your students to challenge you, and thus lead to joint inquiry. A work will educate you best only if your students become actively engaged, aggressively engaged in dialogue with you about what the work is trying to do to them. In short, don't choose a work because you merely like it or love it; choose it because you need and desire further experience with it and believe that your students are likely to help you profit from it. They will help you most by fighting back. You should ask yourself at every moment in the debates: what will make my students the kind I am likely to find here in this institution this year, the kind that may be different from those entering my sister institution across town what will make these particular human beings in all their complexity both want to argue back at me and the work and be able to argue back productively.

This commandment got me so turned on that I almost filled my remaining time talking about how it absolutely commands that all core requirements be met in courses based on discussion groups rather than lectures. For the kind of fighting back, the active rather than passive learning the gods command here, students need a large daily dose of genuine discussion in fairly small groups twenty at the most, ten or twelve as the ideal. Whatever use of lecturing

you decide on and there will always be some matters best handled by a good lecturer no genuine education in any subject remember we're not thinking of mere training, rote duplication, but genuine education can occur without give and take. But the gods probably have another list of commandments about teaching techniques, and someone else will have to find that leather pouch.

COMMANDMENT TWO: Thou shalt not fight for any re quired work unless thou art convinced that the work itself will carry some irresistible educational power for the students.

Well, this one obviously requires us to ask, will the students who read a work, and then read it again, and then really study it, sitting alone in the dormitory room or library, or working it out together, grappling with what the author has tried to say, will they, even without your looking over their shoulder, or be led to a higher spot on the path toward mature thought and feeling, those virtues that all continuing education depend on?

Many a work that is worth reading for other reasons simply will not pass this test. Works that are chosen because they preach this or that preferred ideology or impart this or that desired emotion are tempting to any teacher who believes in that ideology or hopes to share that emotion. Courses that center on this or that current phenomenon let us take the caricature provided by current courses in the Madonna Phenomenon such courses may be entirely defensible when offered to mature students who have passed through a rigorous core experience: a student who has already developed a love of learning and has begun to practice some serious thinking, a student who has encoun

tered the richness of powerful fiction, drama, and poetry, may then profit from trying to think about the weird fashion in Madonna types and Elvis types. When students of the well-meaning critical-minded teacher who has assigned Madonna's best selling classic, SEX , leave the classroom and return to the audio-visual laboratory and study such so-called texts on their own, or read the book, if you can call it reading, most of them will simply be encountering for the thousandth time phenomena that they already know too well; the work itself will carry precious little educational value. Only the most wise and powerful teacher can lead students to extract from such texts any educational value what-so-ever, and the extraction will be mainly from the mind of the teacher, not from the text. Unless you are absolutely sure that you are both wise and powerful, turn to texts that have been produced by wise and powerful minds.

What kinds of works am I thinking of when I ask for works that educate on their own? They needn't be classics; they need only be works that in their own procedures attempt to teach readers how to read well by thinking critically. In some of the best works, both classical and modern, such teaching is right on the surface, as if the author were thinking about our problem. More often it is merely implied in how the authors deal with their opponents or sources.

Consider for example what any careful writer about ideas accomplishes by providing a section of "Objections to my argument" and then trying to meet those objections honestly. Almost every worthwhile thinker I know will, at an appropriate point, say or imply something like, "It might be objected to my case that such and such is true. This objection has much to be said for it." Then will come some powerful restatement of the

arguments for the objections, followed by: "But to these arguments I reply, first, that . . ." A student making his or her way through such argument, essentially a dialogue between authors and their best critics, is learning how to think, how to argue not to win but to arrive at more defensible convic tions. That student is also learning something essential about reading and the point is that the learning does not depend only on the teacher's ines capably limited brilliance.

I don't have to tell you that the works, ancient or modern, that do this well and honestly are rare. The ones from the past that do it well are the ones we generally think of as classics: they have been found, by generation after generation, to be teachers. The ones that do it well today, and that are thus most likely to be appealing to our students, are even rarer. But they exist: genuine philosophers like Charles Taylor or Hilary Putnam or even Jaques Derrida, in his surprisingly frequent attempts to demonstrate why another reader's readings are just plain wrong, or what can be said against his own claim.

But the class of works that are themselves educational is not confined to education about argument. Even more important in a time like ours, is the even trickier matter of moral education not the implanting of some level of moral desire that we must leave to the family and the church and the gang membership but the schooling of thought and choice about desires. And here we inevitably turn to what are called literary works. Whether we believe that virtues in the sense of fundamental desires can be taught, it is obviously true that some novels, some poems, some plays can teach the essential capacity to think and feel oneself through intricate, tough moral decisions. That teaching will not work, of course, with any student who lacks the essential virtue of desiring to

The Aims of EducationCome the Millennium, Wayne C. Booth

live not just well but right. But even in our fragmented world most students come to usas Aristotle would say desiring to live not just well but right: that is desiring genuine happiness. And they can imbibe, through literary experience, an increasing sensitivity to the nuances of choice in their pursuit of that happiness.

It's impossible to illustrate this point adequately in a brief talk: you'll know what I mean if you've ever read with full attention, or taught a class to pay full attention, to the way in which any fine novel portrays choices and personal encounters of its characters. The really fine novelists teach us what it means to face a conflict of values honestly, and to recognize just what is wrong with forms of behavior that seems to this or that fictional character justified. They can even teach us, sometimes quite explicitly, about what kinds of education are deplorable.

Listen to this passage, from a novel I just happen to have read this summer for the first time, Henry James's Roderick Hudson . Rowland, who is the closest there is to a moral center, is listening to the mother of the beautiful young Christina Light, the spoiled woman who is on the verge of marrying, against her own deepest oral institution, the unloved but wealthy Price Cassimassima. In the passage, her mother is praising herself for the moral education she has administered to her lovely child. She has explained that at first she had thought that her little girl was plain and therefore scarcely worth bothering about. And then one day

a child came wandering along [my] path a little girl of four or five . . . She stopped in front of me and stared at me and I stared at her queer little dress, which was a cheap imitation of the costume of one of [the] contadine. At last I looked up at her face, and said to myself, "Bless me, what a beautiful child! What a splendid pair of eyes, what a magnificent head of hair! If

Wayne C. Booth, The Aims of EducationCome the Millennium

my poor Christina were only like that!" . . . [But] all of a sudden I gave a cry, pounced on [the child], pressed it in my arms, and covered it with kisses. It was Christina, my own precious child. . . . Of course my face was sad. I rushed with my child to the carriage, drove home posthaste, pulled off her rags, and, as I may say, wrapped her in cotton. I had been blind, I had been insane; she was a creature in ten millions, she was a beauty of beauties, a priceless treasure! Every day, after that, the certainty grew.

From that time I lived only for my daughter, I watched her, I caressed her from morning till night. I worshipped her. I went to see doctors about her, I took every sort of advice. I was determined she should be perfection. The things that have been done for that girl, sir you wouldn't believe them; they would make you smile! Nothing was spared; if I had been told that she must have a bath every morning of molten pearls, I would have found means to give it to her. She never raised a finger for herself, she breathed nothing but perfumes, she walked upon velvet. She never was out of my sight, and from that day to this I have never said a sharp word to her. By the time she was ten years old she was beautiful as an angel, and so noticed wherever we went that I had to make her wear a veil . . . Then I saw that she was as clever as she was beautiful, and that she only had to play her cards. She had mas ters, professors, every educational advantage. They told me she was a little prodigy. She speaks French, Italian, German, better than most natives. She has a wonderful genius for music, and might make her fortune as a pianist, if it was not made for her otherwise! I traveled all over Europe; every one told me she was a marvel. The director of the opera in Paris saw her dance at a child's party . . . and offered me an enormous sum if I would give her up to him and let him have her educated for the ballet. I said, "No, I thank you, sir; she is meant to be something finer than a princesse de theatre." I had a passionate belief that she might marry absolutely whom she chose, that she might be a princess out and out. . . . before she could read, she had the manners, the tastes, the instincts of a little princess. She would have noth ing to do with shabby things or shabby people; if she stained one of her frocks,

she was seized with a kind of frenzy and tore it to pieces.

And Mrs. Light goes on and on about just why she has decided to educate Christina, not quite to marry royalty that would be too dangerous these days, she thinks but to marry into the higher aristocracy, a Prince. And then Henry James has his text clinch the kind of education I'm talking about. Not waiting for some classroom teacher to emphasize just how horrible Mrs. Light's educational program is, he has his spokesman, Rowland, put it to us pointblank: "Rowland listened to all this with huge compassion for the heroine of the tale. What an education, what a history, what a school of character and of morals!" What a school of morals indeed. Very much like the school of morals that many a parent these days is unthinkingly imposing on young beauties or gymnasts or tennis or bas ketball prodigies. Winning the prince or the prize and the money that goes with winning that is all.

I can't think of any major novel, if it really meets commandment one, that is, that it serve your education, as a teacher and learner that does not include a rich critique of destructive moralities of the kind we think of as having dominated the American eighties but that are just as alive to day. Incidentally, if you doubt that novels can have this kind of morally educational power, you ought to have a look at the essays and books of Martha Nussbaum or, to be quite frank, at my book, The Company We Keep.

COMMANDMENT THREE: Thou shalt not fight to place in the Core Curriculum work that is not likely to lead to conversation outside thy particular classroom across cam pus and on out into the

larger world.

Number three tells us to seek what is general not just in the sense of what skills every student should master but in the sense of what worthwhile expe rience should be generally shared. But doesn't this merely underline the first commandment? It will not do to turn teachers loose to teach only what they love; they should want to teach works that their students will discuss with other students in the dining halls and dormitories. [It must occur to you that this third commandment would rule out Roderick Hudson , unless you could talk your whole campus into requiring it, which you almost certainly couldn't. So: Roderick Hudson is out, and if you consider Henry James you'll have to turn to works more widely read, such as The Turn of the Screw or Daisy Miller. But I should hasten to admit that for many a college perhaps for yours Henry James is not the right requirement, and you would do better to work with a more accessible kind of moral instruction of the kind found in a work like Huckleberry Finn.]

COMMANDMENT FOUR: Thou shalt not fight to have in your Core Curriculum any work that is not likely to enable thy students to engage in conversation with other people in the world beyond your campus.

It's all very well to insure that students have read works we admire, or even works they can discuss with other students in the school cafeteria. But if they are to continue their education after graduation, in conversation with other educated folks, they should have encountered at least a few of the "greats" that most graduates of most decent colleges will know. The com mon core consists in part of an accumulation of cultural capital for a life time. That capital should beto some degree, at leastof a common cur

rency, first on the local campus, then throughout life.

[After all, with whom could I ever discuss Roderick Hudson, if my college had required it and my most beloved college teacher, P.A. Christensen, had convinced me of its worth? I know personally only two people who have read it.]

This test of trans-college usefulness is even harder to meet now than it was a few decades ago. It is hard to know just what works other colleges are likely to teach: the very problem that justifies a seminar like this. This difficulty is the chief reason some see for supporting a national curriculum: "if only some wise director of NEH could impose on all col leges a requirement that every student should know the following ten books in order to graduate, would not our national debates be improved?"

There is, even in our seemingly chaotic current world, in fact, widespread agreement on a few truly great authors. You can still do your students a favor by ensuring that they learn to lovenote how I put that at least one or two of the greatest of Shakespeare's plays; at least one or two of the great novels of the western tradition; at least one or two of the rigorous philosophers of the western traditionnot just the dramatically appealing and essential dialogues of Plato but one or two of the more linear thinkers like Aristotle or Hume or Mill. But there I go, naming names when I promised not to.

COMMANDMENT FIVE: Thou shalt not fight for a core curriculum that imposes a single educational or po litical or moral dogma.

Again, this one seems to risk redundancy but then, who has ever claimed that the gods worry about redundancy? But surely if the first four commandments are sincerely obeyed,

The Aims of EducationCome the Millennium, Wayne C. Booth

this one will take care of itself: for example, any thoughtful work that deals honestly with opponents' objections will inoculate against any simple-minded single dogma. But there are subtler dogmas that can only be countered by institutional requirements of breadth: so far, for example, I have used illustrations only from literature and philosophy or political philosophy. But what about hard thinking in the natural and biological sciences? How about works of psychology and sociology, of legal history and theory, and so on?

Of the dogmas that creep up on us perhaps the most insidious are those that elect one genuine, undeniable human value over all the others, and then make the curriculum serve that value alone. Of course, I have myself today elevated one value above all others: the education of people who will be actively engaged in the learning process and go on educating themselves. But the dogmas that I fear are those that are far narrower, like the dogmas about how true thought is achieved dogmas proclaimed, by devotees of hard, logically proved propositions as the only path to genuine education casting to one side beauty and goodness or human service and all that we are taught by our feelings. We are still crippled by the post-positivist dogmas of educators who present one sole model of rationality: this or that so-called scientific method; this or that road to critical thinking; this or that list of logical fallacies. Almost as threatening are the devotees of artistic quality and purity who turn art into religion and, like too many literary critics, choose to ignore moral questions about truth. Or we could lambast here the passionate prophets who, like some remaining Marxists and some religious fanatics, would sacrifice everything for the sake of this or that program of material or spiritual improvement or

salvation leaving both beauty and hard thought about truth in the garbage pail. What this commandment really entails is that we must give up any single notion of how truth, or beauty, or goodness are achieved in the world, or of just which one of these qualities should be supreme.

COMMANDMENT SIX: Thou shalt not fight for any Core Curriculum that leaves the instructor no freedom for one or two in dividual choices through the year.

Though the gods seem here to be assuming that the bulk of the syllabi should be shared, in order to meet commandments II and III, they are recog nizing that for a teacher to be absolutely frozen in even the brightest committee's list, year after year, can be deadly; even the best of works can grow stale. So each instructor should be allowed, in every term, to say "I'm tired of X," or "I learned over the last two years that I just can't teach Y well." "So I'm going to substitute Z this year." Butand this in my experience can be an immensely important "but" for the self education of faculty and I'm surprised the gods did not add it we should always insist that every instructor present to the course staff a solid case for any such departure from the list, demonstrating why the excep tion achieves one or another of the values implicit in the list of command ments.

COMMANDMENT SEVEN: Thou shalt not commit adultery!

COMMANDMENT EIGHT: Thou shalt not construct core curricula that are merely miscellanies, first one work and then another work.

Wayne Booth, The Aims of EducationCome the Millennium
My first thought here was, why not? I've taught from such lists many a time, and most of the individual works, chosen according to the other commandments, turned out to have enough power on their own to survive miscellaneity. But after thinking further I had to agree that it is better to construct course lists around patterns of themes or skills that invite or require thoughtful comparison among the works as the year proceeds.

Just what the pattern should be will depend largely on what other re quired courses the student must take: If your college has shamefully given up all requirements in history, the common core list must surely include a few powerful works clustering around the problem of just how so-called factual evidence and interpretation is constructed by historians and then by their readers. Similarly, if students are not required to take a philosophy or rheto ric course, the required list surely must include works that grapple with just how we can or should decide to test our convictions or change our minds. And if students are not required to take any courses in art or music, surely the required list should include not just written works but experiences that en tail close, responsive, and critical looking and listening. And finally, if other required courses have nothing about how to criticize movies or TV or rock video, then a unit of video-critique may make sensethough here it will be far harder that anywhere else to meet my commandment that the work be edu cational in itself.


This one worries me a lot. Hasn't my whole talk been working to persuade all these seminarians that the


educational world is threatened by a bunch of over-simplifiers. But then I read . . . .


In other words, if thou must bring up Occam's Razor, or the Law of Parsimony, teach it with examples showing where it won't workwhich is in nine out of ten choices in the life that students and teachers, or limited human creatures must live.

I guess all this means that what we have to fear are lists that ignore both complexity and simplicity. There is no one enemy out there seeking to destroy us: we have met the enemy and they is usus in our temptations on the one hand to oversimplify, to buy this or that panacea that is offered with sufficient air of learning or tradition or novelty or other seeming claim to authority; us in our temptation on the other hand to believe that because the world God has placed us in is fantastically complex, there are no human values worth devoting our lives to. There are many. They are often experienced as in conflict but they are no less genuine for that.

My talk today, to repeat once more, has tried to serve one value that I think worth fighting for: the educating of self-educators, men and women who will continue to explore life vitally and fully after they leave our charge. That kind of life, the life of intellectual and moral exploration, need not be thought of as the only kind of life worth living; we need not echo uncritically Socrates' claim that the unexamined life is not worth living at all! But in our culture, with its fantastic multiplication of appeals and programs and possibilities, it's hard to imagine really productive, ultimately satisfying life without the kind of education

we're challenged to explore together here.

We know from experience, of course, that most curricular planning of this kind is at best only half-successful; some has been plainly disastrous. We should remember that many of our worst public destroyers are products of our best schools and colleges. Many of those institutions had curricula that would look highly respectable from almost any point of view. It is clear, then, that nothing can guarantee successful voyaging in our troubled waters. But those of us who have known the joys of living in inquiry, in exploration, know that to make plans for such a life for our students is one of the unquestionably worthwhile ways to spend one's days or years.

I wonder what the gods of education would have to say to that over-simplified conclusion? p

Ten Commandments

for those who fight about the Core Curricula

Wayne C. Booth

I. Thou shalt not fight to put on the core curriculum any work unless thou thyself hast lived with it and want to live with it further in prolonged intimacy.

II. Thou shalt not fight for any required work unless thou art convinced that the work itself will carry irresistible educational power for the students.

III. Thou shalt not fight to place in thy core curriculum any work that is not likely to lead to conversation outside thy particular classroom.

IV. Thou shalt not fight to have in the core curriculum any work that is not likely to enable thy students to engage in conversation with other people in the world beyond thy campus, espe cially after graduation.

V. Thou shalt not fight for a core curriculum that imposes a single educational or political or moral dogma.

VI. Thou shalt not fight for a core curriculum that leaves the instructor no freedom for one or two individual choices throughout the year.

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

VIII. Thou shalt not fight for core curricula that are merely miscellanies; first one work then another work.

IX. Thou shalt not fight for core curricula that lead students to think the world is more complex than it is.

X. Thou shalt not fight for core curricula that lead students to think the world is more simple than it is.


Exemplary Core Curricula:

Brooklyn College

Brooklyn College's Core Curriculum, let me tell you something about my relationship to itor as they say in the vernacular, to tell you where I'm coming from in my description and observations on the Brooklyn Core.

My career at Brooklyn College is evenly divided between what I think of as pre-Core and Core epochsabout a dozen years before the core was inaugurated in 1981, and a dozen years since. I was serving a term as chair of my department when the Core was designed. I spent one year as coordinator of one course in the package titled "People, Power, and Politics." I teach a section of that course nearly every semester, and from 1990 to 1992, I was a member of the Faculty Council Committee responsible for overseeing the entire Core Curriculum.

My talk will be organized in four parts. First, I'll present some background on Brooklyn College; second, the process by which our Core came about; third, the structure and content of Core courses; and finally, a summary of the way the core has been implemented at Brooklyn College.

First, about Brooklyn College. It is one of nine four-year colleges which, along with a medical school, a law school, a center for Ph.D. studies, and eight community colleges, make up the City University of New York. Brooklyn was originally a branch of the City College of New York, which was founded in the Pre-Civil War era,


s I begin talking about


Daniel S. Claster

Brooklyn College

and known then as the Free Academy.

As City College, it provided opportunities for poor immigrants and their children to obtain a post- secondary education otherwise available only to the well-to-do. Brooklyn College became an independent unit in the 1930's and in time established its own reputation for academic excellence. Its graduates, as a group and individually, have achieved extraordinary distinction. At one time it was said that among Harvard Law School students, the only college that was better represented than Brooklyn was Harvard itself. One study showed that Brooklyn College ranks eleventh in the country in number of graduates who have acquired a Ph.D. One of our alumni is a Nobel Laureate, and last year one of our graduates won a Rhodes scholarship.

There were about fifteen thousand students when I first came to Brooklyn, but that number more than doubled by the early seventies, when an open admissions policy was instituted, and then, when tuition was imposed for the first time in the university's history as a result of New York City's fiscal crisis in 1975, the numbers reverted to less than twenty thousand and have leveled off at around thirteen thousand in recent years.

The student body's ethnic and racial composition is increasingly diverse, and there are increasing numbers of students whose first language is something other than EnglishSpanish, Chinese, Russian,

French Creole, Korean. There is need for remediation in basic skills among a number of our students, and we have a good program; but unfortunately this is one area that seems particularly susceptible to budget cuts in these difficult times. Placement in remedial courses is based upon basic skills exams given to all entering students. Students are barred from many courses until they pass basic skills exams, and there are limits on how long one may remain enrolled as a remedial student.

According to university bylaws, the faculty has control over curricular matters. At Brooklyn, this control is exercised by the Faculty Council, made up of the chairperson and an additional delegate from each department, both elected, and a few additional at-large faculty representatives.

Now, what was the curriculum prior to the Core? Brooklyn's graduation requirements in the 1950's and early 1960's were fairly typical, I believe, for institutions of our type. General requirements, which still prevail, are two semesters of English, a speech course, and three semesters of a foreign language, although a few students are exempted from the speech course and the first semester of English, and many from the language requirement on the basis of their high school work.

At the second level there were distribution requirements, giving students options among various basic courses in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. And

finally, the standard majors, requiring half a dozen courses, and in some cases many more, in the chosen field of concentration.

However, as many of you remember, along with the civil rights and women's rights movements of the 1960's there was considerable effort among students to reject, as "irrelevant", the kind of curricular requirements that were extant at Brooklyn and many other liberal arts colleges. One of the demands of the student power movement was for complete freedom of choice as to the combination of courses that could be presented in satisfaction of the requirements for a B.A. or B.S. degree.

Although there was some justification in students' demands that faculties pay more attention to their needs and interests, many institutions went too far, in my judgment. Instead of working on needed curricular reform with a view of the changing nature of the intellectual world, and of student relations to that world, many colleges and universities relaxed the requirements for liberal arts degrees to such an extent that the old ideathat there was any body of knowledge with which a liberal arts graduate might be conversant seemed to be fading into oblivion. Although Brooklyn had by no means gone as far as many other institutions in the reduction of general requirements, the faculty and administration were concerned that graduate schools, employers, the public at large, and most of all our own graduates themselves be able to recognize that a Brooklyn College degreetraditionally worn as a badge of honornot lose its luster.

The Coming

of the Core

As early as 1977, the Brooklyn College Faculty Council endorsed in

Exemplary Core Curricula: Brooklyn College, Daniel S. Claster

t felt they had been ignored in the original proposal offered amendments, which resulted in increasing the size of the core from a little more than 30 credits to almost 50; in other words, what was originally envisioned as a year's worth of courses, to be taken in conjunction with other courses during the first two years, had become a package that would occupy students almost fully for their freshman and sophomore years.

Some of us despaired that it would ever be possible to fashion a core curriculum that would be acceptable to a majority of our very diverse and independently minded faculty. Nevertheless, a new committee was formeda better committee able to take the broader view and willing to undertake the very important task of consulting and working with a broad spectrum of the college community, including students, to come up with a manageable package, and one that would reflect a 1980's view of liberal education.

The Brooklyn College Core Curriculum: Structure and Content

The Core, as it was approved in the spring of 1980 and has been taught over the past twelve years, comprises ten courses, or actually thirteen courses, because three of the rubrics contain two courses. You will be hearing next week in some detail about two of the courses, the music course and the non-western cultures course, from my colleagues Paul Shelden and Antonio Nadal, but, I'll give you a brief overview now.

The courses are divided into two tiers. The first tier, Core Studies 1 through 5, is planned for entering freshmen, and the second tier, 6 through 10, is geared toward slightly more advanced students. Students are expected to complete the first tier in the first two to three semesters and to finish Core requirements in another two or three semesters.

Core Studies 1, Classical Origins of Western Culture, deals with

principle the establishment of a common core curriculum, and a committee began work on it. Ideas about core curricula were beginning to be discussed in higher education circles throughout the country at this time, of course, and Harvard had inaugurated versions of what they called core curricula around this time.

However, early on it was decided that Brooklyn College's Core would be different. Although some people thought our core should offer more choice within the Core than the models prevailing at the private institutions because our less selective student body might not be able to handle requirements that every student take a real college-level course covering, for example, modern physics, or the Greek dramatists, the view prevailed that the Brooklyn Core take seriously the concept of the common experience. This was and has continued to be a distinctive feature of our Core the principle that students who have fulfilled the requirements of the Core will have a shared foundation on which their more advanced courses can build.

Without going into great detail, let me say that the first proposal for a core curriculum, which was presented to the faculty in January 1980, was not passed. A major problem, in my view and this may be constructive for those of you who are working on core curricula yourselves is that the committee authoring the proposal was too heavily weighted toward one area of the curriculumthe traditional humanities, in this case at the expense of the social and natural sciences.

Thus, when the original document was proposed at Faculty Council, all those disciplines tha


Daniel S. Claster, Exemplary Core Curricula: Brooklyn College

selected works of the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is the responsibility of the Department of Classics, which has had a long tradition at Brooklyn College of fine teaching for introductory students. Core Studies 2 is in fact Core Studies 2.1 and 2.2, "Introduction to Art " and "Introduction to Music." It is taught by members of those respective departments. Responsibility for Core Studies 3, titled "People, Power and Politics," is shared by the Department of Political Science and my department, Sociology. It deals with the American political and social systems and includes material on social classes, race, and gender. Core Studies 4, "Shaping of the Modern World, " is the history component; it emphasizes European and American civilization, but in a global context.

Core Studies 5 is called "Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning and Computer Programming." Some sections are taught by the computer science faculty, others by the math faculty. Originally, the idea of the computer component was that all modern liberal arts graduates should be familiar with a simple computer language just as they are expected to know a foreign language like French or Spanish or German. BASIC was originally the computer language of choice, but now there is variation among sections. The math component was originally probability theory; that, too, has changed to a degree.

Now for the second tier. Core Studies 6 is known as "Landmarks of Literature." It was originally taught by members of the Department of English and the Department of Comparative Literature. We no longer have a Department of Comparative Literature, but its members were merged into the English Department. Actual works assigned vary, but all students read some prose, some poetry, and some drama, with

representation ranging across recent centuries and among authors in English and other European languages. Increasingly in recent years, African and Asian authors are treated as well.

Core Studies 7 and 8 are the science components: 7.1 and 7.2 are chemistry and physics, 8.1 and 8.2 are biology and geology. Each course includes both lecture and laboratory components. Originally, students signed up for 7.1 and 7.2 together, taking one the first seven weeks and the other one the last seven weeks of the semester. Similarly, they enrolled for the biology and geology courses together. The idea was to help integrate the presentation of the sciences, but this proved cumbersome in practice, and now students enroll for each Core science offering as a separate two-credit course that is stretched out over the full semester.

You'll hear about Core Studies 9, "Studies in African, Asian, and Latin American Cultures" from Professor Nadal next week. Its inclusion reflects an awareness that our students need to expand their intellectual horizons beyond Europe and the part of America that lies north of Mexico and the Caribbean.

The idea here, in brief, is to expose students to at least two of those cultures (originally it was three). The common experience is not exposure of all students to the same cultures. It is a team-taught course. One class might be taught by a specialist in Indian history and a sociologist who has studied Nicaraguan society, another by an anthropologist familiar with central Africa and an expert on Chinese literature. What is common is that each of the instructors goes beyond his or her discipline to cover themes in that society that are important in all societies. I'll leave it to my colleague, Tony, to explain it to you next week, how in heaven's name this all works out.

Finally, as a kind of capstone to the other courses, Core Studies 10,

"Knowledge, Existence and Values," is taught by the Department of Philosophy. As the title indicates, the course deals with questions of ethics, cosmology, and epistemology as they have been addressed by philosophers over the years.


Along with the curriculum document that describes the substantive courses, the faculty enacted a rather extensive set of procedural regulations. Since these are an integral part of the Core Curriculum itself, I'll mention briefly some of the most important.

Because a substantial number of Brooklyn College students enter with some deficiencies in basic skills, and in order to insure that the core curriculum would not be watered down to a level inconsistent with real college-level work, it was decided that students not be admitted to Core courses until they had overcome those deficiencies. The City University administers assessment tests for verbal and mathematical achievement to entering students. Those who do not pass are assigned to remedial courses. Based on this assessment, students are not permitted to take math and science core courses until they have made up deficiencies in this area, and they may not take other core courses until they have made up deficiencies in the verbal area.

Who must take a Core sequence? Essentially, everyone who gets an undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College. The major exception is for transfer students, who are permitted to offer equivalent introductory courses from other institutions to substitute for Core courses. Other exceptions are very limited: for example, students intending to be science majors may substitute introductory courses within their disciplines for the science core. In fact, the faculty has resisted efforts

by some departments with extensive major requirements to exempt their students from the Core. The faculty have said, in effect, if students wish to take a specialized major so extensive that they will not have time for the 34 credits of our core, they will have to do it at someplace other than Brooklyn College.

The document also addresses the issue of how common the "common experience" is. There is variation among courses, but less now, I believe, than twelve years ago. Courses that began with a very high degree of uniformity have come to allow instructors more flexibility; other courses in which syllabi were more varied from class to class at the outset have moved toward greater standardization.

The course I teach, "People, Power and Politics," is perhaps not unrepresentative. When we began, all instructors used the same textbook and the same extensive book of readings. We no longer have a common textbook, but we all use a common set of readings now in its sixth edition, published by the Brooklyn College Press which makes up about half the total reading for the course. Instructors choose the other half of the assigned readings according to their own preferences, but within the framework of an agreed- upon syllabus. The scope of midterm tests and term papers is discretionary with the instructor, but the final exam counts for 40% of the term grade, and half of the final is a common exam. It is made up by a committee of instructors who teach the course and is taken by all students.

The documents also provide a mechanism for changing Core courses. Normally the coordinator of a course submits a proposal for an experimental section to the faculty oversight committee. When approved and offered, the experimental section is evaluated, as a basis for deciding whether those changes should be

Exemplary Core Curricula: Brooklyn College, Daniel S. Claster

incorporated as the "common experience" in all sections.

I would not suggest that the specifics of our Core should necessarily serve as a model for all core curricula although I hope some of these specifics would provide some inspiration for those of you are planning to go forth and do likewise in designing, or redesigning, your own core curriculum. What I think is more important than the substantive material covered in our Core, though, is the process of implementation that has made it a viable and vital part of our curriculum so much so, in fact, that it's really hard to think about what Brooklyn College would be like without its Core.

First, as I'm sure you'll hear from other speakers, is the issue of faculty involvement. There's no question in my mind that the achievements of the Brooklyn Core are in large part due to the fact that faculty commitment to it is wide and deep. At the outset it was stimulated by the faculty committee that put together the final version. Starting with some ideas from the discussion of the previous, failed, draft about disciplines to be included, the committee consulted with departmental, and in some cases interdepartmental, committees to develop outlines for the constituent courses, with a mandate that the Core

"What I think is more important than the substantive material covered in our Core, though, is the process of implementation that

has made it a viable

and vital part of our curriculum . . . . "

was not to exceed the equivalent of a full year's courses.

I should note that there was student representation on the drafting committee for each course. The chairman of that college-wide committee played a pivotal role. I know of no better way to describe that role than to compare it with a description of a peacemaking functionary, known as a monkalun, in a preliterate Philippine tribe that was studied by the eminent anthropologist R. F. Barton around the time of World War I. "To the end of a peaceful settlement," wrote Barton, the monkalun "exhausts every art of Ifugao diplomacy. He wheedles, coaxes, flatters, threatens, drives, scolds, insinuates. He beats down the demands of the plaintiffs or prosecution, and bolsters up the proposals of the defendants until a point be reached at which the two parties may compromise. If the culprit or accused be not disposed to listen to reason or 'shows fight' when approached, the monkalun waits till the former ascends into his house, follows him, and war-knife in hand, sits in front of him and compels him to listen."

Now I don't want to come to the land where the Bowie knife was made famous and suggest that something like that needs to be introduced into civilized academic circles. My point is that simple viable core curricula do not emerge from simply carrying on business as usual. It takes a receptive faculty, but given the frequent preoccupation with things like turf, FTE's, and disciplinary majors, it also takes an unusual degree of, frankly, political spade work to insure that the program will be enacted, and that it will be supported not only by those directly involved in the core, but also by those not directly involved.

Part of the issue of faculty involvement has to do with another issue of Core policy that was agreed upon early in the process of formulating the core. Each department

Daniel S. Claster, Exemplary Core Curricula: Brooklyn College
that undertook to be involved in the Core at the same time committed itself to assigning core courses to full-time faculty, not shunting them off to part -timers. In most departments that participate in the core, a large proportion of the full-time faculty teach core courses regularly, and it is fortunate that the college's best teachers are often most deeply involved in the Core.

Another related element that I think has been essential to the vitality of the core is the expectation that core courses would not be simply a repackaging of existing courses. Some of the core courses, like the interdisciplinary non-Western cultures course you'll be hearing about from Professor Nadal next week, simply didn't exist before 1981. They had to be created de novo. Others, like the music course that Professor Shelden will talk about next week, are very different from the introductory courses that predated the Core.

For disciplinary courses the difference is that, while the usual introduction is sometimes seen as the presentation of preliminaries that must be gotten out of the way to enable students to go on to the real work of advanced courses, it is recognized that the great majority of students in a core course will not be going on to other courses in that discipline. This frees core courses of the burden of so-called "foundation" courses. But it also challenges them to concentrate on just what their disciplines can contribute to the total entity known as liberal education. It is the process of developing and teaching courses with this mandate that has, I suggest, had much to do with the Brooklyn faculty's commitment to our Core.

And of course, as I'm sure you will hear from all the other speakers who have had experience with core curricula, administrative support is vital. In Brooklyn's case, the commitment was demonstrated by both the president and the provost of

the college when they themselves undertook to teach core courses in their own fields at the Core's inception and continued to do so on a regular basis. Moreover, they became, if I may say so, the head cheerleaders for the core, devoting much of their energies to proselytizing among the faculty, students, alumni, the local community, and indeed, practitioners and administrators of higher education at the national level.

Some other, what we might call support mechanisms for the core:

1. In the year between its acceptance and implementation, there was a public hearing of the draft syllabus for each course. Most attendees were faculty and administrators, but some students attended as well. These hearings served the function of letting faculty know what was going on in the planning process for their own as well as other core courses, and they also provided feedback to the syllabus drafting committee.

2. Each summer since the implementation of the Brooklyn College Core, there has been a faculty development seminar. Funded at various times by the NEH and the Mellon Foundation, these seminars have been devoted in part to the presentation of the content of the various courses, but also in large measure to issues of pedagogy evaluation of student papers, methods of stimulating discussion, techniques for encouraging students to integrate their experience in various core courses.

The first seminar, in 1982, has achieved legendary status at Brooklyn College something like the famous Woodstock, New York rock music festival in 1969. I was not present at Woodstock, but I did take part in the 1982 faculty development seminar. It was a memorable experience. About 80 members of the Brooklyn College faculty a diverse group with respect

to geographic origin, age, and ethnic and racial background, but with a high proportion of middle-aged cynical New Yorkers and similarly inclined Easterners emerged from those three days as though they had experienced a religious revival.

There have been a number of efforts to explain that experience. Partly, I think, it was simply a reaction to the opportunity for people from different disciplines to get to know one another in a congenial setting, but even more, I think it had to do with the emphasis on pedagogy. It has often been noted that most of us acquire higher degrees and are offered academic appointments on the basis of having been trained to do research, with little or no training in how to teach. If the subsequent seminars have not achieved quite the level of spiritual experience attained by that first one, they have, nonetheless, continued as a vital component of the Brooklyn Core because they have continued to emphasize pedagogy.

3. Ongoing Core related symposia. At Brooklyn College, the Humanities Institute is the College's principal unit for arranging, and, within a very limited budget, financing public lectures, symposia, and conferences on academic subjects. A sizable proportion of these presentations have been related to the Core. Sometimes the presenters are a few of our own faculty who have gotten together, for example, for a discussion on social, political, and economic theory titled "Why study Marx"? Or a geographer from outside was recently invited to address the topic, "Why study maps?" in conjunction with efforts to introduce an atlas that would be used by students as they progress through various courses in the Core. Such presentations are scheduled to coincide with class hours for at least some sections of relevant courses.

Now, how is it all working? There has never been a formal external

evaluation of the Core, but the college did carry out a comprehensive internal survey after six years of experience with the core. Not surprisingly, there was considerable student resistance to the whole idea of the core at the outset. It was not imposed retroactively upon students who had begun Brooklyn College under another set of requirements, and the college did its best to inform the first class of students subject to Core requirements they had not anticipated. Probably, we did lose some students because of the Core, but it's clear that we have attracted many very good students, from Brooklyn and other boroughs of New York City, who would not have come to us except for the Core. Moreover, we commonly see students who came to us with very limited, vocational expectations of college, often resulting from parental pressure, but who end up choosing areas of concentration with broader intellectual foci as a result of core courses that they would never have chosen on their own. What emerged more specifically from our internal evaluation was that students gave most of the particular Core courses high marks, in terms of interest and value; essentially, they adopted the faculty and administration rationale: that the Core provided Brooklyn College graduates with something worthwhile that they were not likely to have achieved without that structure. There has been some student pressure for choosing, say, eleven of the thirteen courses, but the faculty powers-that -be have resisted, and we have not seen students leaving Brooklyn in droves because of our perceived inflexibility.

Finally, I should mention that there have been some suggestions that there should be some "revitalization" of the Brooklyn College Core after more than a decade of experience with it. As I've indicated, many of the individual courses have been changed substantially over the years, but the overall structure is essentially the one we started with in 1981. There is, of

course, a degree of inertia when any substantial curricular change is contemplated, and some of the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. However, I think the general reluctance to transform the Brooklyn Core is grounded in a more positive feeling. Our sense is that what we have achieved in our core curriculumthe definition of a liberal education for this era, the scope of the particular course, and the realization of a common experiencehas a continuing vitality for us, the faculty, and for our students. p

Exemplary Core Curricula: Brooklyn College, Daniel S. Claster

Donald W. Fiesinger

Utah State University

The Role of the College of Science

in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Program

at Utah State University

log. Consequently, a student may navigate through "Broadening Knowledge" via random selection or taking reputed "easy" courses, which is commonly the case when advising is lacking or major requirements don't specify otherwise. When the "Broadening Knowledge" requirement is completed in this manner, there is a high probability that there was no coherence to this educational experience, no interdisciplinary relationships were established, and no integration of knowledge was achieved.

As an alternative to "Broadening Knowledge," LASP requires students to complete an orientation course (LAS 125) and two "clusters" for a total of not less than 47 credits (on the quarter system). Is the LASP option better just because it requires 17 more credits? Noit's the "clustering" of courses that is critical.

The Cluster Concept

A cluster consists of small sets of related courses organized around a central theme. Choices of courses are still present (an inevitability of the system), but they occur in small discrete categories within each cluster.

he Liberal Arts and Science



Program (LASP) is jointly sponsored by the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) and the College of Science at Utah State University. Science faculty have been full partners involved in every aspect of its creation and evolution. Today, I would like to describe some of the contributions which have been made by faculty of the College of Science and then, as a science faculty member, briefly react to the impact of LASP at the department level.

LASP: What it is and what it isn't

The Liberal Arts and Science Program (LASP) was intentionally designed to be an alternative to the current General Education program which is required of all undergraduates; it was never intended to replace the existing General Education program for some inherent reasons that should become obvious as I continue.

Specifically, LASP addresses only the "Broadening Knowledge" component of General Education; it is not a substitute for other components such as "Written Communication," "Learning Skills," or "American Institutions."

Broadening Knowledge and LASP:

a comparison

The Broadening Knowledge component of General Education consists of credit requirements in each of 4 major areas: Humanities and Arts (HU), Social

Science (SS), Life Science (LS), and Physical Science (PS) for a total of 30 credits (on the quarter system). There are ranges of credits established in each of these areas, weighted away from the major. For example, a chemistry, physics, or geology major would be allowed to count only five credits in Physical Science (PS), up to six credits in Life Science (LS), but must take five to 16 credits in both the Humanities (HU) and Social Science (SS) areas. For a music or art major, the low credit requirement would be in HU and SS and the high credit requirement would be in PS and LS. Once minimums in these four areas have been met, a fifth area, called Integrative Option (IO), becomes available which consists of courses integrating knowledge from at least two of the areas previously mentioned. It has an upper limit of nine credits.

So what is the problem? Where is the need for LASP? The problem arises because each area listed above is represented by what is popularly referred to as a "Chinese menu." At present, there are approximately 32 HU courses, 33 SS courses, 14 LS courses, 20 PS courses, and 35 IO courses listed in the university cata

Construction of a Cluster:

idealism versus reality

The LASP Curriculum Committee has established guidelines for submitting cluster proposals. Every cluster must have the following components:

r a statement or narrative describing the cluster theme

r specific cluster objectives (related to the eight LAS student learning or development goals)

r rationale for categories or groupings of courses used in the requirement block

r course requirements

r capstone requirement, with a brief description of its special attributes which distinguish this course from

"regular" courses

[r Depth of knowledge component for LAS majors]

Some of our idealism in the early days of the LASP program was quickly tempered by reality. To give you an idea of what we went through, we thought we would:

r Accept a given course only when taught by a specific faculty member. Doesn't work: This fosters resentment and charges of academic elitism. Teaching assignments may change at the last minute.

r Restrict choices or have no choices; take only "this" course to meet "that" requirement. Doesn't work: As numbers of LAS students increased with time, class sizes increased, teaching effectiveness and methods changed, some very desirable outcomes were no longer possible, such as close interaction with faculty. Small departments could only offer some classes once a year.

r Require student participation in non-credit seminars or reading groups to increase faculty-student interaction, to stimulate cluster and program identity, and for tracking purposes. Doesn't work: There was no faculty compensation for this time and

USU Science & Society Cluster

Science and its technological and social consequences are of critical current importance. This cluster aims to provide you with: (1) introductions to several areas of the physical, life, and social sciences; (2) an understanding of scientific assumptions, methods, and theories, including their strengths and limitations; and (3) an awareness of the philosophy of science and the scientific bases to urgent social issues.

Cluster Core Requirement:

10 LAS 125 (3) World of Tomorrow

Sci 150 (1) Introduction to Science

In addition to the core, each student must complete a minimum of 20 credits, including at least three credits in each of the sections described below:

A. Physical Sciences Select at least one course:

PS Chem 101 (5) Introduction to Chemistry 1

PS Phyx 120 (5) General Physics Survey 2

PS Geol 101 (5) Introductory Geology 3

1The series PS Chem 121-123 Principles of Chemistry may be used as a substitute.

2 The series PS General Physics 221-223 General Physics-Science or PS Phyx 111-113 General Physics may be used as a substitute.

3The two classes PS Geol 111: Physical Geology and PS Geol 200 Earth History may be used as a substitute.

B. Life Sciences Each student must take:

LS Biol 101 (5) Biology and the Citizen 4

4The series Biol 125-127: General Biology I, II, III may be used as a substitute.

C. Social Sciences Select at least one course:

SS Econ 200 (5) Economics I

SS Anth 101 (5) Introduction to Anthropology

SS PolSc 101 (4) Government and the Individual

SS Anth 110 (5) Human Origins

SS Soc 101 (5) Introductory Sociology

D. Integration of Knowledge On completion of sections A, B, and C, select at least one course:

10 Phyx 216 (3) Energy Phil 325 (3) Medical Ethics

10 Biol 308 (4) Evol & Env Iss. Phil 327 (3) Envir Ethics

10 Biol 310 (3) Bioethics Phil 490 (3) Philosophy of Sci

PS Chem 142 (4) Molecules/Life Polsc 418 (4) Nat Res & Env Policy

Econ 355 (4) Econ & Environ. Soc 333 (3) Medical Sociology

10 Hon 309H (2) Sci Perspect. Soc 462 (3) Sociology of Nat Res

E. Capstone Course After completing course work in sections A through D, each student must complete:

Sci 430 (3) Science in Society5

5Limited enrollment. Teamwork, multi-disciplinary thinking, discussion emphasized. Topics link science, technology, and society.

The Role of the College of Science, Donald W. Fiesinger


Donald W. Fiesinger, The Role of the College of Science

ll as introductory courses, the clusters of courses develop depth of knowledge not attempted in the distribution system. [Inherent problems exist: Science courses tend to be hierarchical whereas Humanities courses do not.]

5. Clusters have advantages for faculty management.

r In interdisciplinary clusters, as opposed to interdisciplinary courses, faculty teach on their home ground in discipline-based courses assuring a large number of competent faculty in liberal education courses.

r Using discipline-based courses assures faculty and departmental "ownership" of the courses and commitment to the program.

r Because of the variety and options available, students, are "spread out" among departments, assuring that no department becomes overwhelmed by providing service courses.

r That each cluster is developed and monitored by its faculty gives the faculty a sense of ownership and pride in liberal education.

6.Clusters foster continuing improvement and change.

r Regular cluster faculty workshops assure cluster coherence and consideration of appropriate changes in courses, substitution of courses, and even termination of courses and clusters.

r Regular interaction among cluster faculty encourages sharing of teaching methods and philosophies.

7. Clusters in conjunction with the orientation course facilitate portfolio assessment of student learning.

r The orientation course provides a common baseline or entry point for initiating portfolio construction.

r The cluster structure provides opportunity for intermediate contributions to portfolios.

r Capstone courses in the clusters provide a terminus at which portfolios can be completed and collected.

students resist extra work when they don't receive credit. [Tracking of LAS students at the institutional level still has not been resolved.]

In the early days of the program, around 1986-87, we pulled together clusters using a pool of existing courses. Department heads had been interviewed by the program director to obtain their recommendations for appropriate courses and their best teachers.

[At this time, I was part of a committee working on a proposal for a cluster entitled "Structure as a unifying principle," which had a theme none of us were comfortable with; it was too general. After struggling for over a year and losing faculty interest, we dumped "Structure" and picked up "Science and Society." Now here was some meat for Science faculty!]

Let me use the Science & Society cluster as an example. The cluster requirements (see previous page) are in the abbreviated format used for distribution to students pursuing the LAS Area Studies Certificate to satisfy the Broadening Knowledge portion of General Education. Note that many courses carry Gen. Ed prefixes (IO, PS, SS, LS, HU). LAS students, however, are not bound to the credit minimums within areas as mentioned previously.


There are a number of advantages derived from this combination of the orientation course and the cluster concept:

1. The orientation course enhances the critical freshman year.

r The orientation course provides an interdisciplinary freshman year experience in a relatively small group which is firmly rooted in academics. Extensive research has shown that this type of course is a significant factor in contributing to student retention and su


2. Al1 clusters address the program's learning objectives.

r Courses within clusters are selected to address specific learning objectives. [To be approved, a cluster must meet at least 7 of the 8 objectives.]

r Courses within clusters are selected and retained in a competitive process which helps keep them focused on program learning goals. [Clusters and courses are reviewed by cluster faculty in annual workshops and by the LAS Curriculum Committee every five years.]

3. Clusters recognize diversity while building toward common objectives.

r A variety of clusters is provided, each having elective options within clusters, to recognize the differing backgrounds and interests of individual students while they pursue the same learning objectives.

r A limited pool of courses within each cluster means students reach the capstone experience with similar though not identical backgrounds, thereby enhancing the shared experience.

4. Clusters address educational breadth and depth with coherence.

r Clustering a limited number of courses about a common theme provides coherence and opportunities for defining connections among disciplines.

r Because each cluster must cross at least three of the areas of natural science, social science, humanities, and arts, the clusters of courses provide breadth of information and epistemological knowledge greater than that required by the distribution program.

r Because each cluster includes advanced as we

so there is a problem with consistency of delivery. The challenge then is to find a way to ensure that all students have an understanding of how science works, not just "the" scientific method, but an understanding of the diverse methods of scientific discovery.

Science 150 -- Science Orientation

The Dean of the College of Science, James A. MacMahon, took the initiative on this issue working with his undergraduate advisory committee. This group was charged as follows: "What should every science major know about science as a way of knowing?" [Ideally, we should ask the same of any B.S.-degree student in the university, not just those in the College of Science.]

On our campus there are other "college orientation" courses, which serve to introduce students to a particular college, its structure, departments, and programs. The College of Science course to be designed was not to be a course of this type.

The final product is described in the current university catalog as follows:

Sci 150 - Science Orientation (1 cr.)

Orientation to the different disciplines in the college [represented by its departments: Chemistry & Biochemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics & Statistics, Geology, Computer Science] and their relationship to each other. Introduction to the scientific method.

The course objectives are:

- to expose students to that phenomenon referred to as "The" Scientific Method and to elaborate on how scientists approach knowledge,

- to expose students to the diverse approaches that a variety of scientists use to address common information or problems,

- to approach science as a "way of knowing" rather than as a body of facts, and

- to impart specific knowledge about a topic of contemporary interest.

This course is required

of all majors in the College of Science (which now includes most science education majors) and now by all students pursuing the Science & Society cluster in LAS. It is recommended that students take this course within their first year on campus. It is taught twice a year (fall and spring quarter) by the dean and a team of faculty drawn from each department in the college.

Again, the purpose of this class is to introduce students to that body of knowledge and habit of inquiry that we call "science." This is accomplished by examining a topic of current societal interest from the perspective of the disciplines represented by each department in the college. The topic investigated to date has been "Global Climate Change," a topic that is constantly in the news and the subject of considerable scientific debate. [There will be a turnover in participating faculty this fall and the topic will probably change.]

The dean gives the initial presentation (What is Science?) which serves as an introduction and orientation to the course. He presents the course objectives, the participating faculty, and the theme or topic to be examined. The second week, the dean continues with the discussion of "science" but within the context of "Global Climate Change," the theme to be examined for the remainder of the quarter. This is followed by a succession of faculty presentations. Each faculty member prepares a handout which contains pertinent information, readings, and selected questions. The tenth week consists of a panel discussion with all faculty participating. Faculty are encouraged to attend throughout the quarter [and they commonly interact or interject

The Role of the College of Science, Donald W. Fiesinger

Development of new Science courses

One of the eight student learning goals or program objectives is entitled: "An Understanding of the Methods and Systems of Natural Science," whereby students are expected to learn to understand and use the methods of scientific investigation, recognize the socio-political implications of scientific research, and recognize the relationships between scientific research and a burgeoning technology.

I think most of us would quickly respond "No problem. My (or our) Chem, Physics, Biol, or Geol 101 (or XXX) meets that objective." And this is where we began, by pumping our intro-level courses into clusters. On closer scrutiny, however, we found that these courses needed some attention. For example, instructors tend to implicitly address the methods of science in many intro courses, rather than doing it explicitly. Some revisions were required, some changes in our attitude had to be made; we needed to rethink what the outcomes of a 100-level intro course should be.

We recognized that many "intro" courses were content driven and designed to meet the needs of diverse constituencies. For example, Elementary Education majors are required to take 100-level courses in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Geology. Certainly the LAS learning goals are appropriate for education majors but the faculty responded: "we only have ten weeks, and I've got to cover so much content material, and . . . ." I'm sure you've heard these arguments many times. Some science faculty were reluctant to change courses specifically for LAS when it could seldom be demonstrated that LAS students were enrolled in a class in any significant numbers. In addition, most intro. courses are taught by different faculty from one quarter to the next and from one year to the next,

Donald W. Fiesinger, The Role of the College of Science
during the presentations by their colleagues]. Two exams are given (the fifth week and finals week; 50% each), which are based on questions distributed at the lectures. A typical schedule would be as follows:

Week Topic (dept. or discipline)

1. What is Science? (Dean of College of Science)

2. Global Climate Change and "The" Scientific Method (Dean)

3. Air Pollution, Chemistry of Ozone (Chemistry)

4. Paleoclimate: proxy records, use of oxygen isotopes (Geology)

5. Mid-term Exam

6. Modeling Weather: visualization and simulation of a severe storm (Computer Science)

7. Temperature of Earth's Atmosphere: long-term and short-term records, mathematical models, correlations, theories (Physics)

8.Associations and Causal Relationships (Statistics)

9.Bio-diversity: anthropogenic vs. geologic change; scientific vs. non -scientific issues (Biology)

10. Integration (Dean and other Science faculty)

11. Second Exam - finals week

Examples of typical questions distributed to students:

- Of what value is the scientific method to society at large?

- How does the scientific method differ from methods of inquiry or study used in the humanities?

- How are the various types of Global Change interrelated?

- How does the earth's temperature indirectly influence the distribution of organisms?

- Where in the atmosphere is the GOOD ozone and where in the atmosphere is the BAD ozone? What distinguishes the concept of good and bad for ozone, since molecules in themselves are neither good nor bad.

- Since Earth's climate has changed drastically many times over 4.5 billion years, why are we worried about one more change? Why do we worry that we are responsible for the change?

- How critical is the geological concept of "uniformitarianism" to our ability to infer Earth's paleoclimates?

- What is the role of computer science in scientific research? in the study of global change?

- If there is a causal relationship between two quantities, do you expect to see an association between measurements on the two quantities? If there is an observed association between measurements on two quantities, does this mean they are causally related?

- What is a biological species? How many are estimated to inhabit the earth? What are the causes of uncertainty in this estimate?

- What are the practical and non-practical reasons for preserving diversity?

For the exams, each faculty member provides a "question" and four "questions" are used on each exam (6 departments = 6 questions + 2 from the dean = 2 exams of 4 questions each). Each faculty member is then responsible for grading his/her own question.

Development of a Science capstone course

The Science and Society cluster was activated out of necessity before a satisfactory capstone course had been established. For the first two years, a Philosophy of Science course was accepted. There was a strong desire among the Science faculty participating in this cluster to develop a new course that would be a true integrative experience. Concurrent with this discussion was a major push within the College of Education,

specifically the departments of Elementary Education and Secondary Education, to involve more Science faculty in their curriculum and in the training of teachers. The Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Geology departments identified faculty who were willing to participate in these ventures. Within about two years, the science specialist in Secondary Education obtained NSF funding to design new courses to improve the training of science teachers at the middle-school and high-school levels (a response to national concerns about scientific literacy in general and the introduction of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) concepts in the state-wide science curriculum). It turned out that the Science faculty participating in the NSF project were the same ones involved in developing the Science & Society capstone.

The NSF project resulted in development of two courses, one a laboratory practicum for Secondary Education Science majors, and the other, Sci 430 - Science in Society, a course which not only met the needs of Sec. Ed. Science majors but also the capstone needs of the LAS Science and Society cluster. [A strong working relationship with Sec. Ed. has continued and we now share joint administration of a number of science teacher education degrees.]

Sci 430 - Science & Society

Sci 430 has undergone considerable evolution since its inception. Originally designed as a team-taught course, it is now taught by one person. By design, the course was to have small enrollments to facilitate group projects and discussions (which we have retained at 25 students per quarter) and a lead instructor with periodic assistance and participation by the remaining three Science faculty. The four departments involved, however, had to address other demands for interdisciplinary participation, such

as the Honors Program, other LAS clusters, other commitments to the College of Education, etc. which strain their financial resources and personnel and make this kind of team teaching impractical. [The College of Science has provided some compensation and it is hoped that as the LAS funding situation improves, additional support may become available.] Regardless of these changes, the course is described in the university catalog as follows:

Sci 430 - Science & Society (3 cr.)

An investigation of the interactions between current scientific topics and societal goals and concerns. Intended as a capstone for the LASP Science and Society Cluster and science teaching majors.

This course has been taught twice a year and fills quickly at its cap of 25 students. [This coming academic year, 1993-94, it will be taught three times, once each fall, winter, and spring quarters.] This class is scheduled twice a week for an extended class period (110 minutes each) to facilitate discussions, demonstrations, and presentations. Some faculty prefer to teach in a classroom with adjoining laboratory facilities to allow them additional flexibility for demonstrations and student lab experiments. [A brief comment with respect to enrollment: although the campus-wide computerized registration system gives students priority by class rank, prerequisite screening is still necessary and this is done by the HASS-Science Advising Center.]

From the brief catalog description above, it does not appear that there is a significant difference between Sci 150 Science Orientation and Sci 430 Science & Society, other than the number of credit hours. Granted, goals are somewhat similar in that we expect students to develop an appreciation for how science works, but the student preparation, teaching methods, and anticipated outcomes differ

considerably. The information which follows is a composite of this course as it has been taught within the last year.

As the name of the course indicates, a primary objective of this course is to develop an appreciation for the role of science in society, realizing that as important as science is, it's role is poorly understood by much of society. Therefore, this course seeks to improve the student's understanding of how science works (a concept introduced in Sci 150), but now, placing more emphasis on the interaction between science and society.

The course objectives are to:

- stimulate critical thinking.

- develop an understanding of data, how it is collected, used (and abused), and reported. [Science must recognize the existence of natural variability. How do scientists deal with it?]

- investigate interrelations between science and society. [What is the role of society in directing scientific research? What is the responsibility of science to society? What are the ethics of science? Why is it important for all citizens to have some level of scientific literacy (as well as ethical, moral, political, and economic concerns and standards).]

- understand science as a "way of knowing." [Realize that science has controversy, that it is not just "a body of facts." Understand how new knowledge is gained.]

A number of interesting techniques have evolved to address these objectives. One of the more interesting ones is use of the card game "Eleusis" to simulate scientific inquiry. For those not familiar with this game, it is a very unique card game that requires both inductive and deductive reasoning. Briefly, a dealer establishes a secret rule demonstrated by a play of cards; other players make hypotheses about the secret rule and play cards to test it. For those

The Role of the College of Science, Donald W. Fiesinger

unfamiliar with the game, I would recommend an article by Romesburg (1979) which describes Eleusis, its analogy to the scientific method, and its effectiveness in reinforcing science teaching.

Another exercise used early in the course is the demonstration of the difference between "feeling" and "knowing." Two presentations are given on the same topic (either by the instructor or by two faculty), one reflecting a "feeling-oriented" argument while the other is "data -oriented." This is then followed by a discussion of what transpired and how well each position or argument was substantiated.

Advertising has been used as a means to foster critical thinking. For example, an issue of "Consumer Reports" which evaluated dish -washing liquids, was used and compared with claims made in TV commercials and magazine advertisements. After discussion, students devised an experiment to further evaluate claims. With "subtle" guidance from the instructor, students defined the problem, set up the experiment, collected data, and wrote up results. Sufficient data was obtained to lead into a discussion of variability, the need for understanding basic statistics, and what is meant by terms such as "best" and "good" in product advertising. Questions arose over the validity and significance of personal endorsements and opinion polls.

Concepts of data collection, variability in measurements, and the need for statistics have been developed using an exercise as simple as giving students 6" rulers and having them measure the length of a 6' or 8' table.

Introducing the interaction of science and society relies heavily on outside readings in the "not-so-technical" scientific literature, such as weekly news magazines, science sections of major newspapers, "New Scientist," "National Geographic," "Omni," "Discover," "American

Donald W. Fiesinger, The Role of the College of Science
Scientist," etc. Another extremely valuable resource has been the manual "Science and Social Issues" by Newton (1992).

To provide additional meaning to the interaction of science and society, one faculty member uses a mock town meeting. This places students in a number of different roles and forces them to see the many facets of a single issue. A case study is presented (such as use of salt on highways vs. loss of roadside habitat or use of pesticides vs. impact on humans), a scenario is established, some statistical data presented, and possible questions for the town meeting posed:

- Are arguments presented by conflicting sides based on opinions or facts? (and how can you tell the difference?)

- Of the statements which are facts, how do you know which ones are certainly true, probably true, or possibly not true?

- What are the "trade-offs," costs versus benefits, of a particular course of action? Is the "trade-off" worthwhile?

- Research the topic in current magazines and newspapers. How much agreement (or disagreement) do you find in these various sources? How do you decide what to believe when you find conflicting statements?

- Are there legitimate concerns on both sides of the issue? Are there objective reasons for citizens to oppose the issue?

- Are there alternatives available? How are alternatives presented and who has the obligation to present them?

Students are divided into groups representing the Town Board, a Sierra -type club or environmental watch group, local businesses or industries to be negatively (or positively) impacted, concerned citizens, etc. The members of the Town Board must conclude the meeting with either endorsement or rejection and defend their position. This makes for very interesting interactions.

Later in the course, students are required to make presentations on an STS topic of their own choosing. To "sustain" student interest, each student must provide a peer review of another student's presentation and turn in a report prior to the formal class presentation. The presentation should relate the topic to science, technology, environment, law, politics, ethics, religion, and/or economics. The student must introduce the topic, present data and interpretation, present societal concerns, and discuss possible resolutions to conflicts or problems posed. The presentation must conclude with a device to stimulate discussion. In one class the presentations conclude with a vote requiring a decision as "informed citizens." Questions that might be addressed in the preparation of these presentations include the following:

- Of what value to society is a public scientifically informed about this topic?

- What are the ramifications of the topic and what are the current attitudes of the public toward the topic on the local, regional, national, or global scale with respect to science, technology, law, politics, etc.?

- How sound are the scientific data which gave rise to the public attitudes expressed above? Has the topic been sufficiently researched? Was the research objective? Was the research supported by a disinterested party? Who stands to benefit from solutions to the problems? (and how?)

- Are scientists in agreement about the topic with respect to cause and effect, seriousness, and best solutions? What is the basis for any disagreements?

- What is the chronology of the topic? Did the problem only recently develop or has it been present (but unrecognized, or "not a problem") for centuries, thousands of years, or millions of years? What is the impact of technology on the topic?

- Identify the basic science and technology related to the topic. What

are the limits to problem solving, scientific discovery, technology, etc. as related to the topic?

- Examine the impact of societal concerns on research, application of technology, problem solving, and decision making as related to the topic.

- What action should be taken by concerned responsible citizens?

- Use costs versus benefit analysis to critically examine your findings. What are the two most obvious trade-offs? Are economic considerations too weighted? Are present benefits to be offset by future costs? Are material values given more consideration than other values?

Because the presentations are to stimulate knowledgeable discussion of the topic, students must provide a reading list for classmates one week prior to their presentation. The presentations are graded on the basis of the clarity of statement of the topic, the scientific component of the discussion, the STS interactions with presentation of opposing view points, and attempts to stimulate discussion. Consideration is also given to the logic and the quality of the presentation (language skills, correct use of grammar, eye contact, etc.).

The course concludes with a final exam and here again we find a number of different techniques used. One faculty member has produced a number of files on "STS" issues, such as use of "untested" food additives, downstream pollution, environmental hazards and government regulations, and testing new drugs on humans. Each file contains an introductory narrative, a few selected readings, and a series of questions (not unlike those posed for the presentations). The files are placed on reserve in the university library and students select a topic of interest and complete the questions as a take-home exam.


What I have attempted to do today is show you some of the efforts that have been made by the faculty in the USU College of Science in collaboration with the Liberal Arts and Sciences Program. These efforts have not been overnight successes nor have they been universally embraced by all faculty and students. Simply put, they represent our best response for the time, resources, and personnel available. A major benefit of these efforts has been the renewed interest among faculty in the way we teach rather than just what we teach. Departments have not been fully compensated for faculty time except when extraordinary resources have become available, such as a curriculum development grant or discretionary funding from the College.

With respect to student credit hours (SCH), the College of Science accrues no benefits from SCH. Consequently, the SCH from Sci 430 goes to the respective instructor's department whereas SCH for Sci 150 is divided equally among the 6 departments in the college. p


The development of the courses described within this report is the result of the efforts of a large number of faculty from the College of Science. Two individuals have made outstanding contributions to these efforts and deserve special recognition: Peter T. Kolesar of the Geology Department and Richard J. Mueller of the Biology Department, the two Sci 430 instructors for 1992-94. I would recommend that any inquiries for further information about the course Sci 430 "Science in Society" be directed to: Peter T. Kolesar, Dept. of Geology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 843224505, (801)

797-3282,[Internet: PETES@CC.USU.EDU].


Newton, DE., 1992, Science and social issues : J. Weston Walch, Publisher, Portland, ME, 235 p. (distributed by Instructional Horizons, Inc., 297 Addison St., San Francisco, CA 941312624)

Romesburg, H.C., 1979, Simulating scientific inquiry with the card game Eleusis: Science Education, V. 63, p.599-608.

Donald W. Fiesinger Dept. of Geology Utah State University Logan, UT 84322-4505 (801) 797-1274 Internet: FATAQ@CC.USU.EDU

The Role of the College of Science, Donald W. Fiesinger

Betty S. Flowers

University of Texas at Austin

Cores, Knives, Temples, and Seeds:

A Radical Look at Curriculum Reform

in a Multicultural Era

his essay is just what the

n the disciplines and the core that have always been present, even if unnoticed. Because of the questions it raises and the tensions it revealsnot creates, but revealsmulticulturalism is at the heart of this discussion about disciplines and the core.

Exhibit B: Knives: Disciplines and

their Cutting Edges

Disciplines develop through research. Research changes our knowledge and thus is always putting the ways things areincluding the way the core isat risk of change. In addition, research interests are specialized. Cutting edges, by definition, are narrow. If you're a scholar who's spent years understanding the nuances of a particular 30-year period of Irish literature, to "cover" "world literature" in a freshman core course can feel ridiculous at best and, at worst, painfully unprofessional. Every generalization is a kind of lie, and a course with broad coverage is of necessity full of such lying by omission.

Scholars, who value depth of knowledge, must act counter to this value if they teach the Divine Comedy in a world literature core course when they don't know Italian or any of the research in the field. It's not surprising, then, that research universities are typically more resistant to core curricula than colleges, or that the alternative to core coursesarea requirementswas a reform



al arts honors degree program with a core curriculum that has been in place for over fifty years; helping to create the legislatively mandated core curriculum of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and writing global scenarios for Shell International in Londonthe future of the world for the next 30 years.

Exhibit A: Cores

A core is the center of somethingthe core of an apple, for example. So when we call a set of courses a "core curriculum," we are acknowledging these courses to be the center of the education we're offering our students.

But what makes these courses central? Typically, two things: commonality and culture. We think of core courses as teaching what everyone ought to know, what we ought to be able to assume is common knowledge. And we tend to think that what everyone ought to know is the best that has been thought and spoken in our culture, plus geography, math, and some exposure to science and the scientific method.

Now along comes something called "multiculturalism," and the whole apple cart is upset. I'm over-dramatizing, of coursebut not by too much, because this new element in the conversation about curriculum raises questions about the nature of the core itself, and exposes tensions betwee

title suggestsa look at curriculum reform, not an argument, or a history, or a suggested core curriculum, even though it might sound like each of these at times. It's radical because it attempts to look at the root of things. ("Radical" means "of or pertaining to a root.") It's a look because it is organized around four central images, or "exhibits": cores, knives, temples, and seeds.

The debate about multiculturalism can almost always be heard in the background, and is foregrounded when needed for particular points, although my subject is not the debate itself. I feel I need to say this in order not to be misunderstood as I lift and drop and lift and drop this terribly sensitive subject. As an academic, deeply devoted to higher education, I feel a kind of gratitude for the way this debate has raised fundamental issues in a new way.

Following are some of the fundamental issues, as I see them from the vantage point of a liberal arts faculty member with four other relevant assignments during the past decade: serving as associate dean of graduate studies, which gave me an overview of the differing concerns of various disciplines in my institution; serving as director of a liber

nationally popularized by a research university, Harvard.

The cafeteria corethat is, specifying area requirements rather than specific core coursesallows faculty to offer courses in their own research disciplines, which, it can be argued, encourages better teaching as well as learning on the cutting edge for the students. Of course, the cafeteria core has its drawbacks, too: students may come away with an arbitrary collection of specialized courses and no general context in which to place them, or no way to connect any course they've taken to any other course.

The conversation about a core curriculum arose, in part, in response to this lack of connection and to the absence of any common knowledge among college graduates. We have very little sense these days about what it means to be an educated person. Gone are the days when a John Stuart Mill could know just about everything about anything considered worth knowing. So does an educated person know a lot about a little? Or a little about a lot? And given that the lot to know grows exponentially every year, what part of all that lot is an educated person accountable for?

Until quite recently, our discussions about the core curriculum usually just ignored these fundamental issues. Most of the time we looked at core curricula that had been used in the past and tinkered with them a bit, using a humanities version of "back to basics" language, or we talked about a "classic core curriculum." Programs like Plan II at the University of Texas received numerous calls from administrators across the country, in part because we had kept the same basic core curriculum for over fifty yearsat least in terms of course titles. What's happened within those courses is another matter. But on the surface, we have a classic core curriculum that is so old-fashioned, it's come into fashion again in that typical pendulum -swing reactiveness of reform


In fact, core curriculum reform might simply have produced another round of "back to basics" had it not been for the fundamental question now being raised by multiculturalism: how do we talk about a coreabout culture and commonalityin a multicultural society in which we appear to have less and less in common?

One standard response is to ignore the question. Instead of completely rethinking what a core curriculum might mean, given this new awareness of our context, many of us simply add a "multicultural dimension" to the curriculum, or designate courses we're already teaching as fulfilling a "multicultural requirement." Some of us also might try to add a new multicultural course or two to the required core.

But, at least in some universities, where the conversation about educational policy is carried on among the various disciplines rather than among administrators, the issue of a "multicultural requirement" implicitly raises other questions related to the very mission of the university.

Exhibit C: Temples

What is a university for? Until relatively recently, universities were temples for the passing on of culture to future leaders of society. A "liberal" education was reserved for gentlemen, those who were free from the necessity of labor.

The university is still held accountable for producing leaders and for passing on the culturebut now more than ever, its mission also includes the advancement of knowledge, including the training of students who are dedicated to advancing knowledge in the disciplines. In that sense, the university is still an elite institution, not expressly designed for the general good of all individuals, except indirectly, through its contributions to research and

Cores, Knives, Temples, and Seeds, Betty S. Flowers

leadership, both of which benefit society as a whole. Perhaps of necessity, faculty members in a research university pledge their primary allegiance to their research disciplines and to those students also dedicated to the disciplines, not to the university as a whole. This has profound consequences for core curriculum reform.

For example, part of the argument supporting the cafeteria core is that the kind of generalized learning a classic core represents should be a function of high school, especially for the kind of bright, able students we recruit for our universities. This argument, however, is usually made on behalf of one's own discipline. Science and engineering faculty tend to complain that their colleagues in liberal arts disciplines are not offering enough basic history, literature, and writing courses, while liberal arts faculty see no reason why they should be responsible for the literacy of all students when science and engineering faculty do not accept the responsibility of numeracy for all students. And if the core is so important, why should the relatively underfunded liberal arts side of the university be required to spend disciplinary energy on general education?

Even popular culture has picked up this internal conversation, although, typically, it goes for personalities rather than ideas, portraying scientific faculty as too specialized to care about undergraduate education, and humanities faculty as too self-indulgent to do anything about important core courses except to use them to convey pet theories.

But these caricatures miss the real issues raised by the multiculturalism debate. The first is that multiculturalism per se is not a discipline. There is no body of knowledge or evolution of research methodology or peer review or anything else that makes up a discipline known as


Betty S. Flowers, Cores, Knives, Temples, and Seeds

"multiculturalism." We can't even agree on how to define it. If it is not a body of knowledge, is it a series of sub-disciplinesfor example, African -American history? Or is it a kind of umbrella term for our hope that students will graduate with a greater degree of tolerance and respect for diversity?

The second issue arises from the first. Given its lack of disciplinary status, multiculturalism or multicultural courses have no natural pool of adequate resources at hand, whether in faculty, resource materials, or time. For the disciplines, time is perhaps the most important, even if it is the least obvious to those outside the disciplines. Engineering students, for example, have to take so many courses to satisfy requirements for their discipline that they have almost no room at all for a core curriculum, much less electives. An additional course can be a real hardship. Substitution of African-American history for Western Civilization to fulfill a core history requirement (a typical kind of worst-case scenario often presented by people opposed to adding any required courses) seems to cut at the idea of the core and takes us back to the worst aspects of cafeterianism. Thus, the debate about a multiculturalism requirement in the core not only highlights the role of the disciplines, but also suggests that the intellectual resources for curriculum reform must come from the evolution of the disciplines themselves.

This leads to the third important issue concerning the disciplines and the core: the past just isn't what it used to be. It used to be that cores evolved slowly, with a book or course being added or dropped every few years or so to make room for a new priority or a new research emphasis in a particular discipline. In this way, the temple of learning has always been a little bit like the temple of Janus, with its double-faced god looking in both directions at onceto the past for "the best that

has been thought and spoken" and to the future, by way of cutting-edge research. The working model relied on a liberal arts core to convey the culture of the past to undergraduates, and a scientific research mission oriented toward graduate students.

But a surprising thing happened in the liberal arts disciplines. When the composition of the faculty began to change, so did the stories of the past. For example, women began to wonder how they got left out of the story of the past, and so they began to look around in different source material such as diaries of so-called ordinary peopleand to employ different research methods and to ask different questions. African-American scholars began to tell a different story about our origins as Americans, as did Hispanic scholars. The stories of a few, whether king or hero, began to give way to the stories of the many. And the old story of the past, the story that informs the traditional core curriculum, began to look more like a sub-discipline and not the storythe coreitself. For example, the story of Columbus could no longer be told as "our story." In fact, the collective "we" seems to have no common story at the moment to pass on to students, and multiculturalism, the gadfly in the core, reminds us of that fact by its very existence. Or, to use another image: multiculturalism reveals not that the emperor has no clothes, but that the clothes have no emperor, no central animating authority to provide continuity and coherence from one costume or course to the next.

Without an authoritative past, all kinds of questions arise. For example, what besides tradition puts Western civilization in the core when it's arguably more important to know about the history of Japan than Henry the Navigator? Why is the Odyssey so often part of the core and not scientific method, or computer literacy, or basic statistical understanding, or technology and its relation to economic

developmentall of which, it could be argued, are closer to the core of our current culture than Homer? Why is the core almost always defined in terms of the liberal arts, when what we need to have in common these days is the capacity to surf on the internet?

Let me summarize what I've said so far in a slightly different way: Multiculturalism, with its lack of disciplinary status and resources, has brought into the open the relation of the disciplines to the core, and at the same time has foregrounded the diversity revealed by new disciplinary research. This perceived diversity has led us to question the traditional, core story about who we are.

Some of us, aware that the story we used to tell about the past no longer has its old authority, appeal to Newman's idea that a cultivated intellect is a good in itself. That argument for a core curriculum still contains within it the invitation to a radical conversation, a conversation about roots. What do we mean these days by a "cultivated intellect?" At this point someone usually chimes in with the reminder that Hitler's henchmen had studied the classics.

Another argument for the core appeals to the value we place on "the best that has been thought and spoken." But this appeal is essentially an appeal to aesthetics, and a radical conversation about aesthetics seems even less likely to occur than a conversation about the cultivated intellect.

That's what it looks like from within the temple. Now let me tell this story again from outside the templefrom what we academics are fond of calling "the naive perspective." I'll use my own discipline, literature, as the example in this story, but I could tell a similar story about other core disciplines. This is what people outside the temple used to think was going on insideand what some people still assume does go on.

Before the inclusiveness of our

cultural heritage began to be questioned, the teaching of literature served two purposes, one public, and one private. The public purpose was community building. Critics speaking from the margin might point out that the underlying purpose was the building of an elite community. Even if these critics are right about the nature of the community, the process of community building was the same. Literature expressed our values and moved us to feel them, to have experiences that embodied them. Perhaps if we could weep with Hecuba, we might be moved to fulfill our public or familial obligations. If we could admire both the courage of Achilles and the nobility of Hector, we would be prepared to call forth the best from within ourselves when we were tested and to sacrifice ourselves for a larger cause. Literature provided models that stirred us to emulation and experiences that deepened our compassion.

The private purpose for the inclusion of literature in the curriculum, the one that gradually began to supersede the public purpose, was the enlargement of the capacity for individual freedom. Many heroes of western literature enact the familiar drama of breaking away from society in order, eventually, to redeem or reform it, or, at the least, to expose its flaws. By courageously breaking away from the accepted norm, the individual found a deeper truth. And by reading these stories of individual courage, the reader was given a personal mandate for expressing hisand sometimes herindividuality. We valued skill in reading literature because we believed it developed our human capacity to imagine something different.

To some extent, the public purpose of socialization and the private purpose of liberation were contradictoryand that is one reason why literature classes traditionally spawned lively discussions about values and decisions. It may be hard

to believe now, but we talked about the characters as if they were real people, who could be judged and even loved.

The state of academic knowledge is different now. We study characters as constructs of language, and we are told that even the self is a social construct. We know that the philosophical search for truth is an enterprise with no hope of an outcome. We know that history is the story told by the victor. We are even told that the literature of freedom and dignity "stands in the way of further human achievements.'' 1 Poets may agree with Wallace Stevens that "The final belief is to believe in a fiction, which you know to be a fiction, there being nothing else," 2, and philosophers may agree with Wittgenstein that "Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same," 3 but nobody has figured out how to use such ideas to hold a society together.

Of course, this is an oversimplified description of the relation between academic knowledge and implicit public values in this post -industrial, post-modern, post-literate culture. We may, however, draw one significant conclusion from this perspective on where we are now: the argument from authority is no longer persuasive. We can no longer teach certain texts simply because they've always been taught. What this means for the study of literature at all levels is that although we can encourage the process of curriculum building, we can no longer mandate the content of the curriculum.

So, without an emperor, what are we to do? How do we talk about a coreabout culture and commonalityin a multicultural society in which we appear to have less and less in common?

Exhibit D: Seeds

Here is my modest but radical proposal: if, in this multicultural moment, we have no common and usable past, why not begin to design

Cores, Knives, Temples, and Seeds, Betty S. Flowers

our core curriculum from the future? By this I mean, instead of thinking of the future as a projection of the past, we might look at the present from the perspective of the future we want. To create such a core, however, would require us to engage in those radical, or root conversations about what we value. As the old saying puts it, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." If we have no particular goals for a core curriculum, there's no point in building one.

I'm enough of a traditionalist to feel that while we may not be able to agree on a rational basis for the content of a core curriculum, we can agree on what attributes this culture wants its educational system to cultivate. In order to start such a conversation about values, I'll venture a description of what I think we Americans value most. Some of us may not agree with these values, but even so, they are a powerful unseen influence in the curriculum debate. Because the core curriculum debate for higher education must take account of core values for the entire curriculum, I have not restricted my description to colleges and universities, but have thought in terms of the goals of the entire range of educational experience.

What we want:

( 1 ) We want self-reliant, independent people who solve their own problems . We can argue that we should take better care of the dependent people in our midst, especially our children, but the fact is that we value independence more and that we have constructed our society to reward independence. This fact should make us look with a little less derision at studies that attempt to clarify the relation between self-esteem and success in education, and it should lead us to re-assess pedagogical techniques that tend to couple educational experiences with humiliation.

For example, one reason so many students dislike poetry is the

Betty S. Flowers, Cores, Knives, Temples, and Seeds
association of the study of poems with feeling stupid or mystified or that the poem is a puzzle to which only the teacher can have the key. Students are far more confident about proseand much more willing to study it.

(2) We want productive people who are capable, successful, and proud of their work. Sometimes we talk about "competitiveness," but perhaps a phrase we hear more often in relation to schools is "to strive for excellence." We expect people who have learned to value this ideal in school to beat competitors in world markets.

(3) We want innovative people. We want scientists and discoverers and inventors. We value the new, especially when expressed as a product or an advance in technology.

(4) We want people who can appreciate culture . We may not be as supportive of artists as some other cultures, but we do want people who can take pleasure in human products like art and music and literature, and who are not simply addicted to consuming material goods or alcohol and drugs.

(5) We want good citizens. We value our tradition of civil disobedience even though polls show that most of the time, we don't agree with the protesters. We want our neighbors to obey the law and to respect us and our property. We want informed voters who will help preserve our democratic values and our way of life.

(6) We want parents to take responsibility for raising their children, and we want the children themselves to grow up with a sense of responsibility. We feel quite strongly about the value of the traditional family, even though statistics show that such configurations are not typical of most American families now. Even so, we want individuals to feel responsible for those nearest them.

This model is extended to the community as wellwe want individuals within the community to reach out to help those less fortunate. We value the individual impulse to do good more highly than collective solutions to general social problems. We would rather have a society of volunteers than one of social engineers.

If a core curriculum were constructed to develop these values, it would have to be shaped by pedagogical objectives rather than specific texts. More difficult yet, many of these objectives could not be measured in standard ways. That would not deter meI would rather have a classroom in which teachers and students were aiming at the very highest ideals than one in which the teacher was teaching character identification so that students could pass an objective exit test. If we could make students memorize every fact that cultured people think other people should know, they might do well on an exit testbut a year later, they wouldn't know the difference between Hamlet and omelette, and worse, they wouldn't care. If our culture makes no sense to students, if it doesn't become important to their lives, we've not accomplished our purpose.

A Curriculum that Embodies these Values:

(1) If we want self-reliant, independent people who solve their own problems , we should offer courses that produce knowledge leading to confidence in the worth of individuality and of one's own individuality.

These courses would emphasize sameness and difference. I can imagine courses offered here from the social sciences, especially history, as well as languages, geography, learning theory, and mythology. In the last twenty years, we've learned a great deal about human development and about how people learnand yet very little of this

is taught directly to students. I would look at such course proposals not simply for content but for how their designs incorporated the mandate to encourage "knowledge leading to confidence."

English courses offered in this category would be organized to stress the cultural heritage of different groups and would probably be taught historically.

(2) If we want productive people, we should offer courses that produce knowledge leading to confidence in creating expressions of one's own individuality.

Courses in written and oral communication would be especially important here, although I think students would respond well to multi -disciplinary courses that encouraged them to experiment with music and art in the same setting in which they practiced writing more effectively. Building confidence requires starting with the base students already have. Teen-age students, for example, pay a great deal of attention to self -expression in consumer goods and hairstylesand yet they see no link between themselves and their writing, or, for example, between applying focused attention to details of grammar in their essays and achieving certain very specific effects of self presentation in dress.

Rhetoric and argumentation are natural here, not as a reflection of Aristotelian thought, but as among the best ways to insure that the student's own individuality survives in a society overwhelmingly dedicated to persuasion of various sorts. Older students may not care that "All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal." But when they are introduced to the logical fallacies, they become fascinated, so eager are they to learn new ways not to be taken in. Some are then seized by the intellectual joy of building and destroying arguments, and here critical

theory can be introduced.

(3) If we want innovative people, we should offer courses that stress curiosity leading to appreciation of nature .

Science and ecology and the study of human nature belong herebut again, the emphasis is not simply on the subject matter, but on the encouragement of curiosity. Younger children are naturally curious about the human body, for example; older ones need lab experiences in science classes, even if, for practical reasons, these labs must be simulated on a computer.

(4) If we want people who can appreciate culture , we should offer courses that stress curiosity leading to appreciation of created objects.

It is more important to teach the love of poetry than the content of any particular poem. This is not to say that the love of literature can be taught only by reading texts students like. But unless we are teaching under an ideal of curiosity leading to appreciation, we will tend to introduce "great books" as texts to be covered rather than as pleasures to be discovered.

(5) If we want good citizens, we should teach courses that generate concern leading to thoughtful participation as a world citizen .

Courses in government, geography, history, and other traditional disciplines belong here. But a major emphasis in each of these courses would be the generation of concern about issues and the fostering of analysis of them rather than simply the dissemination of information.

Literature courses taught under this rubric could include the study of foundational religious texts like the Bible and the Koran as well as mythology and world literature in translation. In these courses, relatively more attention would be paid to content rather than to language and

form, as might be the case of the literature courses under "curiosity leading to joy."

(6) If we want parents who take responsibility for raising their children, we should teach courses that generate concern leading to thoughtful participation as a mentor.

We all teach simply by acting as we do. Parents teach children by precept and example. Students should be made aware of what they have been taught, of what they are teaching by example, and of what they would like to teach. The knowledge in human development and child rearing that we have recently gained should become an important part of the curriculum.

In more practical terms, students should practice teaching other students as a way of learning themselves. Credit/no credit courses in volunteerism are springing up on college campuses. Some critics argue that courses such as these simply dilute the curriculum. I would argue that if these courses are taught in conjunction with thoughtful discussion, analysis, and writing, they become a way of tying the curriculum together and of linking intellectual concerns and capacities with the problems we face in practical life. In this area we can perhaps begin to meet the injunction, "Only connect."

Summary: A core curriculum reflecting the values of our society might include the following objectives:

· Knowledge Leading to Confidence in the Worth of the Individual

· Knowledge Leading to Confidence in Expressing that Individuality

· Curiosity Leading to Appreciation of Nature

· Curiosity Leading to Appreciation of Created Objects

· Concern Leading to Thoughtful Participation as a World Citizen

· Concern Leading to Thoughtful Participation as a Mentor

Cores, Knives, Temples, and Seeds, Betty S. Flowers

A few years ago, I attended a national meeting on excellence in the liberal arts curriculum. I went from workshop to workshop listening to what professors had to say about the core curricula they were revising and what they were doing to upgrade the general education of their students. Each group of educators offered a different paradigm. What they all seemed to have in common was a challenging reading list for the studentsa not surprising result when professors get together. While I was interested in this aspect of the new models, what interested me most was that in spite of the wide diversity of new programs, in spite of the fact that many of these programs were operating on assumptions that clearly clashed with others, all of them worked.

Why is it that so many different and conflicting models of a core curriculum worked? It clearly was not the models themselves. What all these professors who were excited about their new core curricula had in common was that they had been supported by their institutions or by grants to get together to plan. They believed in what they were doing. The students felt their passionate interest and responded. In every case, students ranked the new program highly and did well on assessment testsno matter what the curriculum.

That leads me to the conclusion that the core must be constructed by the teachers of each institution, for they are the ones who should know best both their subjects and their students. Ideally, the process of creating the core brings together teachers for discussion about what is most important in what they do. We should think of the core not as a list of books but as an ongoing attempt to connect teaching with our values.

Perhaps the best general education for all students does not stress a specific mandated core curriculum as the highest priority, but the intense

Betty S. Flowers, Cores, Knives, Temples, and Seeds
engagement with inquiring, intelligent, cultured minds, with human beings who are passionate about their subjects, and wish, out of sheer love of the subject, to share what has excited them. That is the heart of a liberal education, the core, and that, I believe, is how people are educated to embrace culture. Too often when we talk about the curriculum, we end up arguing about the equivalent of the seating at the banquet table and not about the banquet itselfthe food, the people, the depth of conversation.

The core must be developed from within, not mandated from without and it is this process of development, this dialogue among colleagues and across institutional and disciplinary boundaries, that should be supported by granting agencies.

To critics who long for this dialogue to produce a single, unified core curriculum as a reflection of what we would hope to be a unified culture, I feel compelled to say: the central heritage of our American past arises not out of a unitary cultural vision nor even out of singular visions of individuals, but out of the differing backgrounds and practices of individual communities. We are most faithful to our tradition when we support community building and the individual visions of those differing communities. We are most useful to these communities when we support conversation among them and knowledge and appreciation of our differences as well as of our shared values.

Conversations about what we value are the roots for a core in which we could find the seeds of the future. Such conversations are difficult, but not impossible, even in a secular society. We may never again be able to agree on a common story of who we arethe past has become much more interesting and diverse. But perhaps we can begin to find our commonality in the future to which we


aspire. As a multi-culture, perhaps we can begin to see the core, which is the heart of our curriculum, as a way of relating to each other through our diversitynot because we have a common past but because we are striving to understand how we can create a common good. p


1. "We admire people to the extent that we cannot explain what they do, and the word 'admire' then means 'marvel at.' What we may call the literature of dignity is concerned with preserving due credit. It may oppose advances in technology, including a technology of behavior, because they destroy chances to be admired and a basic analysis because it offers an alternative explanation of behavior for which the individual himself has previously been given credit. The literature thus stands in the way of further human achievements" (B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity , 1971 [New York: Bantam/Vintage ed., 1972], p. 55).

2. "Adagia," Opus Posthumous (New York: Knopf, 1957), p. 163.

3. "If there is any value that does have value, it must lie outside the whole sphere of what happens and is the case. For all that happens and is the case is accidental.

What makes it non-accidental cannot lie within the world, since if it did it would itself be accidental.

It must lie outside the world.

So too it is impossible for there to be propositions of ethics.

Propositions can express nothing that is higher.

It is clear that ethics cannot be put into words.

Ethics is transcendental.

(Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same.)"

(Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus , 1921, O.F. Pears and B. F. McGuinness, trans. [London: Routledge, 1961], p. 71.)

Clyde Freeman Herreid

State University of New York at Buffalo

Science Literacy

by Curriculum Reform

SUNY at Buffalo - A Case Study


et us take as a given the

rm. Moreover, as grizzled veterans of the University, they simply didn't believe that any administration or faculty would support the necessary bold changes that would be needed. Being cynics, they wouldn't play the game. It was seen as an exercise in futility.

Without science faculty input, curriculum reform was impossible. The Vice Provost's solution was creative. He asked the Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics to set up a committee of his faculty to deal with the question of how we at Buffalo could solve the scientific illiteracy problem. He didn't mention a word of the Undergraduate College. He asked for the Science Committee to simply think about the science teaching. The committee was rapidly assembled and the first couple of meetings went as expected.

There was the usual agonizing over the nation's ills, the blaming of our inadequacies on parents and K-12 schooling, and the proposing of national prescriptions which were largely out of our hands. Then the Science Committee got down to business. In a meeting or two they hammered out the principles and courses which might be part of a new science and math curriculum package. They didn't expect the plan to come to much. They submitted their report to the Vice Provost who seemed pleased. They thought their job was done. They had acquitted themselves

sorry plight of science education in the U.S.A. Few doubt this assertion, whether one is impressed with the results of comparing the science literacy of U.S. school children with that of other nations, or the loss of student interest in science through our nation's educational pipeline, or Miller's survey of our country's lack of scientific literacy, or the steady parade of articles by economists and politicians decrying our loss of international leadership.

Yet there are few reasons to believe that any serious reform is at hand. As always, there are instances of creative teachers producing special experiences for their students, but there are few cases of an institutional response to the problem. The nation's schools have yet to come to grips with the issue. In rare instances where something novel is being tried, few people know of these efforts and practically no information has been collected about their successes and failures. In this article, I tell of the efforts of a major public university, the State University of New York at Buffalo, in its attempt to deal with the issue of scientific illiteracy.

Nine years ago, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, James Bunn, had a vision: He wished to create a small college curriculum within the walls of a large public research university. He saw the need to re-invent a new liberal arts curriculum, to return to a core progra

m of course work leaving behind the cafeteria style selection of courses which made up the curriculum of so many colleges and universities as legacies of the Vietnam era of academic permissiveness.

With appropriate well wishes and seed money from his administrative superiors, he sent out invitations to senior faculty across the university to come together and explore the vision. Forty or so faculty made up the original members of this incipient Undergraduate College. Over months, they began to formulate their mission, define the goals and discuss possible courses. One group was largely absent from this process: the scientists. With one exception, no one from the National Sciences and Mathematics or from the Health Sciences faculties volunteered to be part of this process.

Why were the scientists absent? First and foremost in their eyes, research had a higher priority than teaching. Anyone seen contributing to these discussions clearly had their priorities wrong. After all, we were a research university, weren't we? This argument, while compelling to most scientists, did not explain the absence of the great science teachers who were also loathe to get involved. They stated they did not have the long term tolerance for the interminable philosophical discussions on education and curriculum that they knew would be necessary for curriculum refo


Clyde Herreid, Science Literacy by Curriculum Reform

ience, yet they seek connections with other disciplines so that students sense the inter-relatedness of science.

(2) They assume that students have a math, statistics or computer science background.

(3) They focus on both content and process. That is, their goal is to teach the terms, concepts and principles of the field as well as showing how the scientists of the discipline make discoveries.

(4) They will show the impact of technology on the field and show how the field affects society.

(5) They will not survey all parts of the discipline, but will focus upon only a few fundamental concepts. "Less is more" is the rallying cry.

(6) The laboratories will have an emphasis upon simplicity teaching experimental design, data collection and analysis.

(7) The laboratories will be inexpensive, not solely for the financial advant


Math/Science Requirements for Non-Science Majors

(6 semesters)

1st Yr. Mathematics (2 semesters)

Mathematics, Computer Science, or Statistics

2nd Yr. Basic Science (2 semesters w/1 lab)

Astronomy Chemistry

Geology Physics


3rd or 4th Yr. Great Discoveries in Science (1 semester)

Microworld Macroworld

Quantum Physics Cosmology

Atomic Theory Plate Tectonics

Molecular Genetics Evolution

3rd or 4th Yr. Scientific Inquiry (1 semester)

Case studies in Science

Figure 1


age, but because many principles are better taught if fancy equipment is not involved. They are more likely to be "Mr. Wizard" experiences than involve the use of mass spectroscopy.

(8) The laboratories do not have to follow traditional patterns but may involve field work and experiments at home ("kitchen experiments," or "experiments in a zip-locked bag"). They may be case study experiences and discussions. The term laboratory is probably not appropriate. The alternative word "practicum" has been suggested. We are looking for "experimental learning," " hands-on" work, "reality-based" experiences.

The Upper Division Courses

The most unique feature of Buffalo's Science Curriculum is its two required upper division courses,"Great Discoveries in Science" and "Scientific Inquiry." They are single semester courses taken as either juniors or seniors, preferably in the order shown in Figure 1. Great Discoveries was designed to cover



well with a minimum of posturing, philosophizing and pontificating. They went back to their laboratories.

Of course, the Vice Provost wasn't through with them, nor was his successor, or the Undergraduate College or the Faculty Senate. The scientists had to argue and defend their proposal with ever deepening commitments. A few years later they turned around to find their original proposal largely intact, and it was soon part of the Undergraduate College's new undergraduate requirements for all entering freshmen in arts and sciences in the fall of 1992. A new era in science education had begun at Buffalo.

Buffalo's Science and Mathematics Curriculum

Arguably, Buffalo has the most extensive science and mathematics requirements in the country. It consists of six courses of work and 21 semester hours of credit. Figure 1 shows the highlights. The program consists of a year of mathematics which will be typically taken in the Freshman year. This may be either traditional mathematics such as calculus, or may be statistics or computer science. Obviously, these experiences are not equivalent but they allow different options for students with different career plans.

In the second year, students take a two semester sequence of a basic science course including one semester with laboratory. Although traditional courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and geology will fulfill the requirements, special courses are being developed to fit the needs of the non -science major. They are not watered down versions of typical major courses. In fact, some faculty argue these courses are the preferred way to teach all students.

The new courses have several characteristics:

(1) They are an in-depth look at a single area of sc

Science Literacy by Curriculum Reform, Clyde Herreid

three of the great paradigms of science. Its scope is more limited than a similarly named course at the University of Denver. There are two versions of our Great Discoveries course: Macroworld and Microworld. In Macroworld the paradigms are the Big Bang Model of the Universe, Plate Tectonics, and Evolution. These are large scale events in time and space. The Macroworld paradigms are largely historical and observational in the collection of data. They examine the fundamental question, "How did things come to be?"

In Microworld the paradigms are Quantum Physics, Atomic Theory and Molecular Bonding, and the Central Dogma of Molecular Genetics. These deal with small scale events in time and space. The Microworld paradigms are largely experimental in terms of data collection. They tend to deal with the fundamental question, "How do things work?" In both courses, students obviously learn the essential content of the Macroworld and Microworld paradigms, but they get other insights. Each course looks at the historical and sociological development of the idea: i.e., students hear about the views that preceded our current models, the observations and experiments that forced us to abandon the old paradigms, the people involved in making the discoveries, the problems that the new paradigm solved, and the problems which are not yet resolved. In short, we follow Thomas Kuhn's approach described in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Why were these paradigms chosen? The concepts were obviously large and comprehensive enough that they represented the major paradigms of our sciences of biology, physics, chemistry and geology. They were not ideas which would likely be superseded in the life-time of the student. The discoveries that students would read or hear about over the years could easily be fit into the framework of the paradigm. Also, the paradigms

conceptually fit together, the topics deal with similar philosophical issues or the ideas in one paradigm help explain ideas in another paradigm.

Which Great Discovery course will a student take? This is determined by their choice of a basic science course. If they took a course in physics or chemistry as sophomores, they would be assumed to have a good understanding of Microworld types of science. Consequently, to gain experience in other scientific approaches they must take Macroworld. On the other hand, if they took a course in astronomy, geology or environmental biology, they would have to take Microworld. The integrated program is designed to guarantee exposure to a broad base of scientific content by coupling together a detailed hands-on experience in one field with a focused look at 3 paradigms with a different type of approach.

"Scientific Inquiry" was planned to show how scientists actually do their jobs. Most science courses, especially those for nonscientists, do not effectively communicate this element of science. Their misconceptions about the process of science may be enormous. They usually have no idea how long it takes to run an experiment, the difficulty in planning an experiment, collecting data or analyzing it. They have only vague ideas about how papers are written, how mistakes can be made, why experiments on data can be ambiguous, or the need for experimental replication. They are misled by the kind of experiences they have in their student laboratories which are not novel or even discovery-based but are descriptive, demonstrative, and confirmatory in nature. This is practically the antithesis of a researcher's experiences in a laboratory. It is no wonder that students are apt to be bored and confused. The boredom exists because their is little element of surprise. The confusion

exists because they believe science is confirmatory. Students do not understand how discoveries are made. Solutions seem to drop from the sky. They are confused about the differences in "textbook science" and "frontier science." Textbook science is largely settled. As presented by most authors, there are facts and principles to be learned and appreciated. Hence, student labs are logically similar.

Students have little understanding of the confusion, discipline, patience, tedium or excitement in the day of an average scientist trying to inch his or her way toward the solution of a mundane problem. They do not understand the humanness of the process. So they can't understand how scientists make mistakes, how they can contradict one another or why we don't know the answers to problems. They are easily misled by statements by pseudo-scientists. They don't understand why we must have basic research rather than only applied research. Scientific Inquiry was designed to bring a sense of the real process of sciences to the students and to help them develop skills in critical thinking about science.

We choose to use case studies in science to reach these goals. The ideal cases come from "frontier science", reports of "discoveries" making it into newspapers or on T.V. Cases involve public policy issues and implications. Thus, these cases have immediacy and relevance built into them. The cases are not to be settled issues, so that scientists are seen grappling with differences of opinion and uncertainty. Inadequate experiments and fragmentary data are the norm.

Cases involving AIDS, cancer and smoking, global warming, toxic waste disposal, endangered species, acid rain, DNA fingerprinting, genetics and homosexuality and cold fusion are ideal. To summarize, the course's emphasis is to expose students to the process of science rather than its content.


Clyde Herreid, Science Literacy by Curriculum Reform


Progress and Problems

Development and planning of courses have proceeded unevenly. As committees have wrangled and chairs have pleaded for resources, we have been fortunate to have received a U. S. Department of Education grant. This award from the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE) allowed us to set up a training program for faculty who would teach Microworld, Macro-world and Scientific Inquiry. The grant was of psychological as well as practical importance. On many occasions in the final public debates about the merit of the curriculum, the FIPSE Award was cited as evidence that people outside Buffalo believed in our program. It is problematic whether the science program could have survived intact without FIPSE support.

The FIPSE grant provided summer support for a couple of dozen faculty to pass through a training program to teach our novel courses. As part of the program we hired students to act as critics of faculty lectures, demonstrations, case studies and discussions. This unique approach was widely hailed by participants as the ideal way to try out novel teaching methods and new course material.

Coming out of the summer faculty workshop were teams of faculty prepared to teach pilot versions of the courses. As a result, over the past three years we have sorted out many of the glitches and problems. It is obvious that it is too early to tell what the impact of the new curriculum will be. We have had good evaluations on individual courses but until the entire curriculum has been in place for several years, we will not be able to know the educational benefits of the program.

But today three benefits seem evident. One, numerous faculty from different departments are actively


talking together in ways that were previously absent. New friends and new collaborations have developed. Two, faculty exposed to new teaching methods in the summer workshop are now teaching science in new ways. They are trying out cooperative learning, team learning, and case studies even in their traditional classes with great success. Three, we have solved an external problem facing all general education courses: poor attendance. Whereas, absenteeism is as high as 33% to 50% in general education classes, in the new courses it has dropped to 5% to 10%. Maybe we're doing something right. p

What is a Bachelor's Degree?

f we want to answer the


y, it changes. I leave every classroom, changed in some way. My knowledge is altered. I acquire new knowledge just because a process has occurred.

By the way, do you know how the Industrial Revolution culminated? The faculty at the University of Glasgow had a demonstration model of the Newcomen Steam Engine to teach students about steam power in their natural philosophy class. In 1763 the model needed an overhaul so they went to their young instrument maker.

Of course the instrument maker's name was James Watt. His natural curiosity changed steam power and it changed Western Civilization beyond recognition. That's the kind of synergy that should flow from the classroom and so seldom does these days.

But a good classroom does still more. It also changes the preservation of knowledge. Teaching is winnowing. You see, ever more clearly, what part of knowledge is gold and what part is dross. Teaching is where preservation begins. Preservation continues with the students themselves. Surely the most important facet of preserving knowledge is the part where we embed it in our successive generations.

Let's apply this parsing to research. The word itself is confusing. Why don't we use the word search to describe the quest for new knowledge? We don't; we put the prefix re in front of it. The word suggests we're plowing over ground other people have already tilled.

Yet, research does involve

John H. Lienhard

University of Houston

question, "What's an appropriate University Core?" we have to back up. Let's begin with the question, "What's a bachelor's degree?" For that is the single first degree we give, and we give it to all our students. "Baccalaureate" becomes a fit metaphor for much that we do wrong.

The word "bachelor" traces to the 14th century. The word "bac-calaureate," by the way, is simply a Latinized version of the English word bachelor. Bachelor comes first. Baccalaureate is just a made-up word. It's the kind of academic fancification we so often confuse with reality. The word Baccalaureate becomes a kind of metaphor for much that we do wrong.

Now: we've always used the word bachelor for our first level of university certification. By long tradition, it's always meant a person grounded in the Liberal Arts. And the Liberal Arts is the body of knowledge meant to prepare anyone for the role of a free citizen in a free society. That's what universities tried to achieve in the 14th century. I hope it's what we're still trying to achieve today.

And how do we accomplish Liberal Educationthis education to give us the freedom to make choices? We use something called the University. Trouble is, the universitythe place where we execute this primal functionis a place were we also execute a bewildering array of related functions.

I don't think there's much hope of sorting out Liberal Education if we can't first say, in clear terms, what the Univ

ersity itself is all about. Let's talk about that first.

The University, any university, has only one purposeonly one. All we do must be measured against one and only one purpose. Our sole purpose is: The acquisition, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge. Anything that doesn't serve that purpose is not our business. And I also firmly believe that everything we do has to reflect all three parts of that purpose.

Universities everywhere reduce this simple and obvious objective to a terrible uninformative mantra. It goes: "teaching-research-and-service teaching-research-and-serviceteaching-research-and-service." The problem with this version is that it can mean anything. We break what we do down into these three pieces. Then we play with the pieces and forget to re -assemble them.

Our threefold charge has to be recast in terms of knowledge and nothing but knowledge. Our only reason for beingis to acquire, disseminate, and preserve knowledge.

And remember, I've also asserted that anything we do must reflect all three partsacquisition, dissemination, and preservation.

Once you parse things this way, teaching, research, and service take on a whole different coloration. At first blush, you might take teaching to be a matter of pure dissemination. But it isn'tnot when you do it well. I acquire new knowledge every time I walk into the classroom. When I hold what I know up to the lens of student curiosit


John H. Lienhard, What is a Bachelor's Degree?

journalistic reporting of textbook materialthen I turn service into an activity that has no business on a university campus. Of course, if I let my classroom teaching reduce to journalistic reporting of textbook material, then I turn teaching itself into an activity that has no business on campus.

Our College of Optometry runs a large clinical facility. The purpose is to train students. It serves not only the dissemination of knowledge, but the acquisition and preservation of knowledge as well. The people in optometry are very clear that their clinic only exists to serve knowledge -based objectives. Sure, people's eyes are treated inexpensively, but that by itself would never justify the existence of the clinic at a university.

I think we have to apply tests like this to all the things we do. We define the university by what we do. If we stop weighing our activities against such tests, then we let the academy drift until it turns into some kind of ill-defined monster.

I want to say something more about the preservation of knowledge. Since it's the function we always think of last, maybe it's the function I should stress hardest. Thomas Carlyle was content to call the university, simply a collection of books. I take his " books" as a metaphor for preserving knowledge. It's our failure to remember that does the worst mischief to the academy. We acquire knowledge, then we forget it.

Yesterday, Carol Schneider said something very important to me. She said that students who haven't learned to care about what they've learned haven't learned. That's what I mean by forgetting. And it's not just the students. We constantly replicate last year's research because we forget that someone else already did it. Look at the acid paper books of the 19th centurythat intellectual treasure! We're letting it rot away and be lost in

reworking. I've spent the last six years studying the most primary form of knowledge acquisitionthe process of creative invention.

What I've found is that the great inventors and scientists are very well informed. At the same time they search the inside of their heads for ideas, they search the external world for possibility. Invention is recognizing ideas out of context. And you can't do that until you know some contexts. In that sense, research in any field ties intimately with both dissemination and improved preservation of knowledge. Once we parse research against the clean yardstick of knowledge, several things change.

Most of us have a hard time separating research from the outward markers we use to judge promotion and tenure. When some people say research, they think of publication in certain periodicals or in certain presses. I've actually heard some administrators apply the word research to extramural funding. Talk about absurdity! That reminds me of the man who tried to heat up his living room by holding a match under the thermostat.

So what is research, really? Research is reordering knowledge. That's one important way we preserve knowledge into the future. It's also acquiring new knowledge. And it's telling people about that reordering and acquisition. It is nothing else. It is not one thing else. Extramural funding can help research, but it can also be an impediment. It's a tail that's often been known to wag the dog.

Now, how about service? That also crosses several lines. We disseminate information directly in the classroom. But we also inform a broader publicas a service. My radio program is a kind of university service to the community. But it's a dissemination service. It also represents my own reordering of knowledge, and a lot of original acquisition of knowledge. If I lose sight of thatif I let the program fall back into

our libraries without proper preservation. That's because we forget that anything not-current has any value except as an antique.

It is a consequence of Betty Sue Flowers' "Knives" (see page 26) that we live in an eternal present. Only the last 10 minutes of recorded history means anything to us. We give no credit to a scholar for critically reviewing scientific research over the last 30 years. Most research done in 1960 might just as well not have been done at all. We encourage students to resell their textbooks because we figure there's nothing in them they'll need to know to get a grade in the next course. In other words, once we remove the forgotten preservation function from our handling of knowledge, we might as well forget acquisition and dissemination as well.

Finally, an example of what I mean by testing our teaching against this tripartite objective: Yesterday, at Carol Schneider's session, there was a lively discussion of the dangers of calling on students to reveal themselves subjectively. I think everyone agreed that it was an important and effective means for causing students to grow intellectually. Yet it is a dangerous thing to do. We are not, after all, trained psychotherapists. We provide trained people for students who need them.

I think my statement of objective covers this problem. My objective in the classroom is to acquire, disseminate, and preserve knowledge. I ask my students to function subjectively and creativelyto write, to design, to stretch themselves, to change. All that serves the increase of knowledge. It's only when I forget my objective that I start meddling with my student's souls.

So what I offer this morning is not a core course format. In fact, I don't think any core course format is worth a great deal by itself. After all, all courses must be Liberal Education courses. I'm about to go back into class

to teach engineering thermodynamics this Fall. That had better be liberal education or I shouldn't be doing it.

The Core is in fact a crutch to get around the fact that we aren't doing liberal education in every other course we teach. The real value of a core is that it takes us faculty back from our disciplines and forces us to rethink what we should really be doing to educate our students.

What determines whether or not students receive a Liberal Education an education to make them freeisn't institutional organization. It's what you and I do in class. And you and I will only do the right thing in class if we're very clear on why we're here in the first place. p

John H. Lienhard, What is a Bachelor's Degree?

Reflections on Teaching a Modular Course: Studies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

address you on a topic I consider very dear to me and which I consider a sine qua non for university faculties, administrators and students when considering any form of curricular revision or reform in American higher education. In the past few years we have been hearing much about multicultural education, pluralism, and diversity as an evolving paradigm in the teaching of American culture and civilization at all levels. The debate has generated much controversy as we begin to asses the racial, ethnic, class, gender and linguistic differences that characterize American society in the last decade of this century. Throughout the nation, educational leaders are grappling with the dynamics of post-industrial society, galloping toward the future in a cybernetic frenzy while still mired

with the problems of structural unemployment, homelessness, inner city poverty and its attendant effects on our youth, high drop-out rates, teen pregnancy, drugs, and single parent households among most vulnerable and younger members of our society. It is not my purpose here to dwell on these issues nor purport to advance a program that will attempt to deal with these problems. Too often, education is put forward as the panacea of America's ills without considering the multiplicity of factors that come into play when analyzing even one of these problems.

I have begun with this

t is certainly a pleasure to



Antonio Nadal

Brooklyn College

introduction to establish a framework for my discussion of one of the ten courses that Brooklyn College includes in its core curriculum: Studies in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Back in 1980, when the College was deliberating what type of core it would put in place for all its students, the sturm and drang of what constituted a well rounded education in the humanities, the natural and social sciences was the topic of the day.

As might be expected, several academic and political agendas arose that eventually crystallized into a spectrum that ranged from the conventions of a traditionally Euro-centric and Western curriculum to curricular models that would highlight nontraditional areas. These include Women's Studies, area and ethnic studies, or theme-oriented offerings that focused broadly on problem- solving to study global problems such as environmental protection, the North-South developmental dichotomy in the world, multi-national corporations and their effect on national sovereignty, and quite heady topics that made for a truly rich process of discussion in the myriad cross- departmental committees that were formed.

At times, common sense did not rule the day and arcane matters of academe prevailed over such considerations as the types of students we would be teaching, levels of preparation and even literacy in the English language. Some senior faculty members blithely dismissed the

incredible transformation of the Brooklyn College campus in a mere decade.

Presently, the student population is majority foreign-born and representative of over seventy countries. What little input we got from students in designing the core, and this was most regrettable, usually came from third-generation immigrant white students who largely viewed themselves as English-speaking and American. Initially, and to some extent even now after our twelve-year experience with the core, students of color and the various ethnic groups on campus, were left out of the process. This was not out of malicious intent by the administration and faculty but is simply the reality of a student leadership that is culled from the ranks of the College's student government. These students are traditionally white ethnics of the third generation.

I do not wish to dwell further on the problems and obstacles that we encountered in establishing a core at our college, most of this is terra cognita for you by now because Professor Claster has already addressed you on the general aspects of the Brooklyn College core, so I would like to talk about the subject of the paper.

Most of the faculty and students at Brooklyn College back in 1980 agreed that if Brooklyn was to adopt a core curriculum it would be necessary to include a course or courses on what we traditionally referred to as the non -Western world. Some preferred the now obsolete term Third World, while

others opted for other conceptions such as developing, dependent or even captive nations. Eventually, and to avoid pointless discussion on what would be the most politically correct title, most of us accepted the somewhat generic "Studies in Asia, Africa and Latin America." These three areas were cited because they comprised three-fifths of the world and were largely absent in the rest of the core. A major reason for this is that by administrative design the core courses would be offered through the traditional academic departments of the College. Early on no one saw as feasible that the core curriculum of B.C. be constituted as a separate department functioning in partnership, but separate from, the other College departments. As such, Core Studies 9 (the one course on Non-Western cultures) had no institutional base. From the outset this proved to be an administrative flaw.

To ameliorate the situation, the faculty suggested that the course be coordinated by, but not be a part of, the Anthropology Department. This meant that a coordinator from that department would arrange to recruit faculty to teach the different areas of the course, develop schedules and handle day-to-day matters between students and faculty.

Given the enormity of these academic responsibilities, not to mention the delicate politics involved, it seemed much to ask of a person who had no real power to deal with entrenched and often hostile chairpeople who saw this course as a political concession to the College's minorities. Core 9's design as an inter- and multi-disciplinary course that would deal with three broad areas of the world was both a plus and a minus in the situation of our college. On the one hand, it allowed for much innovation and collaboration between departmental faculty and their areas of expertise.

The course, since its inception,

was team taught. Faculty from the social sciences, the humanities, and the natural sciences have taught in the course. Three instructors, each expert in one of the three areas of the course, would meet to coordinate modules. Typically, the Africa instructor would teach for five weeks around a series of topics or themes that would be picked up and discussed in the other two areas to afford continuity and uniformity to the course. The three instructors would carefully plan out each module and agree on readings, modes of presentation and evaluation. Each instructor would assign a short, theme driven paper and a module exam. The final examination would be comparative and comprehensive. In order to maintain continuity in the team teaching, instructors would be selected by their departments upon consultation between the coordinator and the respective departmental chairperson, usually just before the end of the Spring semester.

The College secured outside funding for special seminars that would allow prospective instructors to work during the summer in the design of their respective sections. This component of the course has had phenomenal effects. Faculty in the diverse academic areas of the College have had the opportunity to foster collegial and personal relationships that have contributed enormously to their academic growth.

In terms of cost effectiveness, Core 9 has been criticized because it features a classroom with three instructors who are both teachers as well as students. The sections are typically large, but with three instructors administrative burdens can be shared and the other two instructors may serve as mentors to their students when not teaching. The course allows for constant intellectual cross- fertilization as the team teaching teams are re-constituted given the availability of human resources. Political scientists,sociologists, anthropologists,

economists, linguists and scholars from other areas can develop in the teaching of their disciplines as they focus on the problems, issues and concerns in the developing world.

Students have generally found Core 9 to be a challenging, if not an oftentimes difficult and demanding course. In our experience, the course works best when instructors are sensitive to the diversity inherent in our students and use it to enhance the topics covered in the course. By common agreement, all instructors are now required to adapt the basic areas and themes of a generic master syllabus to the section they are teaching. But the content of each section is different and instructors are afforded the freedom to introduce and discuss topics that may be germane to the experiences of the students in those sections.

For example, students from the Caribbean, Africa, China, the Middle East, etc. are encouraged to speak of their experiences and cultural insights in discussions on race, religion, family structure and influence of geography on specific cultural patterns. Because the course can openly treat a variety of academic agendas that personally relate to our student's lives, it proves to be invaluable in the fostering of human relations on a campus that has experienced rapid and continuing racial and ethnic change.

On the other hand, and there always is another hand in academic matters that are both innovative and controversial, this course is weakened by its lack of institutional support due to its "homeless" status. This coming year it will be housed in the Judaic Studies Department and will be coordinated by the chairperson of that department. This is a considerable improvement on the past when coordinators had to negotiate with departmental chairs who were usually their seniors and outranked them. There is also the matter of continuity and uniformity. It is not easy to staff a


Antonio Nadal, Reflections on Teaching a Modular Course

course like Core 9. Most people in it have chosen to teach in this setting. Others, however, come to Core 9 upon the recommendation of a chairperson who does not have a course to complete the individual's schedule.

Some instructors believe Core 9 to be a sort of "vacation" from teaching a full-time section and are routinely absent when their colleagues in that section are presenting, or refuse to do anything different than what they have been used to over the last 20 years. Still others view the course as a place to exercise a favorite hobby horse. For example, a two-week trip to South America in the Andes will serve as backdrop to teach about Andean cultures and their "quaint" lifestyles.

All this notwithstanding, the course continues to be the jewel in our core. In addition to all the salubrious effects it has had on the faculty and students who have been involved in it, the course has made a small but significant contribution toward the improvement of cross-cultural understanding on a campus that is as diverse as U.S. society but in microcosm. In the past few years, we are revising our core to see how other courses can be infused with the socio-cultural elements that are presented and discussed in Core 9. Majority as well as minority are well-served by infusing college courses in the social sciences and the humanities, particularly with concepts and ideas that will inform and give direction to the future leaders and educators of this society. p


Internationalizing the Core

et me begin with a long

eral education curricula that were subjected to review and given healthy doses of internationalizing medicine, though he also notes that one institution, San Diego State University, "proposed to infuse all upper division general education courses with international materials and perspectives."2 The acknowledgment of differing approaches to internationalizing curricula is made succinctly by Ann Kelleher when she observes that, "[u]ltimately, each campus decides and acts separately to internationalize."3

You will understand, I trust, if I draw my most specific illustrations not from California but from Texas A&M, but since I realize that some of you may be hesitant to set up Aggies as models, I will be careful to speak in terms of principles and paradigms as much as possible. The right beginning may be, nonetheless, to tell you, as our students say, where I'm coming from and what kinds of experiences influence my interest in this topic and my remarks today.

One of my beliefs is that one has to speak more broadly about international perspectives and internationally-oriented experiences on a campus before one can speak meaningfully of an internationalized curriculum. A university faculty cannot, in other words, simply decide to implement an international requirement in a core curriculum without having spent time developing and nurturing other and related


Paul A. Parrish

Texas A&M University


[T]aken as a whole, little has been done to position Texas colleges and universities to assist with . . . world leadership. Over the course of the past several decades, courses and programs in the liberal arts have shriveled as student interest and public funding shifted to various scientific, technological, and professional programs. Undergraduate education itself has received insufficient attention from policy makers and from college and university administrators at the highest levels.

As a result, particular programs and emphases that are very much needed to help Texas achieve the new international agenda are lacking. One sees this in the small number of students majoring in foreign languages, in the lack of a serious and sustained international component in the core curriculum, in the lack of attention paid to the study of other nations and cultures in undergraduate education, in the existence of only a few graduate programs in regional studies (Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East), in the small number of scholars who are able to travel overseas, and in the lack of research money in the humanities and social sciences to assist scholars in understanding and interpreting international developments and in deepening theirand ourknowledge of foreign cultures.

So reads a portion of the 1991 document titled Texas in the 21st Century: The International Agenda , a report prepared for the Governor and Legislature of the State of Texa

s by the Texas Committee on the Humanities. I begin with this rather negative historical assessment of the standing of international study because the comments provide a useful overview of important elements I want us to consider today. The authors of the report go on to say, more optimistically, that, "[f]ortunately, there is plenty of evidence that indicates that this situation is now changing.''1

I believe that in fact the situation is changing, and I hope to offer some suggestions about how we might together propel the change so that our studentsall of our studentswill be better prepared for the interconnected world that we are already witnessing.

It is fashionable nowadays to speak of "internationalizing" or "globalizing" all kinds of thingsbe it a campus, a curriculum, or an attitude. Beginning this way. I do not mean to trivialize the concept or to divert our attention from the substance of the topic. I mean, rather, to suggest a need to define what exactly we mean by internationalizing the curriculum, which also means, surely, internationalizing the faculty and ultimately the students.

In an article published in the Phi Beta Delta International Review, Charles Jernigan of California State University, Long Beach describes the efforts of various of the nineteen campuses in the CSU system to respond to a system-wide initiative to internationalize their curricula.

He reports that most campuses focused on specific courses within the gen


Paul A. Parrish, Internationalizing the Core

activities. So I want to spend a bit of time casting my net fairly broadly on the one hand and focusing fairly specifically on the other hand on experiences at my university.

Propelled especially by the appointment of William Mobley as President in 1988, Texas A&M has for some years worked hard to be, and to be viewed as, an institution with an international mission. That goal has become part of our official institutional mission statement and is manifest in numerous projects, collaborations, and committees that are evident throughout the campus. We have a Provost's level, university-wide committee we call the International Programs Enhancement and Coordination Committee, or IPECC.

Under the umbrella of that committee are numerous standing subcommittees, including one that I chair called the committee on Enhancing the International Dimension of Curricula (EIDC). I make no great claims about the beauty of that title, and I'm not at all sureif you are one of these people who like pronounceable acronymshow EIDC is said as a word. But the unpronounceable acronym does point to an important fact about this committee's activities, and that is that we see our task as being broadly about increasing the international agenda on the campus in a variety of ways and through several means. We are concerned with internationalizing the university's Core Curriculum, in other words, but we are attentive to related international issues as well.

Let me now suggest what I believe to be some of those supporting areas before I comment more specifically on internationalizing the core itself. Here, too, I will be reflecting on some of our recent experiences at Texas A&M while describing them in ways that will be, I hope, illustrative of opportunities on your own campuses.

These related international agenda items, as I describe them here, are as

follows: (I) infusing international perspectives throughout the university curriculum; (II) creating specific courses with an international focus, including, if relevant to your campus, courses that would be taught out of country; (III) enhancing study abroad programming and exchange opportunities; (IV) supporting foreign language programs; (V) creating international tracks within existing majors or self-standing international studies majors; (VI) providing incentives and rewards for faculty engaged in efforts to internationalize teaching and research. And seventh and last, of course, developing strategies for internationalizing the core.4

Let me enlarge on these in order.

(I) We might typically think of specific disciplines as the most promising when it comes to promoting an international agenda: history, languages, political science, business and economics, geography, for example. But to be successful the environment must speak much more broadly to international perspectives.

There are few departments that could not profitably include global perspectives within existing or newly created courses. Disciplines such as communication, agriculture, education, literature, and sociology, to cite only a few, are clearly ripe to take advantage of perspectives that will increase understanding of and appreciation for international contributions and interactions in the global village of the world. I dare say that no department need feel left out or disadvantaged in the process. I think it critical to have, as much as possible, the entire campus community buy into the value of global perspectives.

(II) Depending on the situation on your own campus, the active encouragement of new or revised courses that address an international agenda may be especially valuable. I am thinking here, for example, of those

situations in which an institution has developed close linkages with a partner institution out of the country, and specific courses might be created to enhance that relationship, particularly if the arrangement involves an opportunity for student exchanges or out-of-country study.

Or, if an institution has developed study abroad opportunities for its students, the creation of courses designed for that opportunity may be desirable. Texas A&M has a Study Center called Santa Chiara in a little villageCastiglion Fiorentinonear Florence, Italy. The College of Architecture at Texas A&M runs a fall program in Italy during which students take four field studies courses that all carry a college rather than departmental labeli.e., CARCand thus all students in that college, regardless of departmental affiliation, take these courses knowing that they will fully count toward the degree. Students in the College of Liberal Arts, or indeed any of the colleges at Texas A&M, may study in Italy in the spring or summer and take specially designed LBAR (Liberal Arts) designated courses. These also carry a college rather than departmental label and are given a catalog description broad enough so that quite literally any faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts, if given a study abroad assignment, could teach two of the courses, depending on whether her or his discipline was out of the humanities or out of the social sciences.

This is a good example of a characteristic that will be evident many times in these remarks: addressing one of the seven areas I identified earlier will often mean inevitably addressing others as well. The LBAR courses satisfy university core curriculum requirements in humanities and social sciences, and thus students enrolled in these courses have internationalized their own core regardless of whether or not the university mandates an international component.

(III) I have, as you notice, already drifted into the third itemenhancing study abroad programming and exchange opportunities. The study abroad experience can truly be a life changing one, and its impact is surely greatest when the courses and the language of instruction are identified with those of the host country. For practical reasons, it is not always possible to attain this ideal.

Texas A&M had an opportunity to seal an arrangement that would give us primary use of the facility that we have made into a Study Center in Italy, and we jumped at the chance. It would not surprise you to learn, I think, that the courses taught at the study center are Texas A&M courses taught by Texas A&M faculty to Texas A&M studentsall in English. We teach Italian in College Station and we encourage students to enroll in that class and to work on language skills while in Italy.

But the simple truth is that if we required proficiency in Italian in order for faculty to teach at Santa Chiara and some level of competency among students, we would seldom, if ever, have a program we could sustain. No more than a handful of faculty would be available to teach, and the maximum student potential would be precariously small. So we are making what I am convinced is the right decision by broadening the opportunity for faculty and students alike. Summer language programs usually provide a fuller immersion experience, and there are occasionally opportunities for language immersion experiences that go beyond language instruction itself. Next summer, TAMU will be offering for the first time a program that includes an advanced course in Spanish literature and a course in sociology, both of them to be taught in Spanish in Mexico. It is this kind of stepbuilt on the foundation of successful study abroad programs run in cooperation, in this case, with the Universidad de las Americas

(University of the Americas) in Pueblathat is representative of the deeper international experience that I believe should be our goal.

Similarly, exchange programs, in which students are enrolled and take courses in a partner institution, provide significant academic experiences, though usually for a comparatively limited number of students. In these instances, the student is typically more completely immersed, not only in the language but in the full environment, social, cultural, and academic, of the host country and institution. An important responsibility of the home institution is to assure that the student's academic work is fully applicable back home. There is no surer way to kill a promising opportunity than for studentsand parentsto believe that a semester or year overseas, even if a stimulating experience in every other way, will result in the loss of substantial progress toward a degree.

I have found, as perhaps many of you have, that a certain degree of, shall we say, creativity and flexibility is sometimes required to decide that that course taken on Goethe and Nietzsche at the University of Tubingen is indeed close enough to the Texas A&M course on German Culture and Civilization to establish an equivalence, but that is exactly the kind of decision we are often called on to make if we are to facilitate to the student's advantage the kind of foreign study experience that surely we all want to support. Sometimes "counting" a course means counting it toward the major or a support area, sometimes it means counting it toward the core. But I hope that we all have in mind a core that brings with it enough flexibility to encourage this kind of study opportunity.

(IV) If we are truly committed to internationalizing the curriculum, core or otherwise, we cannot do so without a willingness to invest significantly in language programs. From its inception

Internationalizing the Core, Paul A. Parrish

in 1988, the Texas A&M Core has included a language component, but no one would tell you that it is very strong. Indeed, students can satisfy that requirement prior to coming to the university, by taking two years of a language in high school. More recently, university committees have recommended strengthening the requirement so that some level of competency in a foreign language is required for admission to Texas A&M and something approaching fluency in another language would be required for graduation. In terms of official practice, we haven't gotten to that point yet, but the recommendations have been taken seriously. There are, of course, serious consequences from such a requirement that have to be considered, a significant one being staffing needs. Quite frankly, even with the softer language requirement presently in place for most students at Texas A&M, we find it difficult to have enough beginning language sections to meet the demand. If we implement a policy that will require all students to have two years or more of a language, someone will have to come up with a lot of money to allow us to hire many more faculty. Realistically, that may not happen any time soon.

Support for language instruction also means support for language study out of the country. Whether your institution has its own study abroad program or has an arrangement with an institution in another country or participates in a consortial arrangement with other U.S. institutions, it is important to assure that students have an opportunity to study a language in an environment where the greatest gain can be made which means a country where the language in question is the native language.

In the globally-connected world of the present and the future, it will be increasingly important for us to have students who have mastered one or more languages in addition to their

Paul A. Parrish, Internationalizing the Core
native language. Such a fact would propel us toward a decision to make serious language study part of any core curriculum. Having been involved from the beginning in the discussions that led to the implementation of the Texas A&M core, I do not underestimate the difficulties that are met or the compromises that may be necessary to enable us to make progress on this front.

(V) There is no better way to get students' attention than through introducing a requirement into the curriculum. You might have read recently, for example, about the action of the faculty council in my college at Texas A&Mthe Liberal Arts Councilto require six hours of study in what we call U.S. and International Cultures, what gets dubbed more simply as "multiculturalism." I will have opportunity to speak about that during the panel session this afternoon, but I mention it here simply to underscore the seriousness with which a curricular action is taken if it is a requirement of all students. A further way of signaling the seriousness of certain curricular choices is through the creation of special tracks or options within existing majors or, indeed, the creation of new majors. Many English departments have underscored the significance of the writing element of the discipline by creating writing specialties or whole majors in rhetoric and composition. Along this same line, we have seen the rise of options and majors dedicated to environmental studies or ethnic studies.

We are witnessing, I believe, similar developments in international studies. Some of these options are, of course, inherent in particular disciplines, but others, at my institution and elsewhere, are of more recent origin. Students are able to study geography with an international emphasis or political science with a focus on international relations or business with eventual certification in

international business.

More recently, Texas A&M and other universities have responded to the need for more preparation in international issues by creating a new undergraduate major. Our new degree, which we simply call International Studies, is aimed at filling a niche that is not otherwise occupied, even within disciplinary majors that allow a strong international emphasis.

The B.A. in International Studies is interdisciplinary and, for some students, will be intercollegiate. We offer it quite unapologetically as a Liberal Arts degree, and thus its strength is not so much a single career orientation as a more broadly aimed study of international issues and perspectives. Its major components are the following: (1) a minimum of three years of study in another language; (2) a significant study abroad experience, which we define as minimally a full summer or semester. It is expected that this will ordinarily be a regular academic experience in the classroom but it may be certain kinds of internships as well; (3) 36 hours of course work in the major, divided into three categories: (a) 18 hours of core courses in history, political science, economics, and social or cultural studies; (b) 9 hours of course work in designated electives, which are courses with a broader or more generic international focus; and (c) 9 hours of course work in concentration electives. These are courses that are area specific, though we will also allow students to cover the world's map more generally if they choose; (4) an 18-hour minor that we expect to be drawn from a single department.

The INTS degree at Texas A&M is too new to have concrete results approval for its implementation was only granted last fallbut there is already a very healthy interest in this opportunity among students, faculty, and parents, and I am confident that it will prove to be a popular choice among students who are, it seems to

me, ever more aware of the connectedness among nations.

(VI) Accomplishing what I have commented on thus far requires time and effort of the facultyin creating or revising courses, preparing and administering study abroad programs, developing and implementing international study tracks or majors. One of the realities about college and university life is that there is much to do, much that is required of faculty to do, and choices have to be made. Along with the encouragement to commit time and effort to internationalize a campus must come, I think, concrete incentives and rewards to faculty who do so. This is not a matter of buying

faculty off to get them to do something they really don't want to do; no incentive or reward will bring success in that instance. It is, rather, a recognition that the demands on faculty are heavyto be good teachers, effective researchers, and constructive university citizens. If a college or university has determined that particular goals are important for example, a more globally focused curriculumfaculty are much more likely to believe their importance if, so to speak, we put our money where our mouth is.

There are many ways of doing this, and I believe that one of the most importantbecause it so clearly speaks to an institution's curricular prioritiesis course development support. I spoke earlier of the committee with the unpronounceable acronymthe committee on Enhancing the International Dimension of Curricula.

That committee determined that it was not going to put out any special admonition or encouragement or pronouncement to the faculty about developing courses or curricula unless it was able to announce as well course development funds as an incentive. In the main, we have held true to that intention. We have created special

funds in support of international travel and curriculum development. As with all such efforts, there isn't enough money to support all worthy projects, but at least we have indicated an intention to support the faculty's creation of a more global curriculum.

A further dimension that enhances the sense of recognition and reward for international activity is realized through annual reviews and reports of faculty. There was a time at Texas A&M when international activity and in this case I mean literally an activity that occurred out of country was, in some colleges, considered a deficit because it took a faculty member away from the College Station campus. Stories about offices that were taken away or research support that dried up still circulate among some faculty. We've moved far beyond those times and encourage departmental and college administrations to applaud such activities as those I have described here. In some instances, faculty annual report forms give specific opportunity to list and describe teaching, research, and service activities with an international dimension. In this respect, as in all others, much is gained by persuading the university community at large that interest in international matters is more than lip service.

I hope that at least some of the remarks I have made thus far bear on our primary interest herethe core curriculum. As I said near the beginning, I do not believe it possible to isolate the question of "internationalizing the core" from other closely related areas. Now let me go to the heart of the present concern more directly.

Just as we must seek consensus on the broader questionswhat do we mean by internationalizing a campus? Or internationalizing a curriculum? so we must grapple first with what we mean by internationalizing the core. Do we mean that an institution's curriculum will be so thoroughly

internationalized that we can be certain that students who fulfill core requirements will simultaneously be internationalized in the way that we want?

If that is not yet reachableand for some of us it would not bewe presumably mean something rather more concrete about specific requirements and specific courses. But what is it? Do we mean that all students will have one course dealing wholly with another country? Or two courses? Or more? Do we mean that a number of different courses in the core should include some attention, but not necessarily total attention, to international perspectives? If so, how much is enough? Three-fourths? One- half? One-third? And what makes a subject " international" in this context? Shakespeare is definitely international if we mean by that everything not immediately pertaining to the United States, but does a survey course in Shakespeare qualify? Or one in Anglo-Saxon history? Or one in, say, Primitive Art?

I have little doubt that individual institutions, and certainly individuals within institutions, would give varying answers to these and other questions. My principal point here is that the questions cannot be skirted and the answers must eventually form the rationale for whatever we do and whatever courses we decide are the right ones for students to take.

As I suggested earlier, we are presently embroiledand embroiled is unfortunately the right wordin a bit of a controversy at A&M resulting from action taken by the Liberal Arts Council to impose a U.S. and International Cultures requirement on Liberal Arts students, and impending action that will be considered by our Faculty Senate in the fall that would result in a similar, but different, requirement for all students at the university.5

I am certain that the principal reason the debate has made its way into

Paul A. Parrish, Internationalizing the Core

newspapers across the state is that we have chosen to create a single requirement embracing two components, one U.S. and the other international. Virtually all of the concern that has crossed my desk has focused on the U.S. cultures requirement, not the international one. There are a number of reasons for that but I should again reserve those comments for this afternoon.

More relevant to the topic at hand are the different approaches the two faculty entitiesthe Liberal Arts Council and the Faculty Senatehave thus far taken to the international portion of the requirement. Neither body has concluded its work: the Liberal Arts Council has endorsed the requirement in principle but there are as yet no specific courses on any approved list; the Faculty Senate has not yet begun the formal debate on the university requirement. Thus, in neither case is it clear what exactly will result. But the outlines are suggestive.

The heart of the Liberal Arts proposal says that all students in the College of Liberal Arts will be required to take six hours of course work in U.S. and International Cultures, of which three hours must deal with racial, ethnic, or gender issues in the United States. The implications of this resolution are that approved courses must deal wholly, or at least primarily, with whatever we finally determine to be "U.S. Cultures" and "International Cultures."

The Faculty Senate resolution to be debated this fall specifies that a course will be considered appropriate for the requirement if one-third or more of the course deals with diversity issues. If both resolutions are formally adopted, there will no doubt be a need to reconcile them for clarity and for the benefit of studentssort of like a House and Senate Conference Committee, I suppose. But for the moment, they appear to go in related but slightly different directions, the one pointing more toward courses that are

Paul A. Parrish, Internationalizing the Core
identifiably internationale.g., International Trade and Finance, Asian Politics, Russia Since 1917, or Geography of Latin Americawhile the other may be more inclusive of courses like the Economics of Food Distribution, Contemporary Political Issues, or Marketing Industrial Products, so long as it can be determined that some significant portion of the courses deals with issues and experiences outside the United States.

When I spoke to conference organizers about my remarks, I suggested that we title this session "Internationalizing the Core" since that phrase is sufficiently familiar, and it immediately communicates its subject. But as I also pointed out at the time, it means different things to different institutions and thus provides an opportunity for serious discussions of various alternatives.

At Texas A&M I am known as a determined idealist, so allow me to close on that note. I do think that it is important, in the final analysis, to settle on the details of what we are about, but I also think we should not lose sight of common goals regardless of whether or not our ways of reaching those goals differ. There are practical, moral, and humanistic reasons for advancing our students' understanding of other countries and other cultures. On the practical side, we are without doubt in a global economy; if the Nikkei Exchange sneezes, Wall Street may well get a cold. Few of our studentsfew of us in this roomwill not be affected by economic, social, and political interaction as we move into the 21st century. A student who is under-informed is a student whom we have not served well. That aside, there are compelling reasons to encourage an understanding of U.S. and international diversity simply to make the world better. Such study is sometimes said to emphasize divisions or separateness. I see it differently. We aren't all the same, but if we seek to


be able to act together, nationally or globally, we had better learn more about each other and learn to get along together, if the human community is to survive and prosper. p


1. Texas in the 21st Century: The International Agenda . A Report to the Governor and the Texas Legislature. As Requested by H.C.R. 236, 71st Texas Legislature (Austin: Texas Committee for the Humanities, 1991), pp. 15-16.

2. "Internationalizing the Curriculum of California's Undergraduates," International Review, 1(1990): 15.

3. "One World, Many Voices," Liberal Education, 77, 5(1991): 6.

4. Ann Kelleher identifies 8 "attributes" that are vital in the "internationalizing process" of a campus. They are: (1) a general education curriculum that provides insights into world issues and graduation requirements that include facility in a second language; (2) one or more interdisciplinary curricula that allow students to major in an international specialty (3) increasing numbers of students who participated in a study abroad experience; (4) increasing numbers of faculty with international expertise and experience and second language competency; (5) an institutional emphasis on campus diversity, including a substantial number of international students; (6) an institutional mission statement encouraging of international activity; (7) effective institutional relationships with relevant community groups, such as sister city organizations, chambers of commerce, and other groups; and (8) a primary administrative office that initiates and oversees programs that promote the international mission ( op. cit., p. 7).

5. As of August 1994, there has been progress but no certain resolution. The Faculty Senate voted in November 1993 to implement a six-hour U.S. and International requirement for all students at Texas A&M, but the President of the university has not yet given his approval, choosing instead to appoint a committee to study the implications of such a requirement. The College of Liberal Arts was allowed to implement at this time only the international portion of its requirement, but not the requirement for a course in U.S. diversity. A final decision on implementation is expected during the Fall 1994 semester.

Karen E. Rowe

University of CaliforniaLos Angeles

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core:

From Policy to Pedagogy

Core Curriculum offers faculty and academic administrators a rare oppor tunity to create, imaginatively and with daring, humanities core curricula re sponsive to the complex needs of a border state, in which the push toward multiculturalism derives not from abstract intellectual ideals but from the historically lived reality of American cultural pluralism.

In this challenging foray into the meeting ground between multicul -turalism and the humanities core, California institutions, such as UCLA, share with Texas public universities and community colleges a sense of imperative mission, born of the mestizo legacy that dates back to the first Spanish contact with indigenous Aztecs and southwestern Indian peoples and forward to the recent decades of migration and immigration that have transformed Los Angeles and Houston into global metropolises. My purpose here is to reflect upon the intersection of multiculturalism and the humanities core from both an institutional and a programmatic perspectiveand to do so with a focus squarely on the pragmatics of re-educating ourselves, as faculty, for curriculum transformation. In short, how can we do what many educators claim must be done to re-envision American education for the twenty-first century?

So often in the vociferous debates in which accusatory condemnations run headlong into impassioned de

he NEH Texas Seminar on the


fenses of political correctness, multiculturalism becomes set against the humanities core, as if the two are unalterably and mutually exclusive choices as foundations for a liberal arts curriculum ( Multiculturalism). My intent, however, is to recuperate and in habit the "borderland" of the and by making it into a site where the concerns of scholars/teachers who have learned from and incorporated the rich diversity of ethnic and gender texts and perspectives come together with, thereby transforming in the process, the traditionally envisioned humanities core so frequently equated with the great men, great ideas, great books approach to western civilization advo cated by Allan Bloom, Edward Hirsch, and Dinesh D'Souza. Such clashes in today's intellectual circles are, I would submit, echoing resonances of the very cultural encounters that created today's American ethos.

Our collective odyssey, unlike Homer's through the Mediterranean, will move from institutional policy to classroom pedagogy by following two eventually intersecting pathways: first, how we at UCLA have through fac ulty development seminars attempted to re-educate ourselves in order to translate institutional missions into undergraduate curricular praxis; and sec ond, how three experimental models of humanities programs, clusters, and sequences reflect a broader institutional vision of how best to educate all students for a multiethnic society in

which the core values still remain critical thinking, humanistic inquiry, and liberal learning.

We need to acknowledge immediately that "multiculturalism" has be come the euphemism of choice in recent discourse, in part because it neatly side-steps the confrontational politics that terms such as race, ethnicity, gen der, and sexualities provoke because they in turn evoke haunting specters of separatism, prejudice, and discrimination. More positively, however, multiculturalism usefully repositions us to think of cultural groups claiming and owning their differences, whether in origin, locale, behavior, language, modes of speech and artistic expression, religion, or socially defined roles (Stimpson). "Multiculturalism" reinforces the concept that cultures are constructions rather than natural categories rooted in essentialist genetics and that cultures can be perceived, studied, and accessed rather than merely feared (Barth; Sollors). Indeed, "culture" and "cultures" are constantly reconfigured, since they are always already caught in the flux and flow of change over time. Social and political equality is also "created" and enacted institutionally at the boundaries and within the borderlands wherein diverse cultures, through constant negotiation and often interpenetration, become part of the multifaceted fabric of human society, not irreducible and im mutable enclaves of isolationism and power. As Carlos Cortés has ar


Karen E. Rowe, Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core

ticulated in "A Curricular Basic for our Multiethnic Future," "multicultural education is not simply education about ethnic differences, nor is it pos turing about how all people are basically alike. Multicultural education should simultaneously explore similarities and differences. Students need to grasp both pan-human qualities as a basis for building bridges among people of different backgrounds, while at the same time students need to learn about the real and meaningful group variations in culture, race, and ethnic experience" (3).1

One institutional example of such evolutionary change within American academic culture might be the history of negotiated relationships themselves between ethnic and gender studies programs and the so-called "mainstream" departments or disciplines. Whereas two decades ago such programs fought for the mere legitimacy of the field of study as methodologically and aca demically rigorous, today most universities and colleges acknowledge the disciplinary shifts wrought by a new focus on ethnicity and gender as legiti mate categories of analysis, whether in the social sciences, arts, life sci ences, or humanities. The interdisciplinary methodologies and pedagogies created and generated by once "marginalized" groups, whose ethnic and gender-specific missions remain essential, have nevertheless found their way irrevocably into the commonly accepted practices of "mainstream" research and teaching. The push toward multiculturalism and American cultures requirements has made knowledge once deemed "no knowl edge at all" into critical knowledge not only for empowerment of new groups of students, but for understanding among all students who will live in a multicultural, multiethnic world. Institutional equality between ethnic and gender programs and traditional disciplines may not yet have been achieved, but in fascinating ways the

boundaries that once denoted barriers have instead become borderlands where the most trenchant issues of modern society and education can be heard, debated, and absorbed into the collective consciousness. This aca demic process only mirrors the struggles within society itself, in which new claims for voice intermesh with old claims to retain power and privi lege within the provinces of not only education but as well employment, economics, governmentor any other realm.

In the following discussion, the term multiculturalism is used con sciously for both political and practical reasonsthough variously in flected. Most frequently, it signals a new inclusivity within American edu cation that makes ethnic and gender groups more visibly part of the curricu lum. In other contexts it also refers to the academy's shift toward broader world perspectives and comparative cultural studies that decenter the domi nance of western European civilization. I deliberately focus on ethnicity and gender when speaking about curriculum transformation projects and the specifics of curricular change. These changes within institutions of higher education, whether at the level of policy, programs, or pedagogy, should in turn be understood as signs of the more encompassing shifts to ward a renewed respect for American cultural pluralism and toward a repo sitioning of the United States within a world community reconceived as a multicultural village.




Many of the institutions in Texas as well as Southern California share the changing reality of an ethnically diverse, increasingly international so ciety. UCLA's student body, for ex

ample, is demographically over 65% ethnic majority and over 50% female, reflective of the multiethnic population in Los Angeles and California itself. In 1992 students of color accounted for 67% of the 3,227 domestic freshmen (an increase of 10.9 percentage points since 1988), comprised of 1.4% American Indian, 7.5% African Ameri can, 19% Hispanic, 32.7% Caucasian, and 39.l% Asian (Filipinos and Pacific Islanders included); another 45.5% of 1,743 domestic transfers were students of color (1992 Admissions 11, 12).2 Educators, whether in K-12, col leges and universities, or graduate and professional schools, have seen this changing demography as a challenge to education, because it compels us all to ask again the fundamental questions, ones similarly raised by the great pub lic educational reform movements of the late nineteenth-century when waves of eastern European and Asian American immigration similarly rede fined American cities and the west: How do we conceive to whom we are teaching what and how are we teaching it? By creating programs for cur riculum reform and transformation we engage in the difficult process of re examining our courses as much as ourselves, the content of what we teach, the pedagogical methods appropriate to new audiences and learning styles, and the attitudes that we bring to our interactions with students.

As humanists and educators, however, we are not brought to curriculum change simply by the shifting demographics, as important as they are in the reconstitution of values and vision within American society. Instead, we find ourselves drawn as powerfully by changes in our disciplines, nowhere more so than in the last decade's requestioning of the liberal arts and what, therefore, constitutes a "core of knowledge" (Boyer and Levine; Campbell and Flynn; Cheney; Gaff) or, as feminist scholars have asserted dif ferent "ways of knowing" (Belenky;

Hawkesworth; Minnich). Revisionist thinking has led to canonical revolu tions in literary studies, reflected nowhere more visibly than in the now second edition of The Heath Anthology of American Literature (1994) and The Harper Anthology of American Literature (1987), not to mention The Norton Anthology By Women (1985) and soon-to-be published Norton Anthology of Afro-American literature. In history, the emergence of theories of social groups, cultural studies, women's history, the Foucaultian deconstruction and reconstruction of periodization, new approaches to the "western" United States post -Frederick Jackson Turner, and the analyses of race and gender as salient determinants of political and social change have fundamentally altered the "historicized" landscape of the American "where" and "the narratives" of who we as Americans are or hope to become. When faculty participate in institutes, such as the Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum or the Ford Ethnic Women's Curriculum Transformation project at UCLA, we come to gether as educators in public universities responsive to demographics, as scholars molded by our disciplinary training, and as human beings shaped and reshaped by our cultural, social, gender, class, and ethnic backgrounds, whether we live in the southwest borderlands or on the pacific rim.

Because of the substantial and visible shifts in the student body, UCLA may have come to curriculum transformation and development more ur gently and rapidly, but the change would have been nevertheless toward revisionist, inclusionary, ethnic and gender responsive, and interdiscipli nary rethinking, particularly in the humanities and social sciences. Certainly the legacy of the post-civil rights and Vietnam decades of the 70's and 80's created a milieu, within the academy as in society, ripe for the reexamina tion of American education. While

nationally leaders denounced American education in now famous reports, such as A Nation at Risk (Bennett; Lund; Nation) thereby fueling still active federal and state initiatives to place greater emphasis on undergraduate teaching, even at major research uni versities, the shape those revisionist efforts would take was already being determined more locally and variously by the state demographics and the re aligned disciplinary emphases within major institutions. At many campuses, innovative curriculum has meant a reinscription of western civilization courses and a traditional humanities core, imitating in most respects earlier programs established at Columbia, the University of Chicago, and Stanford (Allardyce), while at other institutions the intellectual ferment has permitted multicultural education to assume a leading role (Hill; Thompson and Tyagi). To the credit of a few national programs, such as the Association of American Colleges initiative, "Engaging Cultural Legacies: Shaping Core Curricula in the Humanities," and more recently "American Commit ments: Diversity, Democracy, and Liberal Learning," the intersections of a humanities core with multiculturalism have been encouraged (Schneider; Schmitz, Core; Liberal Education issues).

The rationales for many of UCLA's curriculum transformation projects were based upon documents from national commissions, the University of California's Smelser report on lower division education, and UCLA's own Long Range Development Report as well as Chancellor Charles Young's summary remarks from the 1987 "Arrowhead Conference on Affirmative Action and Ethnic Diversity," which set clear policy directives for curricu lum integration. The policy, succinctly articulated by Chancellor Young, ef fectively ended a phase of institutional and national debate over the effects of diversified admissions standards and

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core, Karen E. Rowe

student populations on the quest for "excellence." Rather than "either . . . or" choices, the policy set UCLA, as it has set other University of Califor nia and Texas state institutions, in pursuit of "Excellence through Diversity." Such a policy sent a clear message that for faculty in public institutions of higher learning, there is no incompatibility between research and teaching excellence and the need to educate about and for ethnic and gender diver sity, even more so within the context of a multicultural state and region. Such an educational policy is also fully compatible with the missions particu lar to state institutions, as much so in Texas as in California. Under the mas ter plan of higher education in the state of California, the University of Cali fornia serves

(1) to create and transmit new research and knowledge, mandating that we be cognizant in scholarship and teaching of changes in our fields of


(2) to train students as future state citizens in a multiethnic state and na tion, thereby requiring us to understand the multicultural realities with which our students will engage over a lifetime;

(3) to educate students both in the liberal arts tradition of critical think ing and with professional skills for the labor force, a challenge that again re quires the teaching of "approaches to" and "concepts of" ethnicity and gen der, so that strategies of analysis inform our students' working lives and intercultural communications.

For community colleges historically it has been the fourth mission to provide the first entrance into higher education at reasonable cost, thereby serving far more to prepare students for transfer into four-year institutions or directly for employment. In California and Texas, more acutely for re cent immigrants, the fundamentals of language, American liberal arts edu cation, and democratic pluralism are

Karen E. Rowe, Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core
, since the issues of women cut across and through the is sues of ethnic diversity, affecting women of all races and cultures . . . . The question becomes both how to bring gender and ethnic perspectives to a field of knowledge and how to bring perspective to the study of gender and ethnicity. If the mission of the University is to create educated people . . . then it is hard to believe that we should not reassess gender and ethnic issues. That requires that we expand knowledge and information, which is an argument for the continuation of ethnic and women's studies as programs. But we must also re-examine the way in which the "western" tradition has been established, the kinds of exclusions in knowledge and perspective, and the attitudes engendered by an eurocentric cultural point of view. We need to examine not just content, but also "processes," or methods of thinking about complex social issues. That has been part of the liberal arts mission of colleges and universities in the past, because we do not educate just for information and data, but for how individuals and a society should think about ideas, problems, cultural issues. (Alpers 2, 3; Teacher's Guide 15)

Clear-cut institutional and educational policies, while not sufficient in themselves to generate change, nevertheless are essential principles upon which curricular programs must be built. What significantly enabled the multicultural integration efforts at UCLA was not only the administrative and faculty leadership, but the widely (though not unconflicted, nor univer sally) embraced attempt to translate policy and vision into curricular praxis (Chancellor's Conference on Undergraduate Education , 1992). Translation into practice would mean neither a jettisoning wholesale of humanistic inquiry rooted in Eurocentric modes of analysis, nor a full-scale and naively blind embrace of teaching

acquired in high school and the community colleges. All institutions of higher education have historically held forth the promise of access and equity for groups and individuals to the American dream. Instruction and a curriculum, therefore, that engages all students in the analysis of cultural in teractions and that envisions the study of race, class, and gender as relevant to the quest for democratic citizenship are an essential part of the educational

mission, not a dilution of excellence, nor a political distraction from the "pure pursuit" of knowledge. Carlos Cortés aptly translates these assump tions into an operational definition of "multicultural education" that "is not the exclusive study of ethnic groups by members of those groups or by schools with large multiethnic populations. All students, regardless of the composition of their school, community, or region, need multicultural edu cation that engages the full spectrum of our country's racial and ethnic di versity, because all students live in the same multiethnic nation . . . . Through multicultural education, students should learn the nature and signifi cance of these experiences . . . both Pluribus experiences of individual groups and the Unum experience of Americans as a whole" ("Multicul -tural" 3, 4).

In California many legislative and university reports similarly endorsed the need for all students to communicate effectively across ethnic bound aries as a critical goal for a public university that prepares its students to function cooperatively in multicultural settings and the workplace. But the educational philosophy that directed UCLA's efforts derived from the 1987 Arrowhead Retreat, in which the report on "Diversity and the Undergradu ate Curriculum" went one step further, arguing that ethnic diversity and gen der cannot be divorced, but are integral to the pursuit of a fully humanis tic education:

diversity in the multiethnic context . . . should be considered as part of the mainstream or intellectual center of the curriculum. It should not be an occa sion on which students are forced to choose between understanding ethni- city or gender

multiculturalism for the sake of mere "tolerance." By valuing the very edu cational processes of reformation and transformation that derive from colle gial research and debate, the courses and curriculum changes that would emerge from faculty development projects respected disciplinary orien tations but encouraged interdisciplinary investigations, envisioned human (enti)ties as diversely constituted identities, valued cultural groups as simi lar and different, but always interactively constructed and engaged. The courses would not be mere hybrids, but reinventions, reconstructions of knowledge more fully inclusive of the cultural and gender diversity, but al ways with the intent to bring students into dialogue with new ideas, alternate modes of inquiry and analysis, and thereby a habit of mind that valued exploration before judgment, pluralism more than monoculturalism. Cort és usefully humanizes these ideals by cogently reminding us that we educate students, rather than mechanistically teach courses. The goal is to bring into being the "Multicultural Person'a young person with the multicultural competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) for living with effectiveness, sensitivity, self-fulfillment, and understanding in a culturally pluralistic na tion and increasingly interdependent world' " ("Multicultural" 3).





Although shifts in institutional policy and academic environment cre ated a new intellectual borderland in which to undertake multicultural cur riculum transformations, without carefully conceived faculty development opportunities, the necessary process could not have occurred. Conse quently, in 1988-89 UCLA's Center for

the Study of Women, with collaborative support from the ethnic studies centers, initiated a new projectthe Ford Ethnic Women's Curriculum Transformation Project (FEW) (Rowe). Funded by the Ford Founda tion with matching funds from the College of Letters and Science and Chancellor's Committee for Instructional Improvement Programs (CCIIP), the project was designed to implement UCLA's commitment to educational excellence through diversity by enabling faculty to participate in curriculum development seminars during 1988-91. The primary goal was to transform syllabi and pedagogy for existing courses and to create new courses that incorporated new research by and about African American, Chicana/Latina, American Indian, and Asian American women into the un dergraduate liberal arts curriculum. The second goal was to develop re source materials, a bibliographic database, and innovative pedagogies for changed classroom dynamics that result from a transformed curriculum.

During its three-year effort, FEW sponsored seven seminars in Ameri can and Related Literatures, Sociology, Psychology and Cognate Fields, His tory, Interdisciplinary Studies, and American Ethnic Studies, culminating with the Spring 1991 seminar on "The Americas: Crossing Borders, Cross ing Cultures," which brought together faculty from geography, urban plan ning, and women's studies ("UCLA . . . Seminar Syllabi"). Our activities also included evaluation of transformed courses, program development for Teaching Assistant training, and implementation of Phase 3 of UCLA's Curriculum Integration Projects both through a two-seminar focus on GE composition courses under the Curriculum and Writing Integration Project (CWIP 1991-93) and through expanded discipline-based seminars in the arts and for Teaching Assistant Consultants under the Ethnic and Gen der Curriculum Integration Project

(EGCIP 1993-96). In 1994 we were designated by the University of Cali fornia President's Office as the Southern Region Curriculum Integration Center, with a mandate to provide facilitative leadership for other U.C. campuses and regional community colleges in devising systematic ap proaches to multicultural course development and integration.

With seventy-five participating faculty (including two to three facili tators per seminar) and some forty graduate students, the original FEW seminars yielded nearly ninety revised or new syllabi, including ten to fifteen General Education courses with large yearly enrollments, many of which meet the requirements of UCLA's resolutions for multicultural course devel opment adopted later in Spring 1993.3 Experience with the seven seminars in dicated that a ripple effect occurred with faculty often proposing one course to be revised or created, yet producing (and continuing to do so over time) additional courses, creating innovative pedagogical strategies, and generating new bibliographies and research derived from the seminar con tent. Many faculty reconceptualized existing courses, often large introduc tory and/or GE courses, such as "Major American Authors," "The Social History of American Women," the "American History" three-quarter se quence, "Psychology 10," "The Psychology of Gender," "Communication Studies 10," and "Introductory Sociology." Newly designed or proposed courses included "Chicano/a Cultures in Literature and Film," "Fiction by Women of Color," "Women of Color in the U.S.," "Gender and Work," "Ethnic Minorities in the American City," "Towards a Multicultural Women's History," and "Gender and Race in Science and Technology."

The scope of the FEW Project set it apart from twelve similar projects funded under the original Ford initiative which took place through other national women's research centers

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core, Karen E. Rowe

(Fiol-Matta and Chamberlain). A winter 1991 evaluation by the Northwest Institute for Research on Women noted that FEW was among the most multiethnic, having incorporated new research on all four groups of women specified by FordAfrican American, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian American. FEW participants constituted a broad range of nationally known scholars drawn from widely varying fieldsincluding ethno-musi cology, history of science, geography, urban planning, and psychologyonly slimly represented in other projects. FEW also engaged four to seven graduate students in each seminar, offering a unique dimension of profes sional training and research development for current teaching assistants and future educators. With the freshness of new critical approaches and willingness to challenge received knowledge, graduate students also pushed faculty usefully toward further reflections on Caribbean and African diaspora literatures, postcolonial discourse and history, lesbian writings, the body and cultural constructions of sexuality, third-world women's issues, French feminisms, film theory, and representations of women in popular culture.

Because seminars met for three hours a week for ll-week quarters to hear consultant speakers and discuss extensive readings, the experience was intense, engaging, and progressive. Faculty commented most frequently on an unanticipated outcome of FEW: the unprecedented opportunity to meet regularly with colleagues in their departments to talk seriously about un dergraduate teaching, pedagogy, and curriculum.

Although FEW as a project coincided with institutional efforts to pro pose an American cultures or diversity requirement, its design sought to ad dress the broader curricular challenge of transformative knowledge and pedagogy within general education, disciplines, majors, and interdepart

Karen E. Rowe, Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core

mental programs across the range of the humanities and social sciences. Change, it was envisioned, takes root within disciplines when received pat terns of thinking and "departmental" cultures respond to the stimuli (from within and without) of new research, new points of view, new challenges to accepted methodologies. The FEW model of intensive seminars recog nized that faculty require assistance and time to process, and that debate, conflictual dynamics, intellectual resistances must be incorporated within the process if creativity and transformation are to flourish as an end prod uct. In short, there is no "quick fix" for multiculturalism and/or the hu manities curriculum, but rather on-going efforts to overcome resistances in order to promote change. Some barriers are tangible, such as the lack of sufficient time in hectic academic schedules; many resistances derive from deeply ingrained habits of mind and disciplinary approach. FEW, therefore, provided either stipends or course release as incentives to accom modate the faculty needs, opened up time to digest large quantities (often 100-300 pages per week) of new research, offered a supportive context in which ethnic women's studies was granted status, and relied upon cam pus and invited experts for collegial instruction. As a result of FEW, it be came clear that a process that fosters discussion, debate, and absorption over time, and is reinforced by a demand for a product and by peer support, is vital to the long-term success of curricular change.

Although it was initially the Ford Foundation's specification and new directions in women's studies that determined the focus on ethnic women, this very displacement of normative academic models that privilege white, middle class, masculinist perspectives became an opportunity as much as a challenge. The focus arose from legitimate critiques within disciplines of a failure to recognize white privilege

and male, heterosexual, middle-class assumptions intrinsic to the curricu lum, privileges that Bell Hooks in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, Peggy McIntosh in "White Privilege," Johnnella Butler in "Trans forming the Curriculum: Teaching About Women of Color," and Toni Morrison in Playing ln the Dark, to name only a few, problematize. Simi larly, within women's studies there have been failures to respond inclu sively to ethnic women's experience as different and equal, while in many facets of ethnic studies there has been a similar failure to respond to women's experience as perceived through a gendered lens. What became essen tial, therefore, in the seminar process was an attempt to read and think about scholarship that not only critiques exclusions, but that offers viable models of canonical change, or critical reconceptualizing of categories them selves (Andersen; Baca Zinn; Collins and Andersen: Chan; Lauter; McKenna; Rothenberg; Ruiz). Documented oppression, victimization, in equities, and exclusions together with the realities of under-funded ethnic and women's studies programs are real. Yet, attempts to integrate or transform curriculum often flounder, relegated once again to the margins, labelled as "special interests" for the few, or denounced as "politicized" advocacy, if avenues for change, validations of new perspectives, excitement about alter native theoretical models, dialogues among cultural positions, and recon structions of hierarchies of power are not mapped out in the terrain of the borderlands between institutional tradition and radical revolution (Butler and Walter; Schmitz, Integrating). Emphasize the positive in order to fa cilitate progress may seem cliched, but in the trenches where multicultural work is done, "if you build it, they will come," and programs aimed at rede signing/constructing syllabi present a surer strategy for the success of proactive curriculum development.

Process becomes critical, likewise, for overcoming the dynamics of defense, often arising naturally from the comfort we feel as faculty grounded in our disciplines, secure in our pedagogical style, and confident of our authority as "knowers" and "teachers." "There is no research," "there is no really good literature," "how do I fit in new material, without sacrificing the old," "you can't do it all in one quarter," "but the anthology doesn't include it"the plaintive wails of woebegone professors caught in the flux of change echo hall to hall, classroom to classroom. But the underly ing issues these defenses raise are serious and serious-minded. Though patently inaccurate in claiming that there is "no research," the availability of that research in refereed journals, on-line at the library, in readily pro vided bibliographies, in contemporary publications makes it far easier and less daunting for faculty to identify new research. The importance of projects and seminars that engage in group reading, prepare and share bibliogra phies, develop computerized databases, such as the FEW 5000 item cata logue, or O. Funmilayo Makarah's Films and Videos By and About Eth nic Women, becomes clearcut, because access makes substantive content (not anxiety) the center of discussions.

More trenchantly, claims about "no good literature," for example, open up debates about key issues in the humanitiesthe nature and creation of canons, the criteria for esthetic judgments, the authority of "voice" in au tobiographical and narrative discourse, the privileging of supposed "rational ism" over "subjective personalism," the elitism of genre that values canta tas more than corridos (Gates; Lauter; Rocklin). Or in Psychology, where fa cilitator Sandra Graham reviewed the topics published in major journals, it became clear that the very criteria of what constitutes "good" experimental research often excludes studies of women, ethnic groups, and doubly so

women of color (less than 2%)because they are deemed "non-norma tive" populations or are not set in a "comparative" context that revalidates the dominant paradigm, one often based on studies of white male popu lations. As Paula Ries reports in her evaluative study of the seminar pro cess, some researchers had never contemplated the inclusion of gender as a variable, " 'I've never used gender as an independent variable, and because of the seminar I did for the first time . . . and got some enormous sex differ ences . . . which I don't understand because I've never run gender on any of this before. I probably never would have done this if I hadn't been in the seminar'" (39). Many studies still report outcomes as applicable for all human populations, often ignoring the variability of gender, race, class, and culture in defining "good" experimental models. Such fundamental issues within numerous disciplines, nevertheless, provoke thoughtful re-examina tions of the very paradigms of research that render ethnic women, or ethnicity and gender, " invisible" and "Unspeak able" (Morrison, " Unspeakable" ; Yamada).

Similarly, the defense that follows frequently upon a recognition of the quantity of new and good research directs our attention to a seemingly more practical curricular concern, "how do I fit in new material without sacrific ing the old, because you can't do it all." Underlying such a litany, however, is the latent presumption that courses must and do offer a dominant perspec tive and "coverage" of the field, making it impossible to deviate from the traditional canon or, in many cases standard anthologies, which offer "ob jective" interpretations of materials, deemed so because "they've always been taught." Unquestioning adoption of the older Norton Anthologv of American Literature, or numerous in troductory psychology textbooks might give the illusion of canonical consensus or objective science, while


including few if any women or ethnic voices, or relegating gender to a sepa rate section and eliminating ethnic studies or culture altogether. By ac knowledging that all courses involve subjective determinations of what to teach and how to teach it, FEW faculty explored alternative models of course organization, whether by supplementing readings with new choices of examples, books, and assignments; making "canon formation" the centerpiece of discussion; or in several instances selecting alternatives, revising, or jettisoning anthologies altogether.

Transformation takes place, for example, when a traditional chrono logical survey of "Nineteenth-century American Literature: 1801-1865" re positions students to think about topical subheadings, such as "The Fron tier and American Indians," "Expansion and the Conquest of Mexico," "Slavery," or "Social Reform." Texts speak differently to other texts, when James Fenimore Cooper and Black Hawk, Little Crow's oration and Herman Melville's "The Metaphysics of Indian Hating" are juxtaposed; when Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) and Frederick Douglass's My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) become central discourses; or when Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance (1852) and Rebecca Harding Davis's Life in the Iron Mills (1861) set transcendentalist utopian experiments next to working class realities, despite the shared "romance" genre. No one class, nor any single faculty, exercises sufficient curriculum control to "do it all," yet at the level of programs the choices we each make should offer widely dif ferent perspectives, often through the contrapuntal dialogues among and di versity of voices that have created the humanistic traditions, texts, and his tories in American culture.

Privileging theoretical constructs, ones that often arise out of the study of middle-class, white, and male popu

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core, Karen E. Rowe

lations, discourses, interpretations, and visions often distorts or skews toward a dominant culture model our students' understanding of themselves and their position in American society. Overcoming this defense involves learning to retell the very story of American society and of our own lives, thereby re-envisioning key concepts of individualism, progress, and democratic justice that we take for granted, and in that process challenging chronological histories, hierarchies, and values. Consider the narrative, often taught in "The History of the Family," in which the rise of the "nuclear family" from New England's Puritan foundings, through the nineteenth-century ideology of "Republican motherhood," gives way inevitably to a "fall," traceable, accord ing to the Moynihan Report and others (Ginsburg), to the disintegration of the "black" family in America, the rise of single-parent households, immi grant overcrowding, and the threatening spectre of a welfare state. When, however, Gina Morantz-Sanchez redesigned this course, the chronological and theoretical foundation shifted markedly, beginning with the study of kinship systems, multiple family models within different cultures, and the "differences" that result from women's and children's roles variously defined. What values inform and configure the tribal American clans and families among the Laguna Pueblo, Narrangansetts, and coastal Miwok may differ markedly from Black family histories in the south, while widely

varying family customs among Mexican American, Asian American, and Euro-American immigrants reflect cultural and religious heritagesas often with intra-ethnic as inter-ethnic variation. No single chronological history or nuclear family model enables us to account for historical or present social realities.

Similarly, in literary studies unexamined, and often unarticulated "esthetic values" of the "good, the true, and the beautiful," may deter

Karen E. Rowe, Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core

mine the "great works" of western literature that we teach in courses, such as "Great American Authors" or novels. Yet, an interrogating of both the "Great" and the "American" may en gender considerable transformation of the reading list, so that our students can hear the "voices" of American culture, encounter so-called "noncanonical" works, or rediscover old texts as well as avant-garde contemporary writers. Such reconfigurations of what we read forces us to reconceive "greatness," to challenge the very homogeneity and absolutism of literary judgment it im plies, and to "hear America singing," as Walt Whitman heard it, in all its harmonious dissonances (Miller).

Theoretical remodelings cannot be divorced, however, from pedagogy, as seminar participants became increasingly aware as sessions pro gressed. In part, the underlying critique of disciplines that results from exposure to the new research only exposes more powerfully the binary thinking that creates easy categories of Self and Other, the Center and the Margin, the Dominant and the Subordinate. Whether in research or the classroom, women and ethnic peoples have too casually, even unknowingly, been cast in the role of the "they" deviant from the mainstream, the groups in sociology who lack "status" and are

"minorities," the abnormal in psychological constructs, or the exotic in lit erature. King-Kok Cheung, facilitator for the American and Related Lit eratures seminar, writes the following in "Reflections on Teaching Literature by American Women of Color:"

While ideals such as rationalism and competitive individualism may be shared by people of color, ethnic women frequently present competing sets of beliefs. Instead of seeing and judging diverse cultures from Eurocentric perspectives, these perspectives must themselves be in- terrogated and oppositional viewpoints be entertained. For instance, when we encounter ghosts and spirits in works

such as Paule Marshall's Praisesong for the Widow, Toni Morrison's Beloved, Silko's Ceremony, and Ana Castillo's Mixqiahuala Letters , we must not jump to the conclusion that the characters are superstitious or hal lucinatory, or, what is equally problematic, assume thst those beliefs are shared by all members of the ethnic group under discussion . . . Unless we refrain from relegating literature by people of color to the realms of the benighted or the exotic, it can never become a site for possible transforma tive thinking (20).

Models of intellectual inquiry that reinscribe the powerful metaphors of Eurocentric binary thinking inevitably disempower the perceptions, cultural values, and histories of the fifty-two percent and sixty percent ethnic "ma jority" of UCLA's student body. Multiculturalism may have arrived on the university campus in the complexion and make-up of its student body, but multiculturalism has only begun to infuse the curriculum. Whether in the social sciences or literary studies, conflictual dialectics continue to emerge between the claims of female experience, cultural modes of expres sion and values, and the dominant paradigms of a discipline. By unrav eling some of the knotted assumptions that lead to exclusions, marginalizations, and devaluations of ethnic women's experience and voices, all seminars questioned how knowledge enters the academy, becomes published, and becomes the "mainstream," but they also challenged fac ulty to engender alternative "ways of knowing."

Precisely this need for rethinking ways of knowing is what underlies the dynamic processes and ultimately success of the curriculum development seminars. Within this academic borderland, a "space out of time" from the ususl academic duties, and with colleagues mutually engaged, the renego tiations of authority take placenot only rethinkings of one's discipline and courses, but also of the professor's

authority in the classroom, when his/her experience may not be at the cen ter. Authority is never neutral (though we often assume it like an invisible robe, granted with the Ph.D. to be donned before each class), because as faculty we all bring a culturally inflected perspective, a position, a view point, an approach which we rarely share with our students. "Where we are coming from" may be assumed to be as irrevelant as "where the students are coming from," yet the academic enterprise of learning and coming to know implicitly makes the classroom into a site where realities, cultures, styles of discourse, the right to speak, the authority of experience are engaged on an everyday basis. Hence, the seminars were designed to dislocate, decenter, to de-authorize, so that individually and collectively, we could re learn, re-educate, and transform ourselves in order to transform our courses and our pedagogy. In that process all participants needed to experience and to realize that everyone is a stranger in someone else's culture and that ev ery teacher becomes a new learner in the multicultural borderlands.

Relearning in the FEW seminars occurred most frequently at moments of tension, challenge, and even miscommunication, through querying, in teractive exchanges, and even strategic interventions by the director and facilitators. One such confrontation arose when a white male faculty's in advertent reference to the "ghetto" and an African American female student's recoil against the code words or labels that read illiteracy, violence, intra-city poverty into all African American experience made all too audible the un spoken assumptions embedded in racialized discourse. Painful, yet illu minating examinations of even one such rupture within a seminar often opened up faculty to rethink how classrooms can transform conflict into con sciousness, conduct into content for analysis.

Relearning over time and in mul

tiple meetings served also to lessen the dangers of a single session exposure that blurs all ethnic and women's experience into one homogenous snap shot of "women of color." The need for comparative intra-ethnic studies was nowhere more apparent than in Maria Root's challenge to our psychol ogy participants, when she laid on the table the map of the Pacific Islands with its complicated variety of cultural heritages and languages. The infinitely complex deciphering by Sonia Saldívar-Hull of the many variations of Chicana, Mexicana, la raza, mestiza, Tejana, Latina, Hispanic reminded all faculty of the historical and political nuances of cultural naming in the southwest. Group identity, whether a result of slave/labor importations, im migration and settlement patterns, or indigenous histories, reinforced the need to determine still more complex intra- and inter-ethnic variations in the

"American" experience of Pacific Islander, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and East Asian peoples. Teresa LaFromboise argued for a theoretical rethinking of the bipolarism of psychological research that sees white males as normative and all "others" as deviant, and proposed instead a matrix model of experimental psychology that uses culture, gen der, and ethnicity as variables when studying the lived experience of indi viduals and groups.

The aim, therefore, in all seminars was not simplification or a reification of cultural stereotypes, but rather a sophisticated comparative multi -culturalism. Hence, the seminar structures themselves shifted from high lighting research on four discrete ethnic women's groups to seminars in which thematic units stimulated more dynamic multiethnic and cross-cultural approaches and, as a result, more complex syllabi transformations. For in stance, in fall 1990 the American ethnic studies seminar brought to the fore front similarities and differences among ethnic women's cultural re

sponses to space and spirituality, reflected not just in the written word, but in storytelling, ritual, and song. A far richer understanding of border identi ties, remembered histories, (in)visibility and what Toni Morrison has called "unspeakable things (un)spoken" emerged. Abosorption, not glossing, became crucialbecause knowing what needs to be known, "what's missing from this picture," enables one to teach by challenging limiting theoretical constructs and dis ciplinary methodologies. The seminars provided the opportunity to be gin this processto work through rather than retreat from the complex ity of intra-ethnic difference and intercultural understandings.

When Cherríe Moraga asserts, "I am a woman with a foot in both worlds. I refuse the split. I feel the necessity for dialogue," she articulates cogently the personal reality and institutional position that grounded the FEW project (58). By refusing the split be tween ethnicity and gender, the various faculty development seminars foregrounded dialogues, multivarious and often conflicted, that enabled scholars/teachers to conceptualize gender, race, and ethnicity and to grapple with complex interactions and syncretisms through which people and cul tures identify themselves and are perceived. In any given session, the os tensible topical focus might be African American, Chicana/Latina, Ameri can Indian, and/or Asian American women, but the fundamental issues circled inevitably and productively around the ways gender and ethnicity participate in cultural formations, enactments, and transmissions. That we are all implicated in multicultural identities and societies became the recur rent insight throughout the seminar process. Similarly, a binary system of Self and Other, that underlies much of western European thought and deploy ments of power, became inherently suspect, replaced by a perception of matrices in which complex

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core, Karen E. Rowe

interdynamics of race, class, gender, ethnicity, religionin short multiple human identities and culturesinterconnect. What might initially have seemed "marginal" to the academic mainstream, that is, the study of eth nic women, became instead the catalyst for revisionist thinking about what constitutes the "center," and who claims (or is granted) the authority to speak and to define categories of exclusion and inclusion.



What constitutes the " human" in the humanities became a concommitant question within the curriculum development seminars, since multiculturalism inherently challenges on the one hand reductively homoge neous or unitary concepts of all humanity, and on the other hand trans -cultural notions of "objective" humanistic education divorced from (or tran scendent beyond) cultural differences. Cultures are, after all, the shifting, evolving constructs that give meaning to individual lives within complex so cieties. Those who would bring multiculturalism together with the hu manities core claim, and I think rightly so, that humanistic study at its best asks our students to think critically about and respect the ethnic, racial, gender differences (and similarities) that make cultures vibrant with life, ideas, beliefs different from their own (AAC, Connecting Learning ; AAC, Program Review; Cortés, "Pluribus" ; Curriculum and Multiculturalism; Schneider; Schmitz, Core).4 How in praxis might such models of multicultural humani ties enter into the core curriculum?

When and how do we learn to inhabit the borderland of the "and" that fully integrates multiculturalism with humanities education and liberal learn ing, thereby sustaining a commitment to a diversified curriculum and to the

Karen E. Rowe, Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core

week. The image of the "ideal" student, often based upon the model of small liberal arts colleges, that assumes a residential, four-year, non -working student thoroughly convinced of humanistic values rooted in litera ture, history, and philosophy as the purpose of college education is fast fading as a norm. Like so many state public institutions, UCLA's student seeks both the critical skills of analysis within a liberal humanistic educa tion and the pre-professional preparation that launches them into life-long careers, and consequently majors (whether pre-med, communication studies, English, theater arts, engineering, the sciences, math, pre-law politi cal science, economics and business) that set rigorous demands for pre-de termined course sequences. Large public universities, as well as commu nity and state colleges, deal daily with orders of magnitude and bureaucratic complexity that prove more often to be the obstacles to developing core programs than do the visions and willingness of faculty to teach within them. We may feel at times like benighted archaeologists, trying to recover the remains of liberal arts humanism, a practice comparable to excavating el ephant skeletons from the La Brea tar pits.

However, within the broader schema of general education require ments for both humanistic inquiry (or humanities as a division) and multiculturalism (or American pluralism), some models of programs, clus ters, and sequences offer viable alternatives (Schmitz, Core). In recent years UCLA has created three such models that offer feasible experiments that engage some students rather than a centrally required humanities experience for all students: (1) The Hu manities Program; (2) Humanities Clusters; and (3) an American Cultural Expression sequence. Although these programs can be expanded to handle more students, no single model will meet the needs of all students. 5

e pluribus unum of American society and education? In more practical terms, what do actual courses and curricular models look like that embody a multicultural humanism that moves faculty and students beyond the resis tances detailed above. Examples from the preceding discussion have already given some intimations of how course design, text selection, reconcep -tualizing of theoretical categories, new starting points, greater interdis -ciplinarity, thematic rather than chronological organizations, texts that speak to other texts, "interactive" or matrix cultural models, cognizance of intra-ethnic differences, and new pedagogies that "teach the conflicts," become important alternatives and guidelines for curriculum redesign (Graff, Beyond; Graff, "Teach"). Pro grams, however, respond to the need for cohesively unified multiple course offerings or sequences that offer more depth than a mere "dip" into the single multiculturally transformed, often discipline-specific, course.

None of the three program models discussed below are, however, "core" in the sense that all students are required to take the series or sequences. In large research institutions, the demands of 3,750-4,250 entering freshman each year, not to mention the nearly 1,750-2,000 tranfers for whom comparable community college re quirements would need to be negotiated, make a single model of the hu manities core curriculum a Herculean (and Sisyphyean) enterprise. It is im portant also to take into account the realities and constraints of pre-exist ing General Education structures, departmental prerogatives in teaching courses, and the unbridled independence of undergraduate students. Among UCLA's students and, no doubt, those in Texas institutions, we have a wide variety of full and part-time undergraduates, of commuters and campus residents, and those returning, transferring, and working, many of whom regularly work 20-30 hours a

While the first model builds upon a long-standing and traditional hu manities program, the second and third models have been experimentally tested during 1991-94, utilizing new infusions of resources either from in ternal Deans' and instructional development funds or external Ford Foun dation monies. The three models of curricular programs illustrate strategic designs that correspond also with the additive, integrative, and transforma tive stages of curriculum development that Margaret Anderson ("Interac tive"), Paula Ries, Betty Schmitz (Integrating ), Schuster and Van Dyne, Tetrault, and others have documented for women's studies projects. In our Humanities Program, the changes have been additive, though even modest expansions of the canonical texts taught create significant differences in the multicultural inclusiveness of the program as a whole. Humanities Clusters offer an integrative model that brings together existing courses into a three course, quarter-long immersion, stressing thereby the need to create interdisciplinary linkages that use differ ent research methods, yet a thematic focus to create coherent multicultural perspectives. American Cultural Expression, newly designed under a Ford Foundation grant, branches out from the traditional humanities core disci plines to include the arts and social sciences, doing so in a way that focuses on Los Angeles as a laboratory for multicultural learning, on freshman dormitories as classrooms, and on community performances, museums, parks and streets as the sites and substance for studying multiethnic cul tures and artslearning without walls.

The Humanities Program

UCLA has long offered a traditional humanities sequence of "World Literature" within the lower division, which studies "major texts in world literature, with emphasis on Western civilization" from "Antiquity to the

Early Middle Ages," "Late Middle Ages to the 17th Century," "Age of Enlightenment to the 20th Century" (lA-lC) ( UCLA Catalogue 230). Comprised also of the 2A-2C series, sub titled "Survey of Literature" for the same periods, all of these courses can fulfill the humanities General Education requirements, and 2A, 2B, or 2C also meet the English Composition requirement. All students are not re quired, however, to take the full sequence. Even operating within the chronological model with a focus on "major texts," individual instructors vary the syllabus considerably. In one variant of Humanities lA, for example, Sophocles' Antigone stands next to The Odyssey , while issues of "the polis and family," "Dido's Passions," "Self and Other" in Ovid's accounts of Echo and Narcissus, or Arachne and Philomela, the cult of romantic love, and women in the Laxdaele Saga appear prominently as daily lecture top ics, thereby bringing to the fore gender as a fundamental category within literary anaylsis. Dated catalogue copy for lC retains the almost exclusively male pantheon of enlightenment and twentieth-century authors: Swift, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Goethe, Flaubert, Ibsen, Strindberg, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Joyce, Woolf, and Stevens (230). A 1992-93 Humanities 1C offering featured, however, a blend with newly adopted "classical" texts authored by both men and women, including Choderlos Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1782), Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (1813), William Wordsworth's "Lyrical Bal lads" (1798), Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights ( ), Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary (1857), Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), Henrik Ibsen's famous "A Doll's House" (1879) and "Hedda Gabler," (1890), Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse (1927), and Gabriel Garc ía-Márquez's Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1983). Though predominantly European and canoni

cally non-controversial, these texts immediately call forth comparisons across cultures and foreground issues of gender, class, and sexuality.

The most innovative change recently in the Humanities sequences has been the inclusion of lD, "Great Books from the World at Large," which fo cuses on the "study of major literary texts usually overlooked in courses that focus only on the canon of Western literature," with "texts from at least three of the following areas in any given term: African, Caribbean, East Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern literature" ( Catalogue 230). One such syllabus from Spring 1993 runs the dangers of reinscribing cultural nationalisms by grouping texts according to geographical locale, but the intertextual resonances of cross-cutting "human" themes (cultural change, death, modern despair, renewals from pain) create an exciting adventure for students who otherwise might never read international authors, such as revisionary historians J.M. Coetzee and Miguel Angel Asturias, Africanists Chinua Achebe and Buchi Emecheta, Latin Americanists Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel Garc ía-Márquez, Asian writers Hsaio Hung and Yasunari Kawabata, or Middle Easterner Naguib Mahfouz. The rich potentiality of multiculturalism as a global revisioning of humanity and literature does not stand alone in this course, because it forces us also to requestion a series that "tags on" the "world at large," as if a mere adjunct to perspectives on "western civilization" that dominate Humanities lA-C, 2A-C.

Multicultural expansions of the canon have also generated courses that move considerably further away from a western dominated core and chrono logically configured series. In the upper division Humanities courses, which have primarily been defined by comparative literary approaches and studies of conventional genres, newly designed courses range from "Arche typal Heroines" from antiquity to the

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core, Karen E. Rowe

modern period, paralleling the existing 106 "Archetypal Heroes in Litera ture," C170 on the "Alternate Traditions: In Search of Female Voices in Contemporary Literature;" M174 "Film and Literature of the Spanish -Speaking World;" and 158 "Colonial Encounters;" and 168 "Korean Ameri can Literature." Classicist and comparativist Katherine King (a FEW participant) initially taught an Honors Division version of "Archetypal Hero ines" entitled "Imaginary Women," for 15 (with 150 students applying), when she created the most radically revision ist humanities course, although one adaptable to upper division or even the lower division core. Organized according to the archetypes of "The Er rant Wife/Mother," "Helen," "The Woman Warrior," and "The Infanticide," each segment deliberately jux taposes ancient and contemporary texts. Euripedes' Medea and Ovid's "Tereus, Procne, and Philomela" from the Metamorphoses link with Chicana myths of La Llorona in Gina Vald és's Puentes y Fronteras: Coplas Chicanas (1982) and Sandra Cisneros's Woman Hollering Creek (1991) and with Toni Morrison's Beloved (1987). Classical Greek and Roman excerpts (Virgil, Homer, Aeschylus), epic cycle frag ments, and ancient tribal American Indian stories of "Yellow Woman," come into dialogue with European writers Christine de Pisan and Christa Wolf as well as contemporary American fictions by Louise Erdrich, Judy Grahn, and Maxine Hong Kingston. King's course routinely disrupts com fortable categories and cultural assumptions by reorienting the thematic focus to make women central players (as characters and authors), by explor ing the origins of female myths, and encouraging comparative cultural dia logues rather than isolating readings by national origin. The deliberate disrup tion of perspective occurs from the very first day, when a film, "Where the Spirit Lives" introduces the "cultural imag- inary," followed not by Helen

Karen E. Rowe, Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core

and Medea, but rather the errant wife/mother of American Indian myths "Yellow Woman." Transformative in terms of its textual selections, organi zation, and mixing of genres, "Archetypal Heroines" forces students to con template new questions, connections, even while fostering a habit of critical inquiry into fundamental human issueslife, war, loss, sacrifice, memoryand the cultural myths we imagine to account for our experi ences.

Caveats about the humanities program from the perspective of multiculturalism are apparent, of course, since individual course de signs, an added Humanities lD, or one elective course may challenge but not immediately or necessarily yield reconceptualizations in the overall pro gram. The "core" humanities sequences that fulfill College of Letters and Science requirements, and which most students are likely to select, fea ture traditional periods in western civilization, privilege European authors (French, German, English), emphasize a "great" books orientation, view women's experience from a "male" gaze and presumptions of dominance, and treat the "world at large" as the "Other" from the western concepts of self, civilization, and cultural centrality. Esthetic values and originary ideas of "culture" may go unquestioned, when "heroic" archetypes are predomi nantly masculine, while female traditions are seen as "alternate," reactive rather than consistently integrated within literary representations of hu man experience.

The proportionate emphasis of six courses in western civilization and one on the world underscores dramatically what is considered canonical. A clear example of an "additive" model of curriculum integration, even the Hu manities lD still carries with it remnants of the great books (Nobel prize -winners now from the world at large). In another sense, though, lD makes visible and problematizes what is the

new post-colonial canon, largely represented by English speaking writers from former crown colonies, African diaspora writers, Spanish and Portu guese inhabitants of the New World. The significance of additive courses or program changes should not, however, be underestimated, because texts are only a partial index of multiculturalism's impact on the hu manities core. What the "dialogues," "revisions," "disruptions" noted above indicate is that faculty can bring to the study of even classical texts radically new techniques of reading, provocative thematic reconceptualizations, new "narratives" of history and culture, an awareness of cultural differ ences in what "self" or the individual means in relationship to society, and how gender relations and ethnic encounters are diversely constructed. In the very process of curricular rethinking, additions stimulate and give rise to often startlingly creative integrations of multi-lens readings of multiethnic cultures.

Humanities Clusters

In order to engage students in an intensive humanities experience, dur ing 1991-94 UCLA also pilot-tested one-quarter "clusters" of three General Education courses that offer a second "core" model designed to be integra tive and interdisciplinary.6 The Humanities Cluster Program gives stu dents a unique opportunity to enroll in specially selected, coherent groups of courses organized around a historical period, theoretical approach, or central problem or theme. Such a model already extends beyond the additive ap proach of humanities sequencing by necessitating a focused integration of various disciplines and a thematic unification. Students are enrolled in two normally scheduled departmental GE

courses, usually offered to large numbers of students, but with special dis cussion sections arranged for the cluster students. In addition, for each clus

ter, one course is drawn from the Humanities 1 or 2 sequence, or from En glish 3 "English Composition, Rhetoric, and Language" or 129 "Interme diate Exposition." Variants of the latter two are designed specifically by Writing Programs Lecturers to integrate the cluster content through ap propriate further readings, group discussion, research topics, and choice of writing exercises formulated after consultation with all cluster faculty. En rollment is limited to 20-25 students, who attend regular lectures for each departmental course and, when available, the special discussion sections, but who also have the advantage of meeting as an exclusive group two or more times each week, whether in specially designated writing sections for Humanities 1 or 2 or the composition seminar. Because they are selected from pre-existing departmental courses, clusters also enable students to fulfill substantial general education requirements, either by special ar rangement as a whole cluster or individually applied to humanities, writ ing, and social science categories.

Although Humanities clusters are open to both new and continuing stu dents, they have a special advantage for students new to UCLA (whether entering freshman or transfer students) because they offer a coordinated pro gram of courses and a stimulating and supportive environmentacademic, intellectual, socialin which to become familiar with the institutional demands and lifestyle at a large university. As one student indicated, "the most beneficial aspect of the clusters experience was attending classes with the same people. It made me feel comfortable and allowed me to create for myself a support group. Study sessions together were the best" ( HCP Flyer 2). That comraderie, an unanticipated ben efit that strongly reinforced the intellectual process of integrating content, resulted directly from the frequent, small-group meetings which were an effective counterbalance to larger,

more anonymous lecture classes that may enroll 50 to 350 students. Because cluster students soon got to know one another, they often found it easier to participate in class discussions, develop intellectual self-confidence, and establish a working rapport with both students and faculty. As another stu dent commented: "I think the structure and idea of the cluster are very valuable at UCLA. I feel like I am getting a lot more out of each course because of my involvement in the cluster. I feel like I am getting rare per sonal attention at a large research university. I really appreciated the dedi cation of the faculty to the cluster" (HCP Flyer 2 ). What such testimony points to is the ability of "clusters" to create student learning communities and to recreate, at least in one quarter, the small college intellectual intensity of humanistic inquiry embedded within the ostensibly impersonal curriculum of a large research university.

Integrating multiculturalism became an essential, almost dominating dimension, of the humanities clusters, in part to respond to the needs of a heavily ethnic majority freshman class, in part because the experience of eth nic, gender, and regional studies faculty (including FEW participants) lent itself to the interdisciplinary collaborative design of the cluster model it self. Cluster themes and historical periods did include western civiliza tion groupings, such as "The Art and Literature of Western Antiquity," "Manipulations of Sign Systems," "The Renaissance: Art and the Literature of Shakespeare," and "The Worlds of Western Antiquity," the latter of which offered a combination of Art History 50: Ancient Art, History lA: Introduction to Western Civilization, and Hu manities 2A: Ancient and Early Medieval Literature. More common were clusters that foregrounded diverse groups in order to address international and American cultural legacies: "Latin American Literature and History," "Native American Culture," "Encoun

as applied to a historical period, theme, or humanistic prob lem, is reinforced by the coodinated reading materials and requirement to write about those materials in integrative ways. Special events also en hanced integration: a panel discussion by all cluster faculty in which students interrogated the methodological differences and linkages; integrative semi nars/workshops on cross-disciplinary topics; guest lectures by professors from related fields; handouts on "Strategies for Clustering" to foster student study groups; collective creative projects such as the "Trail of Truths: Windows into Native American Cultures," a creative anthology developed and published by students; or a culminating student research conference. Thus, multiculturalism integrated within the humanities cluster content, and integrative strategies for humanistic learning that deepened cultural understandings, when effective, enabled students to learn as much about the methods as the materials of analysis.

Advantages for large universities of the cluster model are apparent: use of pre-existing courses; fulfillment of general education requirements; writ ing linked to discipline-based content; connections across disciplines, yet ex posure to different analytic paradigms; more intimate settings for student learning communities; closer contact between students and faculty; varied topics with broad-based appeal; a combination of traditional and multicultural clusters. Yet, despite the evident advantages of this special pro gram, new university students seemed reluctant to surrender the more general privilege of selecting their own unique and diversified study list; signed up at the last moment, when most courses had closed their enrollment, rather than elected the "challenge" of this option; feared a commitment to three courses (a full schedule for many Fall quarter freshman) in which they would have to drop all three; took peer counselors'

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core, Karen E. Rowe

tering the Other: Spain & America," "Art and Literature in the Global Vil lage," "American Women: Their History, Their Literature," and "African American History and Literature." An exemplary cluster aimed at freshmen, "Encountering the Other," enrolled students in History 8A: Culture, Ethnicity, and Gender in Early Latin America, Spanish M42: Civilization of Spain and Portugal, and English 3: The Quincentenary Question. A more advanced cluster, with an appeal to transfer sophomores, such as "Ameri can Women" combined English M107A: American Women Writers (cross-listed with Women's Studies), History 156D: Social History of American Women, 1800-1920, and English 129: Intermediate Exposition, all of which bring ethnically diverse perspectives on gender into play.

Though often focused on a geographical region or ethnic-specific group, nonetheless, these clusters provided students with the intellectual tools to see cultures through multiple disciplinary lenses, thereby teaching them different ways of knowing, different ways to think about the forma tions of cultural and ethnic groups, and the varying discourse styles that ex press group identityoral stories, theater, dance, murals and music. Al though students often experience frustration in attempting to synthesize unsynchronized material, this reflects a widespread weakness in American education that, nonetheless, has potential value if recognized as an intellec tual rite of passage. Cluster faculty attempted to anticipate and teach to the challenges of interdisciplinary learning. By integrating knowledge from several related humanities disciplines, the intensive cluster sought to strengthen the student's ability to make connections, to see unities within chro nological periods, to trace different emergences of ideologies and ideas, and to hone writing skills and critical analysis. Consequently, the exposure to different disciplinary and intellectual approaches,

Karen E. Rowe, Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core

advice to "go for the mick [Mickey Mouse] GE" rather than the "tough" cluster; felt locked out of required sequences for pre-majors; and wanted more flexible times to accommodate work schedules. Such clusters also require logistical juggling among departments and faculty teaching sched ules that can be daunting, not to mention the resources in T.A. and Writing Programs FTE that would accompany significant efforts to open up more clusters, or even more sections within a given cluster. What offers hope and promise for expansion, however, is the results, when students exude enthusi asm about their education: "I really learned. Because I was getting info. from 3 classes that related, I really understood what I learned" ( HCP Flyer 2).

The intellectual potential for multicultural humanistic study offered by intensive immersion models are plentiful indeed. By opening for stu dents a "window" into cultural legacies through breadth, coherence, and depth of concentration, we provided a more connected view of shared cul tural heritages and engaged students in the humanities as an area of important inquiry, not merely as a fleeting experience on the way to a different degree and career. The humanities clusters provided an opportunity to promote a social and intellectual community among diverse students rarely avail able at large institutions. What such clusters gain by way of building upon already existing courses is dialogue and debate, a multi-disciplinary model of learning, and an accessible route for faculty to retain authority in their field while testing the waters of collegial team-teaching and collaborative planning. What such clusters lack is the imaginative power of a mutually conceived curriculum, in which faculty begin from scratch to design a self-consciously and thoroughly integrative experience for students, so that daily lectures speak coherently to each other, and a genuinely interdisciplinary ap

proach to humanistic multicultural learning.

American Cultural

Expression Sequence

Because of the demographic shifts and commitments to multicultural edu cation, an increasingly important goal of UCLA's general education has been to provide students with curricular and community programming that intro duces them to their own and other peoples' diversity, with Los Angeles as the critical context. Funded by the Ford Foundation, we inaugurated a pilot project in 1991-1993, to create a new humanities and arts sequence, "American Cultural Expression," which would "celebrate, through a complementary program of cultural activities and courses, the ethnic het erogeneity of southern California." 7 This "transformative" third model of a humanities core was designed as a year-long "branch" sequence that com bines a required multi-disciplinary, multicultural core lecture with flexible choice of usually smaller, more advanced discipline specific courses that focus on two or more ethnic communities in Los Angeles. While the in troductory lecture grounds students in critical theories, methods, and con cepts, the specialized courses examine the unifying thematic of American cul tural expression with increasing depth and a diversity of disciplinary and pedagogical strategies. Beginning in Fall 1991 with a core general edu cation lecture for 100 to 150 students on culture and esthetic values, the se quence then led to Winter and Spring 1992 offerings in history, urban cul ture and geography, music, and theater history, each with a focus on Los An geles as a site for diverse cultural and artistic modes of expression. Informal discussions to accompany artistic events were coordinated with courses to help students and community members access the arts of cultural tradi tions that might be foreign to them.

Assessment of the courses revealed a high degree of student interest and about a 30% carry-forward from the root course to the branch serieseven when it was not required but voluntary. Such a model can easily be con verted into a regularly offered American Culture and Esthetic Values gen eral education sequence, capable of fulfilling humanities and arts require ments or providing one variant of a humanities core with the added ben efit that the thematic focus can be adapted to the regional locales and ur ban "sites" of many colleges and universities.

The "transformative" nature of this humanities sequence derives in part from the inaugural esthetics course, taught by English professor and project director Raymund Paredes, which directly addresses the issues of multiculturalism. Titled "Aesthetic Value in Literature and the Arts: A Multi-Cultural Approach," English 100 interrogates the very notion of aes thetic value as it has developed in western and certain non-western cultures and in the United States. Readings include, among others, Terry Eagleton's The Ideology of the Aesthetic (1990), Sally Price's Primitive Art in Civilized Places (1991), Paul Lauter's Canons and Context (1991), Mark O'Brien and Craig Little's (eds.) Reimaging America: The Arts of Social Change (1990), and Lucy Lippard's Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multi-Cultural America (1990). In the context of a historical overview of esthetic judgment, the course acquaints students with how values within an American cultural context take shape and change over time. Students are asked also to consider the qualities of traditionally neglected expressive forms, including storytelling and celebrations by Native Americans, the corridos of Mexican-Americans, and the spirituals and folklore that shape Afro-American literature. The course also takes account of how new demo graphics, immigrant populations, vary

ing cultural histories, and new configurations of urban space are reshaping the evolution of expressive forms, nowhere more vibrantly so than in con temporary Los Angeles. The 1991 students also participated in frequent im passioned debates as they learned that value systems are tied to cultural his tories, which do not develop in a vacuum and yet maintain unique fea tures.

Students from the Fall "Esthetics" course were encouraged to enroll in at least one, but preferably more, of the specialized branch classes (more than 30% did so) that were redesigned or newly developed to reflect multiethnic voices and cultural contexts. Two such courses with a focus on Los Angeles were offered each quarter, thereby per mitting students flexibility in their self selection and scheduling, yet also con tinuity in their intellectual growth. Geography, under the leadership of James Johnson and Michael Curry (former FEW faculty facilitator), cre ated a new seminar, "Symbolic Landscapes of Los Angeles," in which stu dents gain a broad understandingthrough art, literature, film, and rap musicof the city's complex landscapes and cultural enclaves. Although the course begins with an analysis of the development of Los Angeles' offi cial symbolic geographies, such as el pueblo de Los Angeles, Chinatown, Hollywood, the beaches, the freeways, and new downtown, it emphasizes pro gressively how traditionally marginalized groups have used art to define their visions of and their positions within the city. How such cul tural and artistic expressions reflect intergroup competition and conflict gives way to an evaluation of recent efforts to bridge communities and cul tures through integrative arts and festivals in Los Angeles reconceived as a multicultural urban space. Similarly in Winter 1992, Professor Steven Loza created Ethnomusicology 115, which analyzes how musical/cultural con texts converge within the metropolis.

Grounded in theories of esthetic anthropology and the history of cultural migrations, the course surveys both musical forms identified with ethnic groups, such as African-American gospel, jazz and the blues, or Chicano mariachi and Latin salsa, and how the confluence of cultures in Los Angeles has generated hybrid or cross-over musical styles from contemporary rock to rap.

The hugely popular (350+ students) Spring 1992 lecture, History 164: The History of Los Angeles taught by Professor George Sanchez focused on the key themes of immigration, the role of newcomers in ur ban decision-making, and the role of media in shaping mass culture. From the frontier dreams generated by Spanish Missions, Indian settlements, and the Ranchero economy to the hey-day of Hollywood, prohibition, and Jazz, to the war-time zoot suit riots and Japanese internment, to the present day Disneyland culture side by side with the Watts Riots, this course situates studenes in the historical flux of Los Angeles and the artistic mediums rep resenting it. Consequently, films, such as "El Norte," "Chinatown," "Ramona," and "Sunset Boulevard" become as integral as readings from Alejandro Morales's The Brick People (1988), Mike Davis's City of Ouartz (1990), Neal Gabler's An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood (1988), and Nathaneal West's The Day of the Locust (1939). In the same quarter, Theater Arts' faculty Edit Villarreal, Patricia Harter, and Beverly Robinson developed a new course, "Cross-Cultural Currents in Theater," which, through readings, live and filmed theater performances, and guest presenters, emphasizes interculturalism by comparing the Eastern and Western traditions and seeking their common threads. With project funding Film and Television also recast "History of the American Motion Picture," an introductory course on the complexity of American

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core, Karen E. Rowe

culture and the diversity of American experience since 1950 and its relation to the appearance of television and the rise of popular youth music. Because all of these courses engage students even beyond those in the "American Cultural Expression" sequence, they bring more powerfully into the major and general education curriculum the multiculturalism that enrichens our understanding of the arts and humanities.

Theory would mean little, however, if not supported by experiential learning through audio and visual materials, visits from guest artists, and active attendance at university or community arts events. Expected to attend complementary arts events (museum exhibits, community festivals, dra matic productions, local arts series, public space sculptures and murals), students were engaged in monthly participatory discussions held in the resi dence halls and required to integrate classroom readings with the "arts ex perience" through their own writing assignments. Courses, such as History 164, also involved field internships at organizations as widely varying as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Central American Refugee Center, the Dunbar Museum (a South Central Afro-American Museum), Tri Star Pic tures, and Inter-Faith Hunger Coalition. In the geography class, students were required to board a bus at the far west end of Los Angeles and traverse the city via Wilshire Boulevard, noting the cultural changes along the street as well as in the bus. Rethinking his ethnomusicology helped Professor Loza frame his new book Barrio Rhythm, which now serves as a major text in contemporary arts education. Moving students outward and back into the ethnic communities from which the expressive arts radiate throughout Los Angeles became an essential pedagogical component, so that the laboratory for learning would not stop at the classroom door.

Making students cognizant of

Karen E. Rowe, Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core

multicultural arts involves, however, more than just an innovative curricu lar modelit requires that the humanistic study of the arts translates visibly from the academy into the community, so that cultural literacy continues to influence students' attitudes and cognition long after their formal education ends. The Ford Foundation grant enabled us, therefore, through a UCLA Community Forum Series, to offer pre-discussions to art and performance activities on campus, to sponsor specific programming at the residence halls, and to develop a series of calendars that illustrated the diversity of art and performance venues available to students and the larger community. Regardless of the richly diverse offerings in art and performance, student audiences often attended activities representing their own ethnic heritage, while "outsiders" felt uncomfortable when doing so. Thus, the educational goal was to encourage cross-cultural participation in order to find common ground in how cultures express themselves and how we can come to un derstand multiculturalism through art.

The three calendars of events from Winter 1991 through Fall 1992, under the title "Cultural Expression in the Arts" highlighted pre-performance dis cussions and some events in the residence halls. For example, community and campus members met at the Wight Art Gallery to hear an anthropology professor's on-site analysis of photographs depicting poverty worldwide. In the residence halls, counselors and student leaders proposed a discussion and slide show of "Euroamerican Ethnic Art; Pilgrimage Sites" that intro duced students to the Rose Parade, Doo Dah Parade, Gravesites (includ ing Forest Lawn), and Disneyland, events and sites that, like festivals, exaggerate diverse cultural expressions through community developed pop art. A second such event on parades and festivals centered on Cinco de Mayo, the Chinese New Year, and the African Market place. Spring 1992

featured three topical sections: Reconsidering War (posters and art); Arts in Los Angeles; and Film Festivals. Film festivals showcased not only ethnic -specific events, such as Afro-American student work and Asian Pacific filmmakers, but also "Seeing in Colors: A Celebration of Cultural Diver sity by Five Emerging Filmmakers," which featured students' multicultural perspective on issues including childhood and racial discrimination, fol lowed by a discussion with the filmmakers.

In retrospect, the development of "American Cultural Expression" as a new model of humanities core education could have occurred at no more opportune time than the year preceding the Los Angeles riots of May 1992. Faculty engaged throughout the curricular and community planning em phasized how the focus on Los Angeles prepared them and their students with tools for understanding the challenge of diversity and the natural blending of cultures that should bind us together rather than pull us apart. Thus, even beyond the multicultural theories and thematics that inform the courses, what distinguishes this model of a humanities core as "transforma tive" is the pedagogical innovations that link the academic education of our students to the multicultural community and nation within which they will live their lives. By creating a laboratory without walls "American Cultural Expression" attempts to link students more closely to the varieties of artistic mediums, to the Los Angeles community as a site for active student learn ing, and to modes of critical thinking, an archaelogical semiotics if you will, that enables students to read complex cultural encounters through history, lit erature and artand, consequently, the signs of their own times.


By using contemporary experience as the entry into the past, all three

models of multicultural humanities core programs, whether additive, in tegrative, or transformative, capitalize on our inherent curiosity about our selves and others, while enabling students to master varied disciplinary ap proaches to understanding fundamental human concerns. They reinforce the values of liberal arts education, critical thinking, and self-expression through writing and the creative arts, while opening the mind to multicultural perspectives, new ways of knowing, and new challenges to search out what still needs to be known. In a humanities core curricu lum infused with multiculturalism, students learn to see how ethnic groups diverge and converge, how gender and sexuality construct our experiences, and how culture is always in the process of being and becoming. Conse quently, as a community of learners, we begin to reread the landscape of American society as a richly symbolic multi-culture in which the e pluribus governs the unum of our daily lives, our cultural standpoint, and our glo bal realities.

It is in the innovative pedagogies illustrated by all of these models as well as the efforts to broaden, deepen, integrate, and recreate students' intro duction to the humanities and arts that we discover that border land of the "and." We inhabit this site together as faculty who are learning along with and from our students about the mani fold diversity of their cultures and ours, their humanity and ours.

As we embark on a new odyssey, it is not therefore by accident that I also come back home again to Los Angeles and Houston, the heritages and es thetics of these cities, and the theater of diversity that defines American cul tural expressions within them. With our perspectives rooted in the geogra phies of the southwest and Pacific rim and in indigenous and immigrant his tories, we are rediscovering an even richer borderland of "ands" between the ancient Mayan, Aztec, Indian, and

Spanish pueblo cultures and the postmodern internationalism of America's cities, between traditional and revisionist canons, between pictoglyphic story and speaking films, the old and the new humanisms. Where else but to Texas and California, Houston and Los Angeles, do we turn to discover the urban, the symbolic, the imaginary of a multicultural society, when as Edward Soja claims, we all exist in a postmodern geogra phy and world. If California and Texas cannot learn to inhabit this symbolic geography between our past and a newly imagined future, how can we hope to solve the riddles of modern American pluralism. As Gloria Anzaldúa says in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza , we must learn to hear new voices, to speak, and to educate from the borderland and from within the consciousness of mestizaje, if we hope to embrace our multicultural humanity and humanities. p


1. Carlos Cortés spoke during week one of the 1993 Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum, and his writings distributed to the participants usefully contextualized my second week presentation on the pragmatics for imple menting a new vision of multicultural education. Cortés addresses with com pelling rationales the "why" and "what is" of multicultural education, while I discuss strategies for "how" we insti tutionalize it within the undergraduate curriculum. See also his essay, "Pluribus & Unum: The Quest for Community Amid Diversity." Change 23 (September/October 1991): 8-13, in a special issue devoted to Diversity on Campus; and The Curriculum and Multiculturalism, a second special issue of Change 24 (January/February 1992).

2. In 1993 the 69.5% ethnic majority of 3,250 entering freshmen was com prised of O. 7% American Indian, 7.7% African American, 17.5% His panic, 30.5% Caucasian, 0.4% Other, and 38.1% Asian American with an ad ditional .2% Pacific Islander and 4.9% Filipino broken out separately ( 1993 Admissions Report). Similarly, in 1994 the 71.3% ethnic freshman class was constituted of l.l%

American Indian, 7.5% Afrian American, 14.2% Chicano/Mexican Ameri can, 5.3% Latino/Other Spanish American, 28.7% Caucasian, 0.4% Other, and 38.0% Asian American, with 0.4% Pacific Islander, 4.4% Fili pino (De Cardenas 1).

In the same periods, UCLA's total undergraduate domestic student popu lations have remained relatively stable in ethnic composition, including 58.6% of 23,180 (1992), 61.7% of 22,405 (1993), 57.4% of 23,527, be cause it reflects the lower percentage (45%) of ethnically diverse students among the approximate 1750-2000+ domestic transfers each year (Office of Academic Planning and Budget).

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core, Karen E. Rowe

In 1993 UCLA also reported that "graduation rates within six years among all ethnic groups rose to 74.4%, an all-time high," and that UCLA's "graduating class composition has shifted from less than one-third per sons of color in 1986 to nearly one-half in 1992," from 30% to 47% (Lebo 1).

3. In addition to the 90 revised or new syllabi, FEW project participants gen erated 20 bibliographies and 10 other projects, including textbook revisions,

teaching packets, and departmental guidelines for teaching and for course

content. If courses were taught only once, students affected would number

14,000. In May 1993 the Legislative Assembly of the UCLA Academic Senate adopted three resolutions regarding the integration of multicultural issues into the undergraduate curriculum. The resolutions did not call for an American cultures requirement, such as at many University of Califor nia campuses, but instead strongly encouraged the faculty to infuse multicultural issues into the curriculum. Resolution 1 reaffirmed the im portance for "all undergraduates" of studying "multicultural interactions" and developing "the ability to analyze complex, multicultural lssues from dif ference perspectives."

Resolution 2 encouraged faculty and the administration to "support the de velopment of new courses, and the revision of existing courses, and other measures to develop" the prestated ability, while Resolution 3 provided for annual reports to the Assembly by the Council on Undergraduate Education on "specific measures adopted," the "success of achieving the objectives," and "the possible need for further efforts, including the need for curricular requirements." Funding for the newly formed Multicultural Studies Commit tee supported a first year (1993-94) of significant individual and group/semi nar course revisions (35), which are

presently being taught and evaluated.

Karen E. Rowe, Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core

4. "Redressing imbalances [among students due to age, ethnicity, economic background, gender, and race] cannot be left to the admissions officer or to an institution's promising collaboration with the local public schools. Fac ulty members in each program must explore what obstacles their fields present to the participation of discrete groups of underrepresented students and make a strong commitment to eliminating those obstacles. The prob lem of full participation in arts and sciences majors no longer can be found in terms of access alone: what is needed is a reformation of present practices. What is required of each institution and each field is a strong affirmation of the educational benefits

of diversity and a continuing faculty dialogue about the ways initiatory [and

continuing] experiences in a field can contribute to, and lay the foundations

for, the widest range of students to achieve success. " Association of American Colleges, The Challenge of Connecting Learning (Washington, D.C.: Association of American Col leges, 1991), pp. 17-18. This publication represents the first of three vol umes devoted to Liberal Learning and the Arts and Sciences Major, in which the focus was the revitalization of majors, particularly through the con sciousness and development of multiculturally inclusive curricula. As with most of the AAC projects, a broad range of institutions and faculty were consulted about revising the majors and strategies for sustaining the val ues of coherence and continuity while also opening often closed areas of aca demic investigation to the new infusions of research on gender, ethnicity, and international cultures.

In Core Curriculum and Cultural Pluralism Betty Schmitz reviews the many humanities core programs rede signed as a result of the AAC's "Engaging Cultural Legacies Project: Shaping Core Curricula in the Humanities," which was funded by the National Endowment for the Humani

ties, directed by Carol G. Schneider, Executive Vice President of the Asso ciation of American Colleges, and within which UCLA was a planning (and eventually resource) institution. Attention to curricular continuity of multicultural inclusiveness has been an over-arching theme, indeed an inform ing principle, that links reforms in general education and core programs to the rethinking of departmental majors and interdepartmental programs. Hence, the challenge of connecting learning is both a reflection of the need to con nect learning to the social and political lives students lead, and conse quently to continually evolving notions of cultural pluralism in the United States, and the need to create coherent educational sequences that promote connected learning across disciplines and throughout the undergraduate cur riculum.

5. Although there have been on-going reforms of the general education re quirements at UCLA, until recently there has been little impetus from the College of Letters and Science and Academic Senate committees that oversee undergraduate education toward reinventing a humanities pro gram (or core) that would be taken by all students and necessarily cut across the divisional (Humanities, Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sci ences) and school boundaries (School of the Arts; School of Theater, Film and Television; School of Engineering and Applied Science; and newly formed School of Public Policy and Social Research). A new infusion of funding from the Hewlett Foundation for 1994-95, under the direction of Provost Brian Copenhaver, will be used for symposia that bring together faculty and administrators to examine possible core programs as well as reforms of general education. In those discussions the relationship of many multicultural courses already in existence, ones developed through previ ous projects and within ethnic and

women's studies programs, to general education and a humanities core will, we anticipate, be central to emerging concepts of any commonly required curriculum.

6. My thanks to Chris Juzwiak, Cluster Representative and Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature, whose first-year narrative about the Humanities Cluster Program provided the informational basis for my discussion here. Chris Juzwiak also developed quarterly flyers and a directive for students on "Strategies for Clustering," from which program descriptions have been drawn. First, Professor Kathleen Komar (Germanic Languages and Comparative Literature), 1991-92, and then Professor Shirley Arora (Spanish and Portuguese), 1992-94, who di rected the Humanities Cluster Program, were advised by a faculty com mittee on which I served. The Humanities Clusters together with the American Cultural Expression project and Curriculum and Writing Integra tion Project (CWIP) were the three initiatives which we pursued through the "Engaging Cultural Legacies: Shaping Core Curricula in the Humanities" project sponsored by the Assocation of

American Colleges.

7. My gratitude to Gayle Byock, Director of Special Projects for Associate Vice Chancellor Raymund Paredes, Chancellor's OfficeAcademic Development, whose cogent evaluative report for the Ford Foundation provided the basis for my discussion of American Cultural Expression. See UCLA's Ford Foundation Project:

The Transformation of American Cultural ExpressionA Curricular and Programmatic Approach (Los Angeles: Chancellor's OfficeAcademic Development, 1993).


Allardyce, Gilbert. "The Rise and Fall of the Western Civilization Course." American Historical Review 87 (June 1982): 695-725.

Alpers, Edward, Helen Astin, and Karen E. Rowe. "Diversity and the Undergraduate Curriculum." Report from Lake Ar rowhead Conference on Affirmative Action and Ethnic Diversity. Lake Arrowhead, CA, 1987.

Andersen, Margaret. "Moving Our Minds: Studying Women of Color and Reconstructing Sociology." Teaching Sociology 16 (1988): 123-32.

Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza . San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute, 1987.

Association of American Colleges. The Challenge of Connecting Learning . Liberal Learning and the Arts and Sciences Major. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges, l991.

. Program Review and Educational Quality in the Major: A Faculty Handbook . Liberal Learning and the Arts and Sciences Major. Vol. 3. Washington, D.C.: Asso ciation of American Colleges, 1992.

Baca Zinn, Maxine, Lynn Weber Cannon, Elizabeth Higginbotham, and Bonnie Thornton Dill. "The Costs of Exclusionary Practices in Women's Studies." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 11.2 Winter (1986): 290-303.

Barth, Fredrik, ed. Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Cultural Difference. Boston: Little, Brown, 1969.

Belenky, Mary Field, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule Goldenberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule. Women's Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind . New York: Basic Books, 1986.

Bennett, William J. A Report to the President and the American People: American Education, Making It Work. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Education, 1988.

Bloom, Allan. The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the

Souls of Today's Students. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987.

Boyer, Ernest L., and Arthur Levine. A Quest for Common Learning: The Aims of General Education. Princeton, N.J.: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1981.

Butler, Johnnella E. "Transforming the Curriculum: Teaching about Women of Color." Multicultural Education: Issues and Perspectives . Ed. James A. Banks and Cherry A. McGee Banks. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1989. 145-63.

Butler, Johnnella E., and John C. Walter. Transforming the Curriculum: Ethnic Studies and Women's Studies. Albany: SUNY Press, 1991. See pp. 1-19 for But ler, Johnnella. "The Difficult Dialogue of Curriculum Transformation: Ethnic Stud ies and Women's Studies."

Byock, Gayle. UCLA's Ford Foundation Project: The Transformation of American Cultural ExpressionA Curricular and Programmatic Approach . Los Angeles: UCLA Chancellor's OfficeAcademic Development, 1993.

Campbell, John, and Thomas Flynn. "Can Colleges Go Back to a Core Curriculum?" Planning for Higher Education 19 (Fall 1990): 9-16.

Chan, Sucheng. "On the Ethnic Studies Requirement, Part I: Pedagogical Impli cations." Amerasia Journal 15.1 (1989): 267-80.

Cheney, Lynne V. 50 Hours: A Core Curriculum for College Students . Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Humanities, 1989.

Cheung, King-Kok. "Reflections on Teaching Literature by American Women of Color." Pacific Coast Philology 25 (No vember 1990): 19-23; rpt. Women of Color and the Multicultural Curriculum: Trans forming the College Classroom. Ed. Liza Fiol-Matta and Marian K. Chanberlain. New York: The Feminist Press, 1994. 144-148.

Collins, Patricia Hill, and Margaret L. Andersen, eds. An Inclusive Curriculum: Race, Class and Gender in Sociological In struction. Washington, D.C.; American Sociological Association, 1987.

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core, Karen E. Rowe

Cortés, Carlos. "Multicultural Education: A Curricular Basic for our Multiethnic Future." Doubts & Certainties: Newsletter of the NEA Mastery In Learning Project 4.7-8 (1990): 1-5.

. "Pluribus & Unum: The Quest for Community Amid Diversity." Change 23 (September/October 1991): 8-13.

The Curriculum and Multiculturalism. Spec. issue of Change 24 (January/February 1992).

D'Souza, Dinesh. Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus . New York: Free Press, 1991.

De Cardenas, Diana. "Ethnic Diversity Continues as Hallmark of UCLA Experi ence." UCLA Today 16 Dec. 1994: 1, 6.

Diversity on Campus. Spec. issue of Change 23 (September/October 1991).

Fiol-Matta, Liza, and Mariam K. Chamberlain, eds. Women of Color and the Multi-cultural Curriculum: Transforming the College Classroom. New York: The Feminist Press, 1994.

Gaff, Jerry G. New Life for the College Curriculum: Assessing Achievements and Furthering Progress in the Reform of General Education . San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.

Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars . Oxford Univ. Press, 1992.

Ginsburg, Carl. Race and Media: The Enduring Life of the Moynihan Report . Institute for Media Analysis, Monograph Series, no. 3. New York: Institute for Me dia Analysis, 1989.

Graff, Gerald. Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revital ize American Education. New York: Norton, 1992.

. "Teach the Conflicts." The Politics of Liberal Education. Ed. Darryl J. Gless and Barbara Herrnstein Smith. Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press, 1992. 57-73.

Hawkesworth, Mary E. "Knowers, Knowing, Known: Feminist Theory and Claims of Truth." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 14.3 (Spring 1989): 533-557.

Karen E. Rowe, Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core

Hill, Patrick J. "Multi-Culturalism: The Crucial Philosophical and Organizational Issues." Change 23 (July/August 1991): 38-47.

Hirsch, E. D., Jr. Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know . Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987.

Hooks, Bell. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center . Boston: South End, 1989.

Lauter, Paul. Canons and Contexts. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1991.

Lebo, Harlan. "Graduation Rates on Rise; Ethnic Retention Increases." UCLA Today 13.9 (January 28, 1993): 1, 6.

Liberal Education. Published by the Association of American Colleges. Special is sues that address general education and multi-culturalism include:

Intercultural Education (September/Oc- tober 1987)

Intellectual Community (November/ December 1990)

Discussing Diversity (January/February 1991)

Engaging Cultural Legacies (May/June 1991)

Progressing from Debate to Dialogue (September/October 1991)

Re-Centering: Papers from the 1992 An- nual Meeting (March/April 1992)

Loza, Steven. Barrio Rhythm: Mexican American Music in Los Angeles . Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1993.

Lund, Leonard, and Cathleen Wild. Ten Years After "A Nation at Risk ." New York: Conference Board, 1993.

Makarah, O. Funmilayo, Norma Rice, and Karen Rowe, eds. Films and Videos about Ethnic Women. Los Angeles: Ford Eth nic Women's Project/UCLA Center for the Study of Women, 1989.

McIntosh, Peggy. "Interactive Phases of Curriculum Re-Vision: A Feminist Perspective." Working Paper No. 124. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, 1983; rpt. Toward a Balanced Curriculum: A Sourcebook for Initiating Gender Integration Projects. Ed. Bonnie Spanier, Alexander Bloom, and Darlene Boroviak. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman, 1983. 25-34.

. "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." Peace and Freedom (July/August 1989): 10-12; rpt. Experiencing Race, Class, and Gender. Ed. Virginia Cyrus. Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield Publishing, 1993.

. "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work ln Women's Studies." Working Paper No. 189. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, 1988; rpt. Race, Class and Gender. Ed. Margaret Andersen and Patricia Hill Collins. Place: Wadsworth, 1993. 80-91.

McKenna, Teresa. "Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender: The Feminist Peda gogical Challenge." Pacific Coast Philology 25 (November 1990): 31-38.

Miller, Neil. "They Hear America Singing." UCLA Magazine (Spring 1991): 38-44, 75.

Minnich, Elizabeth Kamarck. Transforming Knowledge . Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 1990.

Moraga, Cherríe. Living in the War Years /Lo que nunca paso por sus labios. Boston: South End, 1983.

Morantz-Sanchez, Gina. "History of the Family in the United States, 1870-1990." Women of Color and the Multicultural Curriculum: Transforming the College Classroom. Ed. Liza Fiol-Matta and Mariam K. Chamberlain. New York: The Feminist Press, 1994. 215-221.

Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination . Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1992.

. "Unspeakable Things Unspoken: The Afro-American Experience in American Literature." Michigan Quarterly Review 28 (1989): 1-34.

[Moynihan, Daniel P.] United States Dept. of Labor. Office of Policy Planning and Research. The Negro Family, the Case for National Action . Washington, D. C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1965; rpt. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1981.

Multiculturalism: The Classics and the Canon IISummer Institute Readings 1992. St. Louis, MO: International Education Consortium, 1992.

National Commission on Excellence in Education. A Nation at RiskThe Imperative for Educational Reform: A Report to the Nation and the Secretary of Education. United States Dept. of Education . Washington, D.C.: The Commission, 1983.

Ries, Paula. "Understanding Outcomes of Curriculum Transformation." Women of Color and the Multicultural Curriculum . Ed. Liza Fiol-Matta and Mariam K. Chamberlain. New York: The Feminist Press, 1994. 37-49.

Rocklin, Edward. "Transforming Canons, Transforming Teachers." Teaching the Humanities: Essays from the ACLS Elemen tary and Secondary Schools Teacher Curriculum Development Project . ACLS Occasional Paper, No. 23. New York: American Council of Learned Societies, 1994. 19-50.

Rothenberg, Paula. "Integrating the Study of Race, Gender, and Class: Some Preliminary Observations." Feminist Teacher 3.3 (1987): 37-42.

Rowe, Karen E. "Shifting Models, Creating Visions: Process and Pedagogy for Curriculum Transformation." Women of Color and the Multicultural Curriculum: Transforming the College Classroom. Ed. Liza Fiol-Matta and Mariam K. Chamber lain. New York: The Feminist Press, 1994. 25-36.

Ruiz, Vicki L. "Teaching Chicano/American History: Goals and Methods." History Teacher 20 (1987): 167-77.

Schmitz, Betty. Core Curriculum and Cultural Pluralism: A Guide for Campus Plan ners. Foreword by Carol G. Schneider, Washington, D. C.: Association of Ameri can Colleges, 1992.

. Integrating Women's Studies into the Curriculum: A Guide and Bibliography . New York: The Feminist Press, 1985.

Schneider, Carol G. "Engaging Cultural Legacies: A Multidimensional Endeavor."

Liberal Education 77 (May/June 1991): 2-7.

Schuster, Marilyn R., and Susan R. Van Dyne, eds. "Stages of Curriculum Transformation." Women's Place in the Academy: Transforming the Liberal Arts Cur riculum. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Allanheld, 1985. 13-28.

[Smelser, Neil J., Chair.] University of California. Task Force on Lower Division Education. Lower Division Education in the University of California: A Report from the Task Force on Lower Division Education . Berkeley: Univ. of California, 1986.

Soja, Edward E. Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical So cial Theory. London: Verso, 1989.

Sollors, Werner. The Invention of Ethnicity . New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1989.

Stimpson, Catharine R. "On Differences." PMLA 106 (May 1991): 402-411.

Tetrault, Mary Kay Thompson. "Feminist Phase Theory: An Experience-derived Evaluation Model." Journal of Higher Education 56.4 July/August (1985): 363-84.

Thompson, Becky W., and Sangeeta Tyagi, eds. Beyond A Dream Deferred: Multicultural Education and the Politics of Excellence. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1993.

UCLA. Concilium on Undergraduate Education. Chancellor's Conference on Undergraduate Education. Lake Arrowhead Conference Center. April 24-26. 1992: Summary of Recommendations . Los Angeles: UCLA Concilium on Undergraduate Education, 1992.

UCLA. Office of Academic Planning and Budget. 1992 Undergraduate Admissions

Report. Los Angeles: Univ. of California at Los Angeles, February 1993.

UCLA. Office of Academic Planning and Budget. 1993 Undergraduate Admissions

Report. Los Angeles: Univ. of California at Los Angeles, August 1994.

UCLA. Office of the Chancellor. Chancellor's Conference on Affirmative Action and Diversity: A Summary of Proceedings . Conference at Lake Arrowhead, CA., October 30-November 1, 1987. Los Angeles: Univ. of California at Los Angeles, 1987.

UCLA. Office of the Chancellor. UCLA Long Range Development Plan . Los Angeles: Univ. of California at Los Angeles, 1989.

UCLA. Office of Instructional Develop

ment, The Teacher's Guide. Ed. David Unruh. 3rd ed. Los Angeles: UCLA Of fice of Instructional Development, 1990.

"UCLA Faculty Development Seminar Syllabi." Women of Color and the Multicultural Curriculum; Transforming the College Classroom. Ed. Liza Fiol-Matta and Mariam K. Chamberlain. New York: The Feminine Press, 1994. 56-138.

UCLA General Catalogue. 1993-94. Los Angeles: UCLA Publications, 1993.

"What Students Have Said About the Humanities Cluster Program." Humanities Cluster Program Flyer. Los Angeles: Univ. of California at Los Angeles, 1993.

Yamada, Mitsuye. "Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster: Reflections of an Asian -American Woman." This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Eds. Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua. New York: Kitchen Table /Women of Color Press, 1981. 35-40.

Young, Charles E. Closing Remarks to the Conference on Affirmative Action and Ethnic Diversity. Conference at Lake Arrowhead, CA, November 1, 1987. Los Angeles: Univ. of California at Los Angeles, 1987.

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core, Karen E. Rowe

Introduction to Music

t's delightful to be here in


people on, perhaps even change them for the rest of their lives, is a thrill few experiences can rise above.

Moreover, and the reason that I mention my own background with the course, is that I am only one of the many who are dedicated to the conceptual involvement of a core curriculum. The music faculty, for example, is dedicated to teaching an innovative, imaginative course, one that can be vital to the education of the students. With the feeling that, individually, we are each only a small link in the education of our young people, the core should be continually re-evaluated and re-examined. It's really a great course, with much very careful faculty involvement. I'm sure you have all heard the street wise expression, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Well, we ain't broke, but we continue to try to fix our course, so that not only are the students excited and inspired, but so are we.

Under the direction of our committee chairman, Sherman Van Solkema, (who chaired the original Faculty Council Committee on Core Curriculum that devised what became a nationally acclaimed core curriculum at Brooklyn College), and with the guidance of the director of the Conservatory of Music, Nancy Hager, the music faculty is currently in the process of initiating a revamped Core Music 2.2 course in September. The materials we are developing are still in the working-out stage, but we feel


Paul Shelden

Brooklyn College

ory of Music, head of the Graduate Division in Music, and Chairman of the Woodwind Division, as well as Professor of Music and conductor of our active Conservatory Wind Ensemble. I am also a member of Brooklyn College's Core Curriculum Committee, a faculty-student committee responsible for overseeing the core college-wide. I have been teaching in the core since its inception at Brooklyn College since 1980.

As a busy senior faculty member at Brooklyn, where I have been on the faculty since 1973, with a very full teaching load and an active professional career in music, as well, I'm often asked why bother teaching an introductory type music course to undergraduate students. The answer is simple, or at least direct and isn't it the reason, in part, why we are all here today? First, we are very serious about the importance of the Core, and use senior faculty to teach most of the 20 or so sections of our music core. We also work very closely with junior faculty members and graduate fellows (teaching assistants) who are assigned sections. There is a wonderful comraderie here, and we benefit tremendously, in fact, by including younger faculty because they offer so much creative vigor to the course. We all want to teach the course, because, in large measure, undergraduate education is so vital and crucial to the concepts of higher education, and the idea of touching base with my own field of knowledge and experience, in this case, music, in a way where it may be possible to truly turn young

Houston for the purpose of core curriculum. My presentation will be divided into two sections, the prepared text (since we were asked to submit the "text" of our presentation, I feel inclined to actually read it!) and an actual sampler demonstration of my course.

From its inception in 1981, the Core Curriculum at Brooklyn College has been the life-blood of a very vital academic program. Our successes at Brooklyn College with the core have come about not by haphazard explorations but by soul searching, by picking brains apart (if you will forgive the culinary reference), by faculty self-evaluation, and by faculty seminars such as the Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum.

I will not speak directly on the core at Brooklyn College, about which my colleague Dan Claster addressed you last week. Instead, in following the theme for this week, Developing and Teaching Innovative Core Courses, I will present an overview of the music core at Brooklyn, review our approaches to the course and the state of its current revisions. This week's sessions will also include Dr. Antonio Nadal of the Science Division at Brooklyn College, who will make a presentation Wednesday dealing with the science core.

Before I discuss music as a core studies curriculum, and present a sampler of the course that I teach at Brooklyn, please allow me to share some personal views about teaching in the core and my involvement with the core at Brooklyn College. I am Assistant Director of our Conservat

strongly about it and will be using the materials this Fall as a working model, kind of a working draft of a revamped approach to the Core Music course.

To introduce the course itself, let me first read the description of the course as it appears in the current booklet which introduces the core to students and faculty each year. This is that original description, and it does not include our current changes but then again, like any "constitution", if it is truly a "living" document, then it allows room for growth and change without having to alter the conceptual challenges of its original intent to its constituency. Here, then, is the brief description of CORE STUDIES 2: Introduction to Art and Music (which is divided into two courses, Art 2.1 and Music 2.2, each 2 hours, 2 credits):

The concurrent courses of Core Studies 2 build a foundation for an informed experience of art and music. They acquaint the student with some of the major achievements in these areas and with the basic concepts used in the analysis and discussion of such works. It should be stressed that the arts courses are not intended as art or music "appreciation," but as systematic and rigorous presentations of historical and technical material. The inclusion of these subjects in the core rests upon conviction that they are essential components in the background of a fully educated individual.

The description of the course itself, Core Studies 2.2, Introduction to Music, and its division into topic areas follows:

Introduction to music from a wide variety of historical periods and world cultures, with the goal of increasing listening skills and intellectual inquiry. The course seeks to acquaint students with such diverse composers as Bach, Mozart, Ives, and Gershwin and to provide contact with contemporary

compositions and the music of other continents (the styles, for example, of Western African drumming, Balinese gamelan, and Indian sitar music.) Live concert performances are an integral part of the course.

Introduction: musical perception and function; music encountered in everyday experience and how it affects us.

World Tour of Musical Instruments: musical timbre and its combination in large and small ensembles; the study of instruments, from piano to violin to sitar and shakuhachi.

Worlds and Music: texted music, its meaning and uses: sacred and secular styles, choral music, musical theater, opera, and solo song.

Social and Utilitarian Forms: works written for a specific purpose, including dance, film, and incidental theater music.

Instrumental Music: various structures and styles, including European symphonies and chamber music, jazz, Indian sitar music, and Korean court music.

It should be added here, that faculty have never been required to follow these descriptions to the letter, but rather, and similar to usual catalogue descriptions, to be guided by the ideological and philosophical content, structure, activity requirements, and overall intent implied here.

The music faculty, at their discretion, have individually adopted one of about three different texts used nationally, with tape cassette or CD supplements: Joseph Kerman, titled, LISTEN , in its secondor maybe this week, thirdbrief edition, along with the accompanying set of tapes or CDs. The new additions to the music core curriculum focus specifically on the special supplement to our world music component.

Introduction to Music, Paul Shelden

The course has been, since its inception, devoted in large measure to developing intelligent listening skills primarily with music that is Western in its emphasis, devoting at least in theory about 80% to the rich heritage of Western musicof course, we refer to "Western" as western civilization, rather than western, wild-west, southwest Texas or other inferences of local western vernacular! We as faculty, after decisions made as a result of the Conservatory of Music Faculty Development Seminar this past semester, have committed ourselves to strengthening the inclusion of the 20% emphasis on non-Western music. The emphasis will be geared toward a universal or global perspective in the course, especially considering the increasingly diverse makeup of our student body. As a supplement to this inclusion, we will be working with a set of audio and video tapes from the JVC Video Anthology of World Music and Dance.

Some of the music examples to be examined will include:

1. A spiritual from St. Simon's Island, Georgia

2. Children's songs in Spanish, English, and Haitian Kreo

3. A farm song from Ghana

4. A popular song from the Sudan

5. A tribal song from the Central African Republic (a song used to celebrate the birth of twins ( as a twin son I like this one)

6. A cult song from Brazil

7. A samba from Brazil

8. A tango from Argentina

9. An instrumental dance piece from Greece

10. An instrumental song from Cuba

11. Blues from the United States

12. An original concert piece employing authentic indigenous material from Puerto Rico

13. Gamelan music from Bali

14. A raga from Northern India


Paul Shelden, Introduction to Music

As you can see, this is a large cross-section of materials encompassing music of the world, music through which the faculty can teach, according to their own creative inclinations, a great variety of music elements, rhythmic, melodic, metrical, and pitch varieties that are far removed from our western culture (or closer than we realize), as well as social implications, anthropological leanings, etc. At the very least, the students can develop more intelligent, broader listening depth that includes a wider respect, through knowledge, of music that is not their usual fare. The latter is so often the case when dealing with the more avant garde, or even the more tame of Western contemporary music. This point I will cover further when I offer my little sampler in a few minutes.

The brief syllabus for my course I believe copies were already handed outhas not yet been revised to include the new material. However, it gives an idea of expectations from me and the students, topic areas, and requirements. For example, a crucial segment for me is the series of three to four live demonstrations that are part of the course-wide requirement throughout the term. All classes meet in large lecture-hall type groups over the course of the weekly cycle, once each month, to listen to and view samples from a wide variety of musical performance situations, including explanation and discussion, and a period for questions and answers. These may range from demonstrations of Japanese music and dance, to percussion, or opera, or a composer

(a real live composersomething novel for many students!) demonstrating his music and other demonstrations of new concepts in music. Most faculty (if not all) also require attendance at one or two concerts attended on campus the Conservatory presents about 200 ensemble, student, and faculty concerts per year (I have a two-concert

attendance requirement). The students may choose which concert to attend from a list prepared each semester they attend these concerts free of charge. I then have them write reviews as they would if they were music critics for a major or minor or diminished (if you will forgive the musical reference) newspaper.

In fact, I shift around topics that is, I do not follow the numerical sequence on my topic list according to what may be on the schedule for the live demonstrations, or according to the concerts on schedule for a particular month, not all of which are posted in advance of setting up my schedule of assignments for each semester. I do not treat the course as a historical chronology, but rather a stylistic development. I almost always begin with music that is, as much as possible, unknown to everyone. In fact, I explain that I want to strip everyone bare sometimes waiting for dramatic effect of their pre-conceived notions of music. Usually, I use a way-out piece of avant garde music or a special piece of twentieth- century fare. This fall, I will probably use some unusual samples of world music that may be unfamiliar to all. However, I expect to open the course this coming semester, in similar fashion to other semesters, by devoting the first few sessions, essentially to a study of musical aesthetics.

It is at this point that I would like to now proceed with a sample of what I may do with my class. For this purpose, I am asking all of you to indulge me in a bit of fantasy, and allow yourselves to be a Core 2.2 Class at Brooklyn College for the next few minutes, or for the remaining time allotted to me.

In order to set the "classroom" scene, please imagine yourselves as sophisticated, young, eager, good looking, exciting wait, that does not take much imagination, does it? Seriously though, you are to play the role of inquisitive challenging

students, who represent the usual as well as the spectrum of many races and nationalities.

[From this point on, the text below will not be read necessarily, but incorporated into the setting up of, and actual presentation of the sample session.]

I will now digress from reading a prepared text and move into the presentation of a music core sampler. The next section of this presentation, then, will not be in typical lecture format, but instead will demonstrate a give-and-take session, planned to challenge and prod the student's minds in the aesthetics and fundamental considerations of music as an art, a science, a sociological experience, and so forth. During the process, a score of graphic musical notation will be kept on a music stand in front of the group, tantalizing, hopefully, some of the students to question the visual display. This will be brought into the discussion as inquiries are made. The score will be identified as Earle Brown's, December, 1952 . It will be discussed and performed in class.

In the course of teaching these first few sessions on aesthetics ( after the "stripping bare of pre-conceived notions about music" shock!), we usually cover such questions sample questions as:

1. What is music no definitions please, only descriptions

2. What is rhythm, melody, harmony

3. What do you think I listen to on the radio to relax

4. What is the difference between rhythm and meter

5. With Brown's December, 1952, what are the three dimensions of music

We also touch on aspects of:

1. Absolute or abstract music

2. Aleatoric or Chance music

3. Tonality

4. Atonality

5. Bitonality

6. Blues

7. Chromaticism vs. Diatonicism

8. Climax

9. Consonance vs. dissonance

10. Electronic music

11. Serialism

12. Tone row

13. Minimalism

14. Texture

15. Instrumentation or orchestration

We also discuss the overtone series, as a scientific and mathematical phenomenon, how this phenomenon affects sound and tone, how it affects the idiomatic sounds of particular instruments. All attempts are made to draw information into groups of related materials. Every teaching device necessary is employed, from Socratic, to psychological, to theatrical.

Musical examples to be played during the discussions include excerpts from or similar to:

1. Ives, Orchestral Set no.2

2. Crumb, Ancient Voices of Children

3. Varese, Poeme electronique

4. Debussy, Clouds

5. Stravinsky, Rite of Spring

6. Webern, Five Orchestral Pieces

7. Berlioz, Symphony Fantastique

8. Beethoven, Symphony No. 5

9. Salieri, Menuetto

10. Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue

11. Sousa, varied marches

Samples of musical scores that are displayed for visual impact include:

1. Brown, December, 1952

2. Nilsson, Zwanzig Gruppen

3. Christou, Enantiodromia

4. Feldman, Between Categories


Introduction to Music, Paul Shelden

John A. Thorpe

State University of New York at Buffalo

Disciplines and the Core


n my remarks today I would

n it), at least the course content is within the expertise of the instructor and does not provide a particular challenge.

+ It is consistent with other instructional responsibilities that are assigned to departments. Most departments have a variety of "service" responsibilities. Mathematics departments teach basic mathematics to engineering and science majors. Science departments teach basic science to engineering students and to majors in the health-related professions. Political science departments teach pre-law students. Language departments teach students preparing for international careers. In a very real sense, teaching general education courses in a distribution program is simply another component of service instruction.

+ Often these courses serve also as introductory courses for the discipline. In some cases (e.g., anthropology, geology), these courses serve as recruitment devices for majors.

+ There is little interference or oversight from parties outside the discipline. Faculty can design courses for distribution with few constraints and they can teach the courses with no more monitoring than they would receive in any other courses that they teach. (Such monitoring, of course, is often minimal or non-existent and, to the extent that it does exist, is by peers in the discipline).

+ There is built-in protection of "turf". Nearly always, distribution requirements are set in a political environment that defines the


like to share with you some of my perceptions of the role of the disciplines in supporting, and contributing to, general education curricula as well as core curricula.

It needs to be noted at the outset that participation in general education instruction need not be limited to Arts and Sciences disciplines. At the State University of New York at Buffalo, for example, there are general education courses taught by faculty from architecture, education, engineering, health-related professions, law, nursing, and medicine. In fact, one of the most innovative new general education offerings at UB is a course taught jointly by a physiologist and a mechanical engineer. This course introduces students to some of the research that is being carried out in the university's human centrifuge facility, where the effects of large accelerations on astronauts are being studied. Students see the facility in operation, directly with instruments and on videotape with human subjects, and they learn some of the relevant physics and physiology. In addition to learning some science, they achieve in the course a strong appreciation of the value of basic scientific research and of the role that their university plays in that research.

This is a good example of a course that fits neatly into a general education program of the distribution type. In programs of this type, students are required to select one or more courses from each of several categories which, together,

are intended to provide an introduction to various fields considered to be important for a basic education in the liberal arts. These categories may include, for example, language, literature, art, history, philosophy, science, and/or mathematics. Often the categories are described not in terms of specific disciplines but rather in broader terms, such as quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, global perspectives, or multi -cultural studies. Sometimes they are grouped together, or perhaps further delineated, into broader or narrower categories. For example, the distribution program that is currently being replaced at the State University of New York at Buffalo (by a program with both core and distribution aspects) asks students to take up to two courses in writing and library skills, one course (or exemption by examination) in mathematical skills, and seven courses chosen from six "Knowledge Areas": Foreign Languages and Cross Cultural Studies, Historical and Philosophical Studies, Literature and the Arts, Life and Health Sciences, Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Technology, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

From the perspective of the disciplines, there are several advantages, or "pluses", to a distribution system, such as:

+ It's easy. The requirements are easy to understand and the courses are easy to teach. Although it may be difficult for some faculty members to teach students who are not talented in the field (and oftennot particularly interested i

distribution areas in such a way that departmental enrollments are protectedso that student FTE counts will not decrease and departmental size will not be in jeopardy.

There are, of course, well known shortcomings, or minuses, of most distribution programs (see e.g. Boyer's College: The Undergraduate Experience in America), such as:

- Lack of coherence. Relationships between the various courses that a student takes in meeting distribution requirements are minimal or entirely absent. Although each of the individual courses may be appropriate and valuable, absent a strong advisement system the courses do not fit together to form a well-designed program of study.

- Lack of depth. Although distribution programs do ensure breadth students learn something about a variety of disciplinesfew of them require any depth of study. With few exceptions, students can and do fulfill the requirements by selecting only introductory coursesoften surveys, often courses taught in large class settings.

- Lack of integration. Integration of the learning that occurs in the various courses taken in a distribution program is usually left to the student. Capstone courses and other integrative experiences are difficult to mount when student programs are individually constructed with few if any common experiences.

- Difficulty of maintaining quality control. Although most distribution programs do have published expectations or standards for courses that are approved for satisfying the requirements, sometimes these standards are not strongly enforced in the approval process and, often, there is no follow-up to ensure that the courses are taught as proposed, especially over a period of years.

Core programs, on the other hand, at least those that involve multi -disciplinary core courses, usually have

a very different relationship to the disciplines. To a great extent, the above pluses become minuses, and the minuses become pluses:

+ Core curricula are designed with coherence in mind. The goals of the program are set prior to, or at least simultaneously with, the design of the courses. These goals are incorporated into the individual courses and are understood by the faculty who teach the courses.

+ Core curricula usually include some course sequences, or at least courses that exhibit an increasing level of sophistication, and therefore achieve at least some depth-of-study.

+ Core curricula often include capstone or integrative courses and, at least ideally, each core course acknowledges the learning that is, has, or will occur in the others.

+ Core curricula are usually associated with centralized administrative structures that monitor, evaluate, and seek to maintain and continually improve the quality of the core courses. Furthermore, core courses are often either team-taught or taught in multiple sections by faculty who meet regularly to discuss pedagogical issues and strategies, exchange ideas, and provide a shared sense of purpose.

On the other hand:

- Teaching multi-disciplinary core courses is not easy. These courses require reaching beyond one's disciplinary expertise, working with colleagues outside the discipline, more time spent on preparation, and more attention to pedagogy.

- Teaching core courses is unlike any other teaching responsibility. It requires an understanding and appreciation of a curriculum that includes material outside the faculty member's discipline and even outside allied disciplines. And it requires working in an administrative structure that is extra-departmental.

Disciplines and the Core, John A. Thorpe

- Although multi-disciplinary core courses can interest students in a disciplinary major, departments have less control and are often skeptical about this possibility.

- Teaching core courses involves conforming to goals and standards that have been set by, or at least in collaboration with, others. Some of our colleagues are strongly resistant to this. Some even go so far as to claim that any constraint on what they teach in their classrooms is an infringement on academic freedom!

- Core curricula may redirect student enrollments, possibly leading to the need to shift faculty resources from one department to another, or even from one division to another.

Even these apparent negatives of multi-disciplinary core curricula can have positive aspects, however. At SUNY-Buffalo, faculty who have been involved in core course instruction report that:

+ Working on curricular issues with others outside one's own discipline can be exciting and productive. One encounters perspectives that one would not find in one's own department. In fact, discussions focusing on curricular and pedagogical issues are rare in many departments, and faculty seem to enjoy being in an environment where such discussions are valued.

+ Teaching core courses often leads to opportunities for faculty development. All of the core courses at Buffalo have associated faculty development workshops that are well attended and much appreciated by faculty participants.

+ Reaching beyond one's discipline in order to teach core courses provides a valuable learning experience for faculty, often leading to new understandings that positively affect one's teaching of other courses, including courses in the major. For example, faculty: their teaching changes as a result of their better


John A. Thorpe, Disciplines and the Core

understanding of, and increased sensitivity to, issues of diversity. As more and more faculty teach this course ( in the coming year, about 25 faculty will be teaching the course ), it seems possible that attention to diversity will spread so widely throughout the undergraduate curriculum that eventually a separate pluralism course may be no longer necessary.

+ Some faculty report that preparing and teaching courses has had a positive impact on their research as well as their teaching. At Buffalo, such reports have come from instructors in both American Pluralism and Western Civilization.

Although I cannot claim that core course teaching at Buffalo is universally valued and supported, I think it is fair to say that most of the faculty who might have taught Buffalo's core courses are committed to the concept, have enjoyed the experience, and are prepared to do it again. The disciplines have not sufferedindeed they have, in some ways at least, benefitted.


1. The Association of American Colleges, in its report The Challenge of Connecting Learning, advocates increased connections between general education and the major. This provides one example of how such connections can occur.


Uri Treisman

University of Texas at Austin

Academic Perestroika


et me begin by stating the

nt in this work was the result of an accident. I was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, trying to be an algebraic geometer. I already had been in California a few years, and, as my Easterner friends said, I had become "Californicated." Evidently, they were referring to the fact that I was showing signs of needing human contact. To meet this need, I agreed to work with a faculty member, Blaine Lawson, on developing and piloting a new training program for our department's teaching assistants. The two of us were trying to improve the quality of instruction in introductory calculus at Berkeley. At that point, we were not focusing on minority students, because very few were enrolled in the course. And then a wonderful accident occurred that really changed my professional life.

It was about 1974, and I had a model section of freshman calculus. The idea was that I would teach a section as the "Great Teacher," and try out all of these wonderful innovations I had been reading about. I didn't happen to take note of the fact that I didn't actually know how to teach. But I was determined. I picked a section, and hoped that the new teaching assistants and perhaps some junior faculty would visit, get ideas, and become inspired to work on improving their instruction.

The rub was that the students did not share my interest in innovative instruction, such as it was. They seemed to be interested mainly in

problem that we were addressing, namely, lowering the failure rate of Black students in calculus. Calculus was then, and remains, a major barrier for Black students seeking to enter careers that depend in an essential way on mathematics.

Let me ask you a questiononce a teacher, always a teacherhow many degrees in mathematics, chemistry or physics do you think were awarded to Blacks and Hispanics by the California State University System in academic year 1987-1988? A hint: the system had nineteen campuses serving more than 100,000 ethnic minority students and, of course, several hundred thousand others. Your guess is 500? Yours 100? Well, you're not even close. The answer is eight! Fewer than half the campuses awarded such degrees; only eight Black or Hispanic students received degrees in mathematics or the natural sciences. It is unimaginable, but, alas, true. And it hasn't gotten any better: In 1988-89 there were only three Black students who received such degrees.

At the time we began work on this issue, the problem of Black student failure in mathematics and science was seen by many as principally a political issue, as a question of social justice, as a moral failure of the university. Finding solutions to this problem had little to do with institutional survival. The number of minority students in colleges and universities was relatively small and the number of majority students interested in mathematics and science was relatively la

rge. Minority student failure did not effect enrollment, the life blood of public institutions.

Today we have an added problem: institutional survival in the face of fundamental demographic change. In the next fifteen years, the University of California alone will need 10,400 new faculty members. The California State University System will need even more. Who will they be, where will they come from? The answer, of course, is from today's elementary and middle-school students. If you want to get a feeling for demographic change, take a tour of the kindergartens in the community surrounding this college, or almost any other college or university near an urban area in the United States. On one such tour that I arranged for some of my undergraduates, one young woman's reaction to the extraordinary diversity she saw was: "Where do they keep the White kids?"

What started out for us as a problem of helping certain students pass calculus has become a much larger problem connected to institutional survival and, in fact, the survival of our society. As we look around the world we see country after country being torn apart by ethnic violence. It remains an open question whether we can create a democratic society which respects diversity and enables individuals to participate in all aspects of American life in meaningful numbers. The melting-pot is a great symbol but sometimes it seems like the pot's been on the stove too long. Some of the ingredients have been burned.

It now seems to me ironic that my involveme


Uri Treisman, Academic Perestroika

becoming engineers, M.B.A.'s and physicians; they merely wanted to "get through" this course. I said, "You guys, you're really going to interact with each other and you're going to love mathematics." They said, "Will it be on the test?"

Now, it's three weeks into the term, and I'm pushing and they're pushing back. Then I receive a letter from two graduate students in the School of Education. It said, "We are engaged in a master's thesis study of the validity of students' teacher evaluations." (This was very controversial then: should student evaluations of instructors be considered in promotion and tenure decisions?) "Your students have identified you as either one of the ten worst or ten best teachers on this campus, and for the purposes of our study, we cannot tell you which." The great and wonderful insult was that their plan was to videotape us in action, and show these tapes to real teachers, and see if they agreed with the students' assessments of our teaching.

So let me set the scene: The classroom was set up for videotaping. Twenty-four students were working four to a table. Each table had a microphone and I had a lapel mike. The students were told that their mike would be live only when I was interacting with them. (I, of course, had told them at the previous session that, from now on, I would give credit for classroom participation. I thought to myself, "To Hell with their research, this is my reputation, and I'm going to look good.") It's interesting to note that camera crews always film their own ideas of a good classroom, not yours. This cameraman wanted to film me in front of the room delivering a polished lecture to the students.

Well, it was as if Plato had written the script: The students were arguing heatedly about mathematics. They had rival conjectures about the behavior of the derivative of 1/x when x is large in absolute value. This is stuff you see,

maybe, once a decade. And I had it on film. Two men and two women are arguing away and when I walk away from them, you realize that something is wrong. What's wrong is that my mike and all the other mikes are dead except for the one at their table. Without their knowledge, everything they are saying is being recorded.

Just before I walked away from the table, I looked one of the students in the eye and said, "Gee, that's really good work." The guy next to her looks straight into the camera and he says, "Yeah, this is a really good class." As I walk away, you realize immediately that something is wrong. The students start whispering. Then a woman says, right into the mike, "Shit!" (She was from Texas, where that's a four syllable word. I won't attempt to imitate her pronunciation.) "You ever understand anything that joker is talking about?" From there, it went down hill. When I saw the film, I was a little depressed and demoralized. So much for the great teacher. However, the next class period I got my revenge and showed the film in class.

Because of my work with the T.A.'s, I was becoming increasingly interested in how students actually learn calculus. Do they use the text book? With whom do they speak? What do they do when they get stuck on a problem?the really basic questions about how students learn mathematics. I began to design projects aimed at answering these questions. One of these projects involved having each T.A. interview especially successful and especially unsuccessful students in his or her sections. In the T.A.s ' reports it became clear that it was minority students who disproportionately were failing and this disturbed many of the T.A.'s as well as myself. In fact, in the preceding decade, sixty percent of the Black students who enrolled in and completed first-term calculus at Berkeley earned grades of D or F. In no year did more than two Black or

Hispanic students earn more than a B- in any calculus course at UC-Berkeley. Of course, at that time there were very few ethnic minority students enrolled on the campus. In the typical freshman class of the mid-seventies here were fewer than 150 Black and Latino students in a class of 3,600. Today, thirty-two percent of the incoming freshmen are Black, Hispanic, or Native American. Only thirty-eight percent are White. The Berkeley campus finally looks like it's part of California.

To support our developing understanding of minority performance in calculus we sought a grant from a major foundation. In the course of negotiating we were asked to produce almost instantaneously a clear statement of our initial hypotheses. What to do? We really didn't have a clue. We had to develop our hypotheses quickly so we asked a few thousand people who didn't have a clue either and averaged their answersthe mathematician's idea of social science research.

It will be useful for me to state what we found because I believe that these assumptions are responsible for the failure of many university intervention efforts, and because these assumptions are rarely stated explicitly and almost never publicly. The responses to our survey surfaced four widely held beliefs about the causes of minority student failure. The first was that there is a motivation gap. It's not that the minority students are unmotivated, this argument goes, but that they are not as motivated as certain groups, namely the Asians and the Jews. The implication was that small differences in motivation would have large effects in highly competitive and difficult courses. The few A's given would go to the students who, because of their high level of motivation, were willing to work extraordinarily hard. It was the students who were extraordinarily motivated who would excel and those students were

disproportionately Asian or Jewish.

The second argument named inadequate preparation as the culprit. Minority students enter the university with fewer credit hours of science and mathematics from high school and with substantially lower SAT's. The fault lies not in the university, but in what students bring to the university, namely motivation and prior preparation. In other words, "It's not our fault."

Several faculty pointed to the "vertical" organization of math and science. New topics depend on the topics which precede them; courses depend on the courses which precede them. This characteristic of math and science makes it difficult for students to improve their performance once they are having difficulty. Even if students are committed to improvement, the intensity and speed of freshman courses give them no time to catch up.

The third problem was a conjectured lack of family support or understanding of higher education. The idea was, roughly, that since the families of these kids did not have rich educational backgrounds, how could they pass on to their kids the survival skills they would need in college? Moreover, some faculty members thought that the parents did not push their kids hard enough. Of course, we had never met any of these families, but we seemed to have clear ideas about them.

The fourth idea is a corollary of the great liberal dream: "It has nothing to do with race or ethnicity at all. It must be something else. What is it then? Income. If you control for income, all the differences disappear." Then there were a few older faculty members who had views about the effects of race and heredity and the like. They are gone now, replaced by a younger group of faculty with the same ideas. I want to mention, though, that one faculty member, who held well-known views about the genetic

inferiority of Blacks, wrote the only interesting response to our survey. He said that, according to his calculationshe was big into pseudo -statistics"population characteristics" (by which he meant "race") could account for only about four percent of the failure. But the observed failure was so great that only the institution's behavior could account for it. What an irony, he was the only one to assert that something might actually be wrong with the institution.

Well, these were our findings and, at the time, we believed them. Minority students' failure could be attributed to low income, low motivation, poor academic preparation and lack of family support, all factors, incidentally and conveniently, over which we had no control. Nonetheless, we were interested in how these factors worked. "On which calculus problems did these issues cause trouble?" "When and how do they actually interfere with student success?"

Our initial idea was to interview students. A typical question: "How many hours do you study?" A typical answer: "I put in two hours for every class hour." The students were telling us exactly what we had told them. They weren't being dishonest, they just didn't have an accountant's view of how they organized their time. Our

"Well, these were our findings and,

at the time, we believed them. Minority students' failure could be attributed to low income, low motivation, poor academic preparation and lack of family support . . . . "

Academic Perestroika, Uri Treisman

next attempt was far more intrusive. We embarked on our version of a social science study, mixing, not really consciously, two different methodologies: the 1920's "industrial-style" time-and-motion study, and ethnography.

Now, picture me, if you can, boy-Margaret-Mead, out in the field. We had picked twenty Black and twenty Chinese students. The idea was that we would compare two ethnic groups, one that generally did well in our mathematics classes, and one that did not. We decided literally to move in with the students and to videotape them at work. We wanted to understand what was going on when they studied calculus, got stuck on a problem, etc.

We were struck by the enormous diversity among these students and remembered that not one person on our faculty survey had written to ask us to which minority students we were referring. No one questioned the supposed homogeneity of these groups. Some of the Black students had come from middle-class homes and had many White friends in high school. Others were the valedictorians of all-Black inner-city schools, yet others were from military families and had grown up all over the world. The Chinese students were equally diverse. There is a funny story which demonstrates this diversity.

I should tell you that I had prepared myself for working with the Chinese students by learning some Cantonese. One day, I was going to interview three young women who were deep in conversation. I approached them, greeting them in my toneless Cantonese. One of the students responded in Yiddish, "How are you doing?" It turned out that she was from L.A.'s Chinatown, and her mother, who was a nurses' aide, worked in a hospital with Jewish physicians. She had told her daughter that she could not date until she was a junior in college but when she could

Uri Treisman, Academic Perestroika

date, she could see only other Chinese from certain families and Jewish pre -meds. Her mother apparently had had good experiences working with Jewish physicians. "They are family-oriented people" is what her mother had told her. This kid was 400 miles from home, clearly ready to date and open to exploration. So, she had enrolled in a Yiddish course. One of the wonderful ironies of all this was that we learned that our stereotypical view of Chinese students was exactly society's view of us as mathematicians: no sex, no partying, no sense of humor, and a calculator hanging on the belt.

The study was supposed to take ten weeks, but after four months we still didn't have the understanding we needed. We had gotten to that critical stage of research when one recognizes that one's hypotheses are not helping any.

We had the good luck to run into some of anthropologist John Ogbu's graduate students. They pointed out to us that our ideas were characteristically American, if not Californian, where every pop-psychology idea quickly works its way into educational practice. For example, even after the neurophysiological basis for left-brain and right-brain-thinking had been refuted, workshops on learning mathematics on the left brain or right brain abounded. A small number, about three out of a hundred studies, showing that women visualize differently and describe the spatial relationships of objects differently, have been used to explain the near total absence of women in math faculties in the United

"It's truly amazing how the misunderstanding and misapplication

of research influences educational

trends and practice."

States. It's truly amazing how the misunderstanding and misapplication of research influences educational trends and practice.

We were advised to step back and question our hypotheses, which was really useful. Instead of looking at what happens when students get stuck on a problem, we were encouraged to look more globally at their lives. We went up to Lake Tahoe with hundreds of hours of unedited videotape. In a weekend all of our hypotheses fell apart.

Let's look at "motivation." It is not as if our Black students thought to themselves, "Well, there's nothing happening on the streets, so let's go to Harvard, Caltech, Princeton, or Berkeley." These students were admitted to one of the premier research universities in the United States, and we had presumed that their problem was motivation. Students from the inner cities had paid a heavy price to get to Berkeley. Some were the social outcasts, the "Brainiacs," or if they were math majors, the "pervert Brainiacs." They paid a very, very high price. These kids were motivated! In fact, I believe that just about all first -year students in college are motivated for the first few weeks of their freshman term. We had been mistaking "disorientation" for lack of motivation.

The second factor was "academic preparation." We had many years of data from Berkeley that called this hypothesis into question. We found, for example, that black students' calculus grades correlated negatively with their Math SAT scores. Many of the "strongest" students failed early. Black men with high SAT's were often facing academic dismissal. The few successes, on the other hand, came from the second quartile from the bottom. These data forced us to call into question our ideas about the role of high school background in college performance among Black students.

We studied the issue of "family support" by interviewing the families

of our students. We came to appreciate quickly that many of the parents had decided before their children were ever born that their sons and daughters would go to college. There were lots of mothers brandishing heavy kitchen implements, saying "child, you will go to college." Although teachers had helped them, these kids were, in large part, at the university because of the concerted and organized effort of adults who cared about them. We found no parental apathy and quite a few parents who were themselves college graduates.

There is a popular image of the Hispanic girl coming to the university against opposition of her family. There were two or three young women who did face the opposition, but in a large number of cases, the families were extraordinarily supportive and had organized themselves to help their kids make it. These families decided that their children would make it through education, and many had paid a heavy price to make that happen.

At Berkeley we had lots of the "Jack and Jillers," many of whom had grown up in largely White neighborhoods, with White friends. Sometimes their only contact with other Black children was in "Jack and Jill," or when they'd go to spend the summer with their grandparents, back in North Carolina or Louisiana. The families of these students saw college as a necessity. They respected education, and especially so for their daughters.

"Income" correlated negatively. Why? Because many of the Black students had parents who were public school employees. Some were custodians, some were teachers, some were secretaries; in any case, public school employees don't earn much. The next largest group were children of civil service workers. Typically, the parents had degrees from historically Black colleges, moved out to California in the 1950's or 1960's, and couldn't find jobs in their chosen field.

So they went to work at the post office.

So, what did we find by looking at our students? What did studying math mean for the Black and Chinese students? For the Black students it meant this: You wake up in the morning. You go to class. You take notes. You get your homework assignment. You go home. What do you do? You do your homework religiously. You come to class. You hand it in. A day or two before the test, you study. You put in about eight hours a week for a calculus course, just what the teacher says, and what happens to you? You fail. An important point here is that the Black students typically worked alone. Indeed, eighteen of the twenty students never studied with their classmates. There was the same pattern for many blue-collar Whites and rural students.

What about the Chinese students? They studied calculus for about fourteen hours a week. They would put in eight to ten hours working alone. In the evenings, they would get together. They might make a meal, usually jook, which is a rice soup. Then, they would sit and eat and go over the homework assignment. They would check each other's answers and each other's English. If one student got an answer of "pi," and all the others got an answer of "eighty-two," the first student knew that he or she was probably wrong but could pick it up quickly from the others. If there was a wide variation among the answers, or if no one could do the problem, they knew it was one of the instructor's "killers."

It was interesting to see how the Chinese students learned from each other. They would edit each other's solutions. A cousin or an older brother would come in and test them. They would regularly work problems from old exams, which are kept in a public file in the library. They would ask each other questions like, "How many hours did you stay up last night?" They knew exactly where they stood in the class. They had constructed something like

a truly academic fraternity, not the more typical fraternity: Sigma Phi Nothing.

The best evidence for the power of the Asian students' group work was the contagion factor. If one student had a misconception, they would all leave with it. There is a beautiful story which illustrates this: It is 1:00 a.m., and the kids are listening to loud ethno-pop music (something like "Singing in the Rain," sung in Cantonese, to a disco beat), and they are also watching Perry Mason on television. There is this courtroom scene in which Hamilton Burger, the District Attorney in Perry Mason gives the bailiff a gun, and the bailiff says for the court reporter's record, " Let it be known that this revolver has been entered into evidence." The students picked up the expression, "Let it be known that" and began to use it in their math homework. Instead of writing, "...let X equal..." on their homework, they started writing, "...let it be known that X is..." This usage spread among their friends, and a few days later, when ten or fifteen people already were using this construction, one of them had the error corrected. The usage disappeared almost overnight.

The Black students, on the other hand, didn't have a clue what other students in the class were doing. They didn't have any idea, for example, what grades they were going to get. The exams were like a lottery: "I got a B," or, "I got a C." They had no clue where they stood relative to their classmates. Moreover, these same students were getting A's in "Study Skills," and F's in the calculus class. What they were taught in "Study Skills" wasn't worth a damn in calculus.

At this point it is useful to look at how universities attempt to deal with the problem of minority student failure. In the sixties, the university administration hired people to deal with this problem which was then seen as essentially a political one. This is not to say that the administrators didn't

Academic Perestroika, Uri Treisman

care about these students, but it was necessary to have visible institutional effort aimed at helping these students to survive. Because of the political character of affirmative action, the administration took primary responsibility for minority student programs, even those that addressed academic issues. The political pressure to create these programs was felt on virtually every American college and university campus. If we look at these programs, even NOW, we see first that they are isomorphic. They have little to do with the special mission or history of the institutions in which they exist, which is remarkable given the diversity of American higher education. They are as similar as personnel offices.

Second, they have very little if any connection to the faculty. They are staffed by very caring people, many of whom are minority, and who are devoting their professional lives to helping minority students to avoid failure. But, unfortunately, they see massive failure and this has led to corresponding burnout and anger. In the large, their tutorial programs are disastrous. The tutors see the students the day before the exam; the counselors see them the day after the exam. On many campuses you don't count the Black and Hispanic people who graduate in math and science. There are so few you can just name them. You can carry a photograph of each of them in your wallet.

The individuals who work in the student affirmative action operations, seeing the overwhelming failure of the students they care about, can easily develop a "bunker mentality." The faculty are the enemy. They advise their students to stay away from mathematics and science. This is a scary and depressing phenomenon, very depressing.

An equally disturbing phenomenon is the creation of remedial courses that lead nowhere and preparatory courses that do not

Uri Treisman, Academic Perestroika

prepare students for subsequent courses. On many campuses these courses have high minority enrollments and have become associated with minority students. At Berkeley, for example, we teach a course called pre-calculus. One year, 422 students enrolled in the course, only one of whom, Danny Lescano, went on to receive a grade of B- or higher in second semester calculus. It makes you want to name the course after him. The evidence is overwhelming that few students who take remedial courses ever complete science degrees. Yet the students who start these courses are not aware of this. Truth in advertising should apply to college catalogues. The course descriptions might include the proportion of students who take the course that successfully complete the courses for which it is a prerequisite.

So, at the end of our inquiry, what had we learned? 1) Many Black and Hispanic students wanted to major in math and science but very few completed the prerequisite entry-level courses. 2) Our ideas about why minority students failed calculus clearly were wrong. 3) Affirmative action programs were not producing math and science majors. It was clear that they were helping some kids stay in school, but they weren't helping students in our field. 4) Many Black students did not use the services that were designed to help them. This last point is of special importance because many Black students are suspicious of appeals made to them based on ethnicity. These students also dislike the idea of remediation. They see themselves as the tutors, not the tutees. They do not choose to come to Berkeley because they want to learn about being Black. They choose it because they believe in the institution's ideals and its elitism.

When the university sends a letter as ours did, "Dear Minority Student: Congratulations on your admission to Berkeley. Berkeley is a difficult

institution. You are going to need a lot of help and we are here to help you," the students disregard it. Their response is, "Oh, that's for those air -heads over there." They associate "help" with the kids they had known in high school who were in the bottom of their class and in the compensatory programs. They do not relate to such appeals.

In 1978 we began to experiment with solutions. Our idea was to construct an anti-remedial program for students who saw themselves as well -prepared. In response to the debilitating patterns of isolation that we had observed among the Black students we studied, we emphasized group learning and a community life focused on a shared interest in mathematics. The program was essentially a cluster program and was an adjunct to the regular courses. In contrast to the traditional remedial programs that offered reactive tutoring and time management and study skills courses which have a questionable scholarly base, we provided our students with a warm, emotionally supportive academic environment. Most visitors to the program thought that the heart of our project was group learning. They were impressed by the enthusiasm of the students and the intensity of their interactions as they collectively attacked challenging problems. But the real core was the problem sets which drove the group interaction. One of the greatest challenges that we faced (and still face today) was figuring out suitable mathematical tasks for the students that not only would help them to crystallize their emerging understanding of the calculus, but that also would show them the beauty of the subject. Our goal was then (and continues to be now) not merely helping students pass calculus or even to excel at it but, rather, producing mathematicians (or at least students who could pursue graduate work in the field if they chose to do so.) We knew that the program

goals had to be congruent with the goals of the institution, i.e., focused on excellence, of the production of Rhodes Scholars, and the like.

It took a little work to teach the students how to work together. We were able to convince them in our orientation that success in college would require them to work with their peers, to create for themselves a community based on shared intellectual interests and common professional aims. After that, it was really rather elementary pedagogy.

In a sense, the greatest break with the past was to take a genuinely empirical stance. We did not question that minority students could excel. We just wanted to know what kind of setting we would need to provide so that they could. We also recognized early on that we only would be successful if we depoliticized the issue of minority access. We had to link our program with other issues that the faculty cared about, such as producing quality majors, and de-emphasize the purely political characteristics of the program so that it could take hold in academic departments. From the beginning, therefore, we served students of all ethnicities, although the minorities were, in fact, a clear majority in all the sections. The effect was that many middle-class Black and Latino students found it comfortable to participate because it was a way for them to establish quickly the multi -ethnic social environment in which they were most comfortable. For the urban Black and Latino students the workshops, as we called them, were an environment in which they were the majority and the White students the minority, making it easier for cross-ethnic friendships to form. In effect, the workshops provided a buffer easing minority students' transition to the Academy.

The results of the program were quite dramatic. Black and Latino participants, typically more than half of all such students enrolled in

calculus, substantially out-performed not only their minority peers, but their White and Asian classmates as well. Black students with Math SAT's in the low 600's were performing comparably to white and Asian students whose Math SAT scores were in the mid-700's. Many of the students from these early workshops have gone on to become physicians, scientists, and engineers. One Black woman became a Rhodes Scholar, and many others have won distinguished graduate fellowships.

By 1982, more than 200 ethnic minority students were being served in the workshops which were then run cooperatively by a faculty committee, the College of Engineering, and the Student Learning Center. In 1983, however, when our FIPSE grant ended, there was open warfare. The faculty and administration were fighting over control of the program. Unfortunately, the faculty lost and a period of balkanization followed, with small, separate programs proliferating on campus.

But there was a more fundamental change taking place in the mid-eighties that would in any case, have forced the reorganization of these programs. Today, on the Berkeley campus, there is no longer any dominant ethnic group. Fewer than fifty percent of all undergraduates are White and roughly one-third of the incoming freshmen are Black, Latino, or Native American. The time had come when "adjunct" programs were no longer feasible or desirable. It was time to address the efficacy of the introductory courses.

We realized that in the past we had, in effect, been running a program aimed at saving our own victims. We were not trying to address the central reality that our courses were not serving their intended populations. Ultimately, one must realize that the Black and Latino students who make it into higher education are national treasures and must be treated as such. They are rare individuals and their

success will have important ramifications not only for the academic disciplines and professions they pursue, but for the very fabric of American society.

I find it hysterically funny to look at the CSU and UC projections of the California students who will be served in our universities in the years 2005 and 2010. The CSU Chancellor, and the UC President, each say the State needs several new university campuses. What are their enrollment projections based on? They appear to be based on increasing the admission and retention rates of Black and Hispanic students who by then will represent a majority of the California population. No one points out that all the actual minority enrollment, retention, and graduation trends are very far from what they will need to be, if the projected figures are to be realized. Moreover, no one seems to observe that the few minority students who actually do get through the system graduate in only a handful of majors.

Now, let me look at these projections from another view. Last year, I believe that there were at most twelve Black male students who had been students in L.A. Unified who received B.S. degrees in mathematics, chemistry or physics in California public colleges or universities. For each one of those students, using FBI and LAPD data, I estimate that 100 of their peers died by violence. Yes, a Black male elementary student in L.A. is 100 times more likely to die by

"Ultimately, one must realize that the Black and Latino students who make it into higher education are national treasures and must be treated as such."

Academic Perestroika, Uri Treisman

violence than to get a degree in math, chemistry, or physics. Such data raise many fundamental questions that we are obligated to address. They also speak to the importance of making sure that every one of our Black and Latino students excels.

Now, let me look at the issues we faced in reconstructing our workshop program. The first is the abysmally low quality of freshman instruction in large public universities and, for that matter, in many expensive private ones, as well.

Six-hundred-thousand freshmen a year take calculus; 250,000 of them fail. Something is fundamentally wrong. What I find even more amazing than this high failure rate is that calculusnow here comes my prejudice as a mathematicianis by just about any standardliberal arts people, trust meone of the greatest intellectual achievements of western civilization. The stuff drips with power and beauty. It rendered thousand-year -old questions immediately transparent. Calculus is truly amazing. But, how many students who take the course as freshmen look up and say, "Holy shit, that's amazing!" How often, math faculty members, have your students had that experience? I mean, the stuff just sort of goes by. No passion, no soul.

Why do so many students fail these courses? Our initial idea once again was blame the students, albeit in a more sophisticated way than previously. The students, we thought, did not have "higher-order" thinking or problem-solving skillsthey just did not know how to thinkthey did not know how to pull the problem out from the words and find the relevant principles. However, when we tested this idea, we found once again that we were basically wrong. When we looked at students enrolled in first term physics, for example, we found there were some students who couldn't extract the problem from among the words and find the relevant principles.

Uri Treisman, Academic Perestroika

But they were relatively easy to help if they had enough prior exposure to physics. The majority of the students having difficulty fell into two groups. Group one were the kids who had intellectual integrity, but no meaningful prior exposure to physics. They came upon a hard ideainertia, angular momentumthese are hard ideas. If you are not a physicist and you take physics, you'll know that. If you are a physicist, it is a little hard to realize these are hard, but they are hard. The students would spend four or five days trying to figure out the concepts. They had learned not to let anything pass. The result was they would get buried in an avalanche of formulas.

Other kids had really strong math backgrounds. Their response to the massive amount of material that was dumped on them was to treat everything as an isolated, abstract mathematical problem-solving task. They never had a chance to develop the underlying physical intuition (and it was sure as hell true that the standard physics labs didn't help any). They were treating physics as if it were mathematics or logic. The courses contained so much material that students had no time to develop an understanding of the physical concepts, the connections among these topics, or the relationship between the physics they were studying and the mathematics they knew.

Once again, we were forced to deal with the fact that the problem wasn't really the students. Students, in fact, respond to whatever you give them. What they were being given here were courses that had become so compressed, so devoid of life and spirit, that there was no way to really master the ideas at the level necessary to succeed, let alone become a major.

These introductory math and science courses took form at a time when there was a surplus of students interested in science. These courses came to be thought of as service courses. Everybody teaches their

freshman courses for somebody else's major. Now, times have changed. Very few students are interested in math and science. CIRP data from UCLA collected and analyzed by Sandy Astin and Ken Greene indicate that in 1966, 4.6 percent of high school seniors who took the SAT were interested in mathematics as a major. Today, it is about 0.6 percent. We are teaching courses created at a time when filtering was a necessity. Now, freshman courses need to inspire students and invite them into the major.

We recognized that if we were to try at this point to improve instruction for everybody equally we could only make a slight difference. Our resources were relatively limited and we didn't want to lose the minority students. We decided to eliminate the adjunct workshops and instead to strengthen and intensify certain sections of the regular freshman calculus course. Our idea was to construct a hybrid of the regular discussion sections and the "math workshop."

In freshman calculus, when we looked at the issue of problem-solving, we faced difficulties. The first was the absence of genuine problems to solve. What passes for problems in calculus is a set of ritualized exercises that can be addressed by mastering a limited set of algorithms together with a few special cases. The exceptionsindefinite integration, convergence of series of constants, which are fun to teach and really are excellent domains for teaching problem solvinghave unfortunately no place in a contemporary calculus course, as so many in the calculus reform movement have pointed out.

The second difficulty is that we don't have a clue how to teach problem solving in a way that promotes the development of generalized skill. Using state-of-the-art materials, such as those developed by Alan Schoenfeld, for teaching a topic like indefinite integration, we can help students to get very good at one

particular task. Unfortunately, experience has shown that such instruction gives students no advantage in mastering subsequent topics.

The final issue, which we are only now beginning to address, is how to make it possible for faculty members who are interested in working on course reconstruction or on the development of minority mathematicians to do so as part of their professional work. In the past the individuals who worked on these, what were then seen as quasi-professional issues, did so as personal work, almost as hobbies: "You play golf," "I work with the Black kids." The scale of the problem now is such that many mathematicians will need to engage in activities that are necessary for the future life of the profession. If this is to happen, such work must become a regular and rewarded part of departmental life. This in turn will require that faculty and administration redefine responsibilities of departments and support these redefinitions by new review and department budgeting procedures.

Let me restate this. It means that the administration has to re-think what the collective responsibilities of departments are. Are departments only responsible for research and for body-count teaching? Or are they responsible, in some way, for the future of the institution and the future of their own disciplines? If the latter is so, one has to think about ways of rewarding departments for playing their proper role. Not that every faculty member should do this, but each department has to be responsible for contributing to solutions to these problems. The rewards for the departments have to be realspace, faculty appointments, support for more graduate assistantships, and so on.

For the most part, at least in the beginning, faculty members who do this work will have to be senior, partly because junior people need to establish research careers, but also because the

changes that have to be made are structural in character. It takes ten or fifteen years to know what kind of changes will be sustainable in an institution. Junior people have little insight into such work.

If senior people are to engage in this work for the department it is important that they be able to do so in ways that do not lead to stigmatization. A hint: Don't confuse this work with better teaching. If you focus on teaching alone, you lose. It has to be about assuring the future of the profession and the future of our institutions. But it is not only the academic departments that need to change.

When the university works it does so because the faculty plays its proper role and the administration plays its. In student affirmative action, however, the administration does it all, including tasks that are clearly academic in nature. Fixing this is not a trivial matter, because there is a long history of administrative dominance in this area with which we have to contend. But that is ultimately what we will have to do.

An especially important issue will be learning to work with the EOP and minority affairs bureaucracies. They are easily and unfairly blamed by faculty members and administrators for the failures of minority students. It was ludicrous to think that their administratively constructed offices could have even addressed the problem of minority student failure in math and science.

Whereas some of the work is really academic, other parts of it are administrative. These include such issues as housing, financial aid, student organizations, and the like. We have to re-examine the ways faculty and administration work together to help students advance.

What's the bottom line here? The country is fundamentally changing. There are a growing number of schools, where all of a sudden,

extraordinary results are produced. Garfield High School produces 27% of all the Hispanics in the United states and Puerto Rico who pass the AP calculus exam: One high school. I have listed ten high schools that produce relatively large numbers of Black and Latino students who passed the AP calculus exam. Not one is a magnet school. When you go out and look at these schools and you teach in them, what do you find? A group of senior teachers who chucked the remedial courses. They cared about mathematics and wanted to teach real courses. They built a peer group that supported kids' involvement in school work and in mathematics.

Now, instead of talking only about Berkeley, I want to talk about some of the other sites with which we've been working. At the University of Texas at Austin, a group of faculty members and an extraordinary administrator said: "Let's figure out what we have to do in calculus to produce lots of Hispanic and Black mathematics majors." They took our Berkeley idea. They intensified some sections of freshman calculus. They built group work into the course and made it clear to the students that it takes fifteen hours of work, not eight, to excel. They made it possible for the kids to take slightly fewer courses at a much greater depth and level of intensity. They unabashedly advocated for these students to become mathematicians. They set up a system where the kids in the intensive courses could be graded against the curve established by the regular sectionssame exams. What happened? Minorities: 3.53 average G.P.A.; Others: 1.66.

At CCNY, the faculty believed that their students would never become mathematics majors. The students were all working forty hours a week and had little interest in being challenged. Inspired by the Berkeley program, they decided to test their assumptions. A team led by Laura Shapiro interviewed students, and

Academic Perestroika, Uri Treisman

what did they find? Lots of these students had saved up tuition money so they could go to school. The strongest students found the courses uniformly unstimulating and unchallenging. In response, the department set up more challenging "intensive" sections and the result of the first semester was a 3.2 average grade for the minorities against about 1.8 for class average.

Now let's look at another kind of institution and an administrative solution that didn't work. At Oklahoma they have a serious retention problem, the worst in the "Big Ten"or the "Big Eight" or whatever. They changed their admissions requirements and dropped the bottom quarter of test scores from admissions. What happened? Absolutely no change in retention. Retention in large measure is a function of the way students interact with each other and with the institution. It is a measure of connectivity, of the quality of life on campus.

On this campus, you did studies which looked at students' undergraduate experiences. One interesting result: Students study roughly the same amount of time, whether or not they are employed about ten hours a week. It seems to have nothing to do with how much time they spend at their jobs. I believe that, in fact, the amount of energy students put into their studies is more directly related to their perceptions of their chances of succeeding at the university. If students see clear evidence that they can make it, they will use whatever flexibility they have to reduce work hours and increase hours devoted to study.

In conclusion, the time has come to reexamine undergraduate instruction and to make it more responsive to the needs of today's students. We can no longer offer courses that half of our students fail, nor can we lower our standards. The challenge is to re-configure

Uri Treisman, Academic Perestroika

undergraduate science and mathematics education in ways that will inspire students to make the choices we have made. This can only happen if we change the boundaries of faculty responsibility. It is the faculty that must take the lead. p


Society, Ethics and Technology

Interdisciplinary Core Course

Trenton State College

represent the first technology and are called "dawn stones" (named as per the dawn of civilization).

Stage Three involved the division of labor. Some time around 35,000 years ago small groups of hunter- gathers started to divide up tool -making tasks into different jobs. At this point early modern humans drew cave paintings, chiseled sculptures, decorated tool kits, sewed clothing, and built shelters. There is evidence of spear points, and primitive bone fishing hooks, stone scrapers for hides, stone knives, and other created tools.

Stage Four began around 8,000 years ago with two key technological developments: (1) working with metals, and (2) the development of agriculture. People could make all sorts of different tools, and could live in one place because they had food for the whole year when they were able to store dried grains from agriculture.

Stage Five is the industrial revolution which began two hundred years ago with the technological development of complex machinery. This permitted the production of more, better, more consistent, and a greater quantity of goods, and helped with the production of food as well: the generation of tools helped the production of food (plows, hoes, rakes

Lynn Waterhouse

Trenton State College


Society, Ethics, and Technology is the third course in a sequence of required interdisciplinary courses taken by all undergraduates at Trenton State College. The goal of the three- course sequence is to introduce students to important questions which have faced human beings throughout the development of world cultures. In the first course, Humanity: Ideas and Ideals, students consider our view of our place in the universe, our sense of the value of reason and emotion, individual will, and individualism, and the present and future structure of society. In the second course, Change in Society , students are introduced to the human cultural causes of upheaval and reorganization in human life: migration, trade, invasion, colonialism, war.

In the third course, Society Ethics and Technology, students explore the functions of technology, its powers and limitations, and the ethical questions arising from the options generated by the employment of military, medical, and information technologies. These issues are explored in thirteen lectures, each of which precedes a seminar meeting focused on the topic of the lecture.

The second lecture in the course, Society, Ethics, and Technology , is titled "Technology and Science." This lecture investigates five questions concerning te

chnology and science, each of which helps to extend the definition of technology, sharpening an understanding of what technology does, and why it is such an important part of human existence.

Question One: How did technology and science emerge in human culture?

Our earliest human ancestors have been dated back to three million years ago. Pre-human ancestors of ours probably lived in small groups of twenty to forty individuals. In these small groups, they hunted around for food. From that time until the present there are five stages of culture which are defined in terms of human tool use.

Stage One lasted from three million to one and one-half million years ago. Our hominid ancestors used a rock or stick incidentally. They didn't make any tools, but like modern-day chimpanzees, they might use a stick to hit at some thing they wanted, and they might throw a rock at a predator. Food that was gathered was shared by people. But no tools were made.

Stage Two involved the creation of tools. About one and one-half million years ago people started to knock the ends off big cobble stones and use them to throw at animals. And at each other. People also took stones and sharpened them to cut up big pieces of meat off bigger animals that had been hunted down. Food was butchered and shared. These very first tools


Lynn Waterhouse, Society, Ethics and Technology

and the like).

These five stages of human culture as defined by cultural anthropologists suggest that technology has been the key element defining human civilization from the very beginning. Incidental tool use, intentional tool creation and use, tool variation and division of labor, metal tools and the technology of agriculture, and finally the machinery to create tools define human beings as HOMO FABER, beings who make things.

Crucial to these five stages is that tool innovation takes place because of human discovery and experimentation which depend on human curiosity and human ingeniousness. There is now a new branch of psychology called EVOLUTIONARY psychology or GENETIC psychology. In this field of study, psychologists conduct research to determine the aspects of the human mind that seem to have evolved over time. The key aspects of the human mind that have evolved have left permanent traces on the structure of our brains. Four examples of such traces are brain areas for language, motor tool use, planning, and imaginative curiosity. First, only humans have language and there are special areas of the brain for language. These brain areas exist in human brains and no other animals' brains. Second, only human beings intentionally create tools, and there is a complex set of brain areas for the control of the hands, and the relationship between what we direct our gaze to, and what our hands are doing. This is called hand-eye coordination with fine motor finger control. No other animals have this.

Third, only human beings have a special area in the brain for planning a complex series of motor behaviors. This planning area controls the planning of speech and gestures, as well as the planning of tool creation and use. Fourth, while chimps are very curious, they are not as curious as we are, and the areas in our brain driving us to explore our environment are

much more developed than those in chimps.

Taken together language, tool creation and use, planning complex activities, and curiosity are the main forces behind the development of human culture.

It's clear to see how technology has developed as part of human culture, but how does science fit into this picture? Modern science is the study of how the world and the things in the world actually work. Science asks the question "how do naturally occurring things function and how can we predict their functions?" Technology is the creation of things that work. Both science and technology are based on creative hypotheses:

(1.) The core hypothesis of technology is that the created object will function as predicted;

(2.) The core hypothesis of science is that the world will function the way it is predicted to function.

Technological thinking and scientific thinking come from the same places in the human mind. Our early ancestors had to figure out which animals could be killed with which sorts of weapons, and they had to observe nature in order to know where those animals would be so they could successfully hunt them. Determining many different animals in daily and yearly patterns is a scientific process of labeling, observation, and prediction. The hunting itself was always both a scientific experiment and a technological experiment. The science "experiment" occurs in that finding the animal tests knowledge of nature, and the technological "experiment" occurs in that the act of killing or capturing the animal is a design test of the tools that have been made. The earliest human beings who survived were both great scientists and great tool makers. Those who failed as scientists and technologists (we assume) would have been less able to survive themselves, and less able to

produce offspring. In a sense, then, we are all scientists and technologists. The early humans who were not died out.

Evidence from early human societies suggests that there was a sharp gender division of labor: men hunted and women were the gatherers. Could women also be great scientists and technologists too? Yes. Why? Because in a majority of hunter-gatherer societies, 70-90% of the group's daily caloric intake came from nuts, fruits, roots, leaves, mushrooms, and berries. These were usually collected by females. Females had to have collecting tools, had to make baskets for collection, had to know about animals to avoid predators, and had to know a great deal about the vegetable and fungus material they were collecting or they would get sick, die, suffer, or be insufficiently nourished to become pregnant. Women who couldn't recognize enough good food to eat as they collected and bring it back to a base camp for their children, relatives, and male partners, would have no more children.

So women from the dawn of civilization also had to be the best producers of tools, and the best scientific observers of their environments. The non-scientists and non-technologists among humans during the first 3 million years of our evolution did not survive. Consequently the ability to make tools and to think scientifically are tied together in every aspect of our mental function.

While it is true that the discoveries of science don't always lead directly to the development of new technology, it is nonetheless true that the set of brain functions that makes us all natural scientists is the same set of brain functions that makes us natural tool creators. There are six basic brain functions that support both scientific thinking and tool creation:

(1) sensory functions (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell, proprioceptive); (2) basic motor

functions (standing, walking, grasping, talking); (3) analytic functions (calculation, pattern recognition, object discrimination, inference); (4) storage of information (implicit and explicit memory); (5) constructive functions (complex motor sequences); and, (6) creative functions (use of imagination, long-range plans).

All six types of functions are controlled by the central nervous system (i.e., the brain, spinal cord, and nerves). And all six contribute to scientific activities and all six contribute to tool creation and the creation of complex systems of technology.

One of the most interesting and amazing things about human cultural development is that human functions are "biological" tools and that we as human beings created tools to extend and add to these specific biological functions. The first tools were sticks, stones, leaves, bones. The first worked tools were chipped cobbles, called dawn stonesused 1,000,000 years ago. Created tools serve the same purposes as the "biological" tools of hands and arms: food gathering and processing, safety, comfort and health, social survival. Although we have invented tools which permit us to do things we have no natural skill for (such as flying), most tools are extensions of, or enhancements of, or replacements for human skills. Most human skills are learned but depend on innate functions. These functions are "tools" that evolved as part of our biological equipment. We understand the world through the built-in "tools" of our organism.

Extensions can be defined as any form of cultural tool which serves to extend normal human functions/skills in time, space, or amount. Enhancements can be defined as any form of cultural tool which helps to bring human functions and skills up to "normal." Replacements can be defined as any form of cultural tool which replaces all or part of a human

function. Some examples of extended functions include:(l) basic sensory visiontelescope, glasses, Braille; (2) basic motor talkingtelephone, thoracic vibrator, computer speech; (3) basic calculationabacus, rope knots, calculator; (4) memoryclay tokens, acetylcholine spray, books; (5) complex motormachinery of all sorts; and (6) creative planning functionplanting calendar, Alzheimer's calendar, computer software.

In fact, the very same human skills that enable us to be tool-makers and scientists are the skills that we want to extend by tools that replace or go beyond our normal functions. However, extending human functions can be problematic because tool use increases our powers but can simultaneously reduce the human emotions which modify many behaviors (fist vs. rock vs. gun; name-calling vs. Libel).

One basic human function that we have extended tremendously is vision. Vision is the most developed sensory system of mammals. It is our most "brain-represented" sense. Our vision has evolved to sense the range of optical light waves because the sun's radiation is of that range.

Scientists believe we have 25 brain areas which keep image fields or maps of everything we see:

Where the image is held:

Specialization of image

(1) retinal image field:

all optical information

(2) occipital image field:

edge, line, form

(3) parietal image field:

movement of forms

(4) temporal image field:

label the object (an ID)

(5) temporal/limbic field:

human face identification

(6) mid-brain image field:

moving threat form

(7) hippocampus image field:

routes/spatial layouts

Society, Ethics and Technology, Lynn Waterhouse

(8) temporal/frontal fields

images in memory

(9) frontal zones:

"mind's eye" images

We have many tools which correct our vision, substitute for our vision, augment our vision, and extend it beyond its normal capacity.

The microscope. The microscope was developed from the telescope during the period 1608-1670. There are three major forms of microscope today: (1) light microscope; (2) transmission electron microscope; (3) scanning electron microscope.

The telescope. Electrons are constantly being released from matter, and as they are released photons of energy are set free in waves. There are many levels of energy of waves. We can see wavelengths only in the optical rangei.e., light from the sun. However, telescopes today are built to explore more than the optical range; they "see" X-rays, ultraviolet, infrared, and radio waves. Computers then translate their "sight" to our optical wavelength.

Question Two: What human needs do technology and science satisfy?

The psychologist Maslow argued that people have four sorts of needs: (1) basic physical life maintaining needs such as food and water and comfort; (2) basic psychological needs such as security; (3) growth needs for beauty, order and justice; and, (4) self-actualizing needs for self expression and self development.

Maslow put these needs in a hierarchy. If we do not have basic physical needs met, we cannot adjust our environment for the basic psychological life needs, and if we do not have both of those needs met we cannot work on growth needs such as beauty, order and justice. And if we don't have all of these three levels of needs met we cannot work to have self actualizing experiencesi.e., to develop ourselves to our fullest potential.

Lynn Waterhouse, Society, Ethics and Technology
Clearly tools and scientific thinking about the environment were important for humans to meet their basic needs for food and security. The very first tools were designed to help get food and defend against or counterattack predators. Beauty, order and justice were needs that were not part of human life for the first three million years. It is only at 35,000 years ago that there is evidence of decorative design in tool kits, clothing, shelter and rock art, and sculpture. Our nearest ancestors, 35,000 years ago, were still so busy trying to get food and be secure from danger that they had little time for beauty, order, and justice.

But with the advent of agriculture, the stores of food that were set by allowed people the free time to develop these aspects of life. And the structure of life in larger societies that the storage of food permitted meant that justice and order were a necessity. Technology continued to be developed in order to promote protection of life and property. For example, writing was a technological invention that emerged for the control of trade. The earliest written records were tax bills on grain. Writing then served to support human memory for laws and rules: laws could only be successful if they were maintained independent of individual memory by means of writing.

In early societies, self actualizing needs could only be met for few people within the society. Since the beginning of settled civilization through the industrial revolutionwhich gave horrible work to so many and leisure to a select fewto the present, only a small portion of the population could indulge self-actualizing needs.

Science and technology both arose to help meet the basic physical and psychological needs of human beings. Since that time the other levels of needs have also been addressed by the products of both technology and science.

Question Three: What are the

processes of technology and the processes of science?

There are only four essential steps in the process of science and those steps are the same four steps in the process of technological creation:

STEP ONE: Hypothesis creation;

STEP TWO: Testing the hypothesis in the real world;

STEP THREE: Using the successful product or outcome of those tests to improve some aspect of human life; and,

STEP FOUR: re-testing and fixing the failed products or outcomes of testing.

STEP ONE: Hypothesis creation: Nicola Tesla and Charles Babbage had a great many design hypotheses that were not constructed in their lifetimes. It is interesting to consider how these ideas are generated. In general, the process is going from the known to the unknown. The two famous l9th century evolutionary theoristsDarwin and Wallacecame up with the exact same very important idea at the exact same timethe idea of the origin of the species and adaptation and natural selection.

A computer expertHerb Simonhas argued that everyone having the exact same set of information stored in their minds will come up with the same "creative" idea. Simon believes creativity in technology and science really represent complex pattern recognition which emerges from non-conscious operations which work through the stored bits of information. He has claimed that our creative imaginations do not really go far afield from what we experience. Simon also has posited that great inventors and scientists are always asking questions which trigger pattern recognition in the base of stored information in the brain. He has also argued that scientists and inventors are also always busy acquiring additional information to fill in gaps in the patterns. He has proposed that the

process of testing ideas leads to new ideas. Clearly masses of experience, information, and rational thought are what lead to breakthroughs in both science and technology.

STEP TWO: Testing the hypothesis in the real world. The test of an engineering idea is to make the design and see if it works as it is supposed to. The test of a scientific idea is to run an experiment to see if the causal relationship imagined is turning out as hypothesized. In his essay, "To Engineer is Human," Petroski makes a very important point: there is no absolute proof of the success of a technological hypothesis or a scientific hypothesis. Hypotheses are the search for approximate predictive validity. We want to better predict functions of the natural and the technological worlds, but we never will have the reassurance of absolute proof of our models.

STEP THREE: The use of products and research findings. The best outcomes of science and technology often get used but they do not always get used. Scientists and technologists are optimistic that projects will have value for the society. Some believe that scientists pretend that their projects will have value but they only really care about ideas, and only care about producing information for other scientists. Let me tell you a little about science and technology on my current scientific research project.

We scan brains for subtle damage. We have worked out computer programs to enhance images and move them in 3-D. The company that makes the scan machines is very interested in our computer programs because it helps them to think of how to change their hardware to meet our needs. Is our software scientific experiment or technological invention? It clearly is both. It is part of our experiment that helps us to see the deficits we want to observe, and it is sold now as part of the scan machine packaging as a tool

for others.

STEP FOUR: Fixing things that have failed to work as expected. One illustration of design improvement is the story of the paper clip. I want to tell you a New Jersey story of a great design that has not quite made it to the top. It is a New Jersey paper clip. Papers used to be pinned together with a straight pin. These were called bank pins, as opposed to toilet pins which were longer and were used in sewing and hemming. These straight pins were so difficult to use that in the l9th century some people used wooden clothes pins instead of pins to keep papers together.

At the end of the 19th century steel wire was invented, and machinery that could bend steel wire was also invented. These two separate inventions allowed people to tinker with the invention of forms of paper clips. The paper clips we all use now are the rounded GEM clips made by a British company, GEM limited. The paper clip we use today has several serious flaws: it takes too much maneuvering, it can snag papers as you fasten papers, it can't hold very many papers, and you can hurt yourself, and tear bits of paper off as you remove the paper clip from papers.

Many people tried to make a better clip than the GEM we now use. Henry Lankenau of Verona, NJ applied for a patent on his paper clip, which he called the perfect Gem. He made the fastening end pointy (not rounded) so it could get on more easily and he made the open wire ends longer so they were much less likely to snag papers as they were put off and on.

Today Lankenau's clips are still used. But they are not very much used. They are called GOTHIC clips because they have a pointy end, like Gothic cathedral roofs. Duke University for some reason uses only Lankenau's clips. The reason Lankenau's clips are not much used is that the Gem corporation had market control. Most

people the world over are using a less good paper clip than they could.

Question Four: What are the ways that science and technology can fail? There are four ways science and technology can fail.

(1.) There are honest failures in which a hypothesis or design simply doesn't prove to work well enough to have any use. Like Howard Hughes' wooden airplane.

(2.) There are what are called pathological hypotheses. Here is the scientist who really believes that what he or she is doing is correct even when others think the hypothesis is wrong. They continue with the idea because they believe in it, even when evidence does not support them. Cold fusion theoryif not outright fraudmay be a case of pathological hypothesis.

(3.) Outright fraud. We all know cases of outright fraud: electric fat shaking off machine, "Our neighbor in Wisconsin, Dorothy, bought one . . ."

The Hubble telescope has a main mirror and many side mirrors. A key side mirror wasn't ground properly and the team responsible for this mirror deliberately altered some test images to make the testing report on the mirror look like it was performing as it should. The Hubble cost 93 million dollars, and this technical failure and cover-up fraud will cost 36 million dollars to fix because they have to send people up to fix it in another shuttle. The failure represents outright fraud in production of a decent design.

(4) Calculated carelessness. A physicist named Richard Feynman had to point out to the government review panel investigating the cause of the tragedy of the Challenger shuttle what went wrong to make the Challenger crash. NASA officials had known that the main rocket O-ring connectors were likely to become brittle and

Society, Ethics and Technology, Lynn Waterhouse

friable in extremely cold take-off conditions. They were warned by responsible and concerned engineers. They operated with calculated carelessness in regard to that design. Similarly, Dr. Gallo, the scientist who said he discovered the AIDS virus, seems to have been careless in a calculated way in procedures using the form of the AIDS virus he had obtained from Dr. Luc Montaigner who runs a French research laboratory. Now the U.S. and French governments are fighting over the profits from AIDS testing worldwide.

Question Five: Why is the current relationship between technology and science so important?

Going back to the first tool use and the first need for "scientific" exploration of the world: early humans needed to be both tool makers and scientific investigators of the world around them to survive. Well, now we need to be able to combine scientific thinking and technological thinking in every area of science, and most areas of technology. Almost all areas of science need technology.

(1.) Without the scientific discovery of DNA, there would be no genetic engineering, no gene-based technology

(2) Without Einstein's scientific discovery of the model of the functioning of the atom, we would not have atomic energy, the nuclear bomb, nuclear energy, and we wouldn't have won World War II

(3) Without Charles Babbage's technological invention of the calculating machine, we wouldn't be able to do the complicated analyses of all sorts of scientific data that we now can do. Most importantly, his invention actually has led to a new interbreed of scientific approach and technology computer simulation.

In computer simulation, we take

Lynn Waterhouse, Society, Ethics and Technology
facts about the functioning of some aspect of the real world, and we enter those facts into a model of the world to create a simulation of the future course of events. This simulation is partly a technological process and partly a scientific experiment. It is the new interaction of human beings' ability to be scientific thinkers and technological thinkers at the same time. p


Rudolph H. Weingartner

University of Pittsburgh

Some Characteristics of an

Effective Core Curriculum1

am honored to have been


of purpose do have consequences. Among the most significant, administratively, is that the components of a core curriculum cannot just be parceled out by specialists. Indeed, simply to turn over this mission to the experts may be exactly the wrong path, since, given our training and the culture of our institutions, specialists think in terms of structure of their own disciplines. The course that was to prepare students for life quickly becomes one that merely readies them for the next course in the sequence of a particular field.

The challenge of formulatingor modifying and improvinga core curriculum must be taken up by a faculty acting corporately. This calls for a major conceptual shift, if not a sharp wrench, in how we regard ourselves. Since the Second World Warand in some institutions since the turn of the centuryfaculty members have come to think of themselves as professionals responsible for a particular subject matter. They are chemists, economists, art historians, etc. If earlier, American professors had thought of themselves as educators, that self image has virtually disappeared even as a secondary role. Subject matter occupies the available mental space available; teaching is perceived as the task of initiating the young into one's own profession.

But the very consideration of a

asked to usher in the second week of your seminar on the topic of the core curriculum. It is an impressive thing to have so many faculty members and administrators devote two whole weeks to this task. Surely there are less strenuous ways to come across air conditioning during a Houston August. Nor do I suppose that a purely scholarly interest in core curricula explains so substantial an expenditure of time, energy, and money; this leaves only one justification for such an undertaking: to help make the education of undergraduates more effective at the institutions here represented.

Your first week was devoted to an examination of types and samples of core curricula, with some attention to the ways in which they are established. This week will be looking more closely at the subject matter components of such curricula. This evening, I want to focus on a number of general principles imbedded in the task of curricular reform.

In doing this, I am likely to duplicate or contradict assertions made by other conference participants. Worse, I will surely say some things that are already known to all. I would avoid the risk if boring you, were I not convinced that failure to attend to a number of simple truths jeopardizes the success of any educational reform.

Our subject matter is a set of required courses at the center of an undergraduate education in which all undergraduates participate. The only reason for imposing this sp

ecies of general education on all students is the belief that such requirements prepare students for all careers and the many aspects of life that go beyond jobs and learningrather than for the specific pursuits in which students differ from one another.

In working out the courses for a core, it is easy to become distracted by demanding coherence. Too much has been made of this objective, for it is unclear how this constraint is relevant to preparing students for life. Moreover, it is unlikely that one could flesh out a philosophical position from which all the components of a core could be deduced. And it is even less likely that one could obtain broad agreement with such a fundamental ideological position. But, even if intellectually respectable coherence could be attained, that trait would exist, at best, in the minds of the curricular ideologues, and not in the minds of the students. That coherence would be pedagogically irrelevant.

What does matter is that the students who are asked to work hard at mastering a core curriculum understand how its components serve their long-range purposesa subject to which we will return. For now, let me sum up by pointing out that pedagogically, biographical coherence beats the ideological kind any day.

If the need for coherence does not follow from the fact that a core curriculum must serve all students, the generality and breadth


Rudolph H. Weingartner, Some Characteristics of an Effective Core Curriculum

core curriculum entails the requirement that faculty members put on the hat of educator.

What we have in mind is not as "harmless" as it might seem. After all, faculties usually decide collectively what to require of students. After much discussion, faculties vote to require a year's course in literature, two years of a foreign language, a laboratory science, or some such array. In their discussions, faculties have even been known to rise above the politics of student enrollments and faculty appointments to consider what courses would be good for all students to take.

But in all the faculty meetings devoted to this job, the courses under consideration tend to be treated like wrapped packages and discussions are usually limited to the number and kinds of packets students should be compelled to deal with. Once that determination has been made corporatelyit is left to the specialists to decide what goes into the agreed -upon parcels.

But how a non-professional can best benefit from the wares of a specialty is not merely a professional decision. It calls for some expertise to determine how a citizen can derive the greatest advantage from the study of literature, history, science, or what- ever, but it also requires a good deal of wisdom of the kind not necessarily acquired along with a doctorate. Accordingly, the decision as to the contents of core course packets must be the combined product of the deliberations of a faculty acting as educators as well as the subclasses of faculty members with claims to special knowledge. While experts are needed for specificity, the multiple perspectives of an entire faculty are needed to posit the goals of what all of their students should learn, an exercise that has the additional benefit of educating the faculty to the level that is expected of the students.

You might conclude from these

comments that I don't believe in student participation in the formation of a core curriculum. While more extensive experience is needed than undergraduates could posses to determine what must be learned for the long haul, a dual reason never-the-less suggests that students must be involved in the formulation of a core curriculum.

Only by having faculty members work with students on appropriate curricular committees can the faculty gain an understanding of the beliefs and expectations that students bring to their classrooms. Such knowledge makes it possible to have courses relate to these aspirations. But regardless of whether such substantive links can be made, the faculty's understanding of what students understand can contribute importantly to the "selling" of a curriculum. There is a middle ground between acceding to the demands of customers as they are when they arrive at our institutions and dishing out what the faculty thinks best, on the grounds that "we know that it's good for you."

We ignore what I have called "consumer education" at our peril. Just as an explanation of how the intricacies of an insurance policy contribute to a client's broad goals will contribute to a sale, so does an understanding of how a required course meets life needs, perhaps previously unarticulated, contribute to learning. There is much evidence that learning improves significantly to the degree that learners know why they are studying a given body of material. Psychological coherence does matter.

Curricular discussions that include students will teach the faculty what it takes to be persuasive about the education they propose to offer and enables them to build into the courses they require a rationale that is intelligible to those from whom this work is demanded. Skeptics might add that perhaps it is only in response to prompting from students that faculty

members will think seriously about a rational for what they require.

A curriculum prescribed for all students has to be concerned with "the cultivation of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that all of us use and live by during most of our liveswhether as parents, citizens, lovers, travelers, participants in the arts, leaders, volunteers, or good Samaritans." 2 To this useful formulation by the late Joseph Katz should be added that this non-specialized component of undergraduate education makes a central contribution toward making students fit for a lifetime of work, a period that may well exceed five decades after graduation.

This broad goal, I remind you, is our starting point. It helps us distinguish what must be central in a curriculum from what is peripheral; it helps us become clearer about learning that is truly a means to the ends we aim at, rather than material that shows up in courses merely because it has always been there. Some examples will illustrate the kind of thinking induced by keeping one's eye on the educational purposes in forming a core curriculum.

Conversancy with science is surely a condition for an understanding of our world, for the ability to make thoughtful decisions in private life and discharging responsibilities as a citizen, and for achieving success in many types of careers, including ones that are not in science or engineering.

A recent Supreme Court decision provides a splendid example. It holds, 7 to 2, that at trials in which scientific evidence is introduced, "an expert witness's actual conclusions need not be 'generally accepted' in the scientific community, the 'methods and procedures' used in reaching those results must be valid. The judge should limit the jury's consideration to testimony or evidence that is 'not only relevant, but reliable.'" 3 The decision assigns formal responsibility for conversancy with science to the judges

Some Characteristics of an Effective Core Curriculum, Rudolph H. Weingartner

of our courts. And even this brief summary of Justice Blackmun's majority opinion shows that the conversancy required has both formal and substantive components: a grasp of how scientists think and work, how scientific knowledge differs from other kinds of knowledge claims, as well as broad scientific understanding of the natural worldphysical and biologicalin which we live.

While few students will become judges, one might think of them as exemplary lay persons with respect to science. When our highest court does not shrink from requiring this conversancy, it has given formal recognition to the essential role such knowledge plays in all our lives.

This educational goal is not likely to be achieved by means of an introductory semester or two in one of the sciences. The orientation of such a course toward the next in a sequence within a particular science prevents it from offering a broad treatment of concepts and theories of the very science the course introduces; such a grasp is envisaged as being gained while studying an entire progression of courses. And needless to say, the introduction to one science cannot be expected to provide any treatment at all of issues that fall outside it.

It does not follow that there is some one correct core course in science. What these brief comments illustrate, however, is that the envisaging of a pedagogic goal necessitates distinguishing what is fundamental from the peripheral. Thus, any course proposal intended to meet the need of conversancy with science must be judged successful to the degree to which it attends to the knowledge that is basic to this broad domain and equips students with an understanding of its fundamental concepts and methodologies. There is probably no more difficult task in the general education curriculum than to discharge this responsibility, but not to do so is to neglect a vital component

of undergraduate education.

Another plausible ingredient in a core curriculum is the study of a foreign language. But no educational mission is fulfilled by simply allocating twelve out of fifty core hours to that purpose, as does the NEH plan by former chairman, Lynne Cheney. 4 The intended goal of such a requirement must be to have students acquire the capability to perform certain complex functionsto speak and understand, read and write a foreign language at a specified level of competency. The goal, in short, is the acquisition of a cluster of proficiencies and courses relevant only to the extent to which they are means to the desired end.

The purpose does not lie in any number of class hours, but in achieving the ability to do something that can and must be demonstrated in the performance of those tasks, conventionally accomplished by means of examinations. It is doubly dysfunctional to formulate a language requirement in terms of presence in a classroom, rather than as a demonstration of competence in handling a language. For not only is the intended goal then rarely achieved, but students' cynicism about their education is fostered when a requirement is "satisfied" merely by saving time.

Two other implications are worth bringing out when self-consciousness about an educational goal reveals that it is the cultivation of a proficiency. First, the recognition that what matters is ability to perform certain tasks frees the mind to consider a variety of possible roads to the desired goal. Not only does that conventional course no longer satisfy the requirement, but there may be alternatives to taking it at all. In the case of languages, intensive summer sessions, at home or abroad, may be effective for some students; for others, self-paced instruction may be appropriate, making use of the tapes, computers,

and video discs, in ever more sophisticated combinations of software and hardware. Require a proficiency and conventional courses may be only one of the means by which it is acquired.

Second, when the educational goal is to have graduates possess a proficiency, further curricular obligations may be incurred. Unhappily, unused skills tend to atrophy, especially when their possessors' hold on to them is less than firm. If a faculty thus proposes to take language proficiency seriously, it must ensure that numerous curricular opportunities exist for students to use the language skills they have acquired in other language courses. The alternative is the exercise in futility that has graduating seniors report that they have already forgotten most of the French or Spanish they had earlier learned.

This brief consideration of language study as part of a core curriculum has shown what can happen when a faculty goes beyond discussing courses as unopened packages. In the case of a proficiency, such as a foreign language, the entire package may dissolve into other entities and activities and other course packages may be brought into the picture.

The abilities to write expository English and to perform basic mathematical and statistical computations are other examples. Taking courses in composition may be the most likely ways students will learn to write clear and forceful prose. But the educational goal is misformulated when stated in terms of passing grades rather than as a demonstration that a student can so perform. And once again, whatever writing skills may have been acquired need to be practiced. The obvious truth is further underlined by the fact that to a degree, writing skills are subject-matter specific. Again, a look at what happens to be a narrowly formulated

Rudolph H. Weingartner, Some Characteristics of an Effective Core Curriculum
requirement has implications for all aspects of the undergraduate curriculum.

The skills needed to perform a variety of basic mathematical operations are too seldom recognized for what they are: proficiencies of fundamental importance for life and work in a world in which mathematics has become a lingua franca. Moreover, when certain proficiencies are required, first the challenge is to develop pedagogical means to their acquisition. And, once again, a much larger segment of an institution is brought into the picture, if one recognizes that without the opportunity to practice such mathematical abilities, those recently acquired skills will wither.

It is even more urgent to open up a course package when a closer look at some fundamental educational goal reveals that we aim to foster what I have called character traits. Take as one example the widespread requirement of history as part of a core curriculum. Lynne Cheney is not alone in advocating required history courses in order to have our adult population know some of the facts of American history, including such mundane information as to just when the Civil War was fought. I was as shocked as the next person when I read how little graduates from high school or even college know about our past, not to mention about the history of other places and civilizations.

Where history is not studied at all, ignorance is of course inevitable. But how much better is it, when students are herded into conversational courses in which lectures and text books try to convey all there is to be known. Some of you are surely familiar with the humorist, Don Novello, in his role as Father Sarducci. In one sketch he genially grants diplomas for completing the course in his Five-Minute University. There one learns only what one would have remembered five years after

graduation from our kind of university. In economics, for example, he hammers in, "Supply and Demand; supply and demand."

A different tack is taken by the Association of American College's report, Integrity in the College Curriculum . It posits the inculcation of historical consciousness as the primary goal of teaching history in college. Let me characterize this trait as abiding awareness of the fact that time stretches and that "in" time, changes are ever ongoing, a sense of the complexity and, often, complicatedness of changes, of the riches, so to speak, of the causality by which things happen.

This is no place for an analysis beyond this summary account; but one observation about it is essential. To have information about a small or large chunk of the past is not sufficient for historical consciousness, though it is necessary. The ability to trace out causes and effects of political events or cultural changes, too, is a part of what is here called for; but still more is wanted. To instill historical consciousness is to affect the way in which students look at the world, inside the classroom and out; it is to foster a certain attitude.

If history is to be part of the core, we must become clear as to why it should be taught. And if the fostering of historical consciousness is an important reason, how history courses

"To instill historical consciousness is to affect the way in which students look at the world, inside the classroom and out;

it is to foster

a certain attitude."

are constructed and taught will make all the difference. A subject matter that is very narrowly conceivedsuch as military history, the history of religion, or the history of paintingwill not readily depict the complexity of historical causality. A core course in world history or an American History course that attempts to cramp in every type of happening, from political and diplomatic to social and economic to cultural and literary is doomed to retail discrete bits of information without conveying their connectedness. I don't pretend that historians will be much helped by this indication of two poles to avoid; I merely want to suggest what must be thought about, if fostering historical consciousness is their pedagogic goal.

"It's OK to have historic consciousness," might be the reaction to all this, " but it is too peripheral to other more important goals of higher education to be worth much time." But another topic that raises the issue of character traits could not be so readily dismissed. The teaching of critical thinking in colleges and universities has become a veritable industry. Numerous articles, books, and conferences are devoted to it. Some institutions require their students to take a course in critical thinking (under whatever title); many more offer such courses.

There are controversies about critical thinking and its pedagogy. The most significant one raises the question as to whether critical thinking is one or many, whether it cuts across most domains of knowledge so that a single course can provide students with what they need, or whether it is so field -specific as to make such an approach futile. But much of educational practice concerned with critical thinking is a proficiency, that the educational goal is to teach students a cluster of skills.

And, of course, that's true: to think critically, one needs to be able to perform many intellectual operations.

But to engender in students the ability to think critically is not enough; that capacity is of little use unless students also acquire the propensity to do so. In other words, our goal is not even reached even when students pass a course in critical thinking with good gradesbecause they performed well on the assigned exercises and exams for that only shows that they are able to accomplish certain tasks. As educators, we also want to have evidence that those students will as a matter of fact think critically when confronted with issues in their careers, in their personal lives, and as citizens. If the deposition to think critically has not become a character trait, whatever skills were acquired were attained in vain.

It is surely fair to say that we want our students to leave college with a propensity to gather and weigh relevant evidence, to be intellectually disciplined, to have an inclination to suspend judgment to the degree to which the evidence is inconclusive, and to be open to points of view sharply differing from their own.

Perhaps this cluster of skills and character traits can be engendered and instilled at college age and older; or perhaps by then most of them can merely be developed and encouraged. Whatever the case, the goal of fostering critical thinking has broad repercussions for undergraduate education.

Even supposing that one can acquire the ability to think critically in a course devoted to that subject, a student who does well will have gained a bundle of skills, analogous to having learned to speak and understand French. But as already noted, the grasp on complex skills attained during a short period of time is inevitably tenuous. Thus, if students are still to have those abilities when they graduate, the courses they take during their entire college career must consistently provide opportunities for practicing the skills of thinking

Some Characteristics of an Effective Core Curriculum, Rudolph H. Weingartner

critically. This affects the way many courses are taught in fundamental ways. For surely, the opportunity of thinking critically is not furnished when we lecture away at our students and ask them to tell us what we told them on periodic examinations.

All this on the assumption that when we teach critical thinking, our goal is analogous to the one we have when we teach French. But, as I have suggested, that analogy breaks down. For if at the time of graduation, a student can speak French, the faculty can boast about its goal has been achieved, even though he or she mostly will not do so, out of shyness, laziness, superstition, or dislike of the French.

But consider a student who can think critically at the time of graduation, but doesn't in fact do so when confronted by issues or problems where doing so is appropriate. Here we must judge that the faculty has failed in its educational mission. If it is not part of the job of the French Department to overcome the shyness, laziness, or superstition that stands in the way of students actually using their ability to speak French, we cannot make a similar excuse here. Overcoming the laziness, impulsiveness, or whatever that prevents critical thinking is part of our goal. We intend that the graduates we deliver to society will actually think critically, not just that they know how to do so.

The job magnifies and the ramifications spread. Not only must skills be acquired, but attitudes and habits must be shaped and strengthened. An important ingredient in the growth to adulthood is a move from dependence toward greater independence. To acquire critical thinking as an abiding trait of character entails an analogous change in the intellectual realm, namely the acquisition of a certain autonomy of mind. Thus, teaching needs to be regarded as a complex enterprise in which opportunities are provided to

engage in activities that strengthen this autonomy, where such activities are everywhere encouraged and rewarded at the cost of others. And if one believes, as I tend to, that the skill components of critical thinking are so field-specific that they cannot be taught in a single course, it becomes even more obvious that this single educational goal has to be everybody's business.

Enough has been said to suggest that reflection on some educational goals that are not themselves controversial lead to the realization that a faculty must collectively become concerned with the way in which courses are managed and taught. But there is a further, even more fundamental, reason why teaching cannot be separated from curricula and syllabi. It is imperative that educational goals be expressed in terms of what students learn, what students come to know, what students will be able to do.

We are habituated to thinking of education as something that professors do, assuming all the while that learning is a more or less automatic consequence of such professorial activities. And when it doesn't happen, we assume that the responsibility is the students. When students learn, it's because of our teaching them, and when they don't learn, we think they failed in spite of out teaching them. Heads I win , and tails you lose.

But hitching the horse in front of

"It is imperative that educational goals be expressed in terms of what students learn, what students come to know, what students

will be able to do."

Rudolph H. Weingartner, Some Characteristics of an Effective Core Curriculum
the cart brings up entire sets of questions that do not come up in conventional deliberations. A new bundle of issues is thrust into the center of the discussion when what professors do is regarded as means to what students learn.

We need to become much more familiar with what our students know and are capable of doing when they come to us. We need to know a good a deal about who it is that we are aiming to reach. The shift I propose in the way we think of educational goals deprives us of the convenient picture of students as receptacles into which we pour the wares of our trades. This knowledge about our students must be available to us on the macro level when we are engaged in the formulation of educational goals. Since those goals are goals for someone, the characteristics of these "recipients" must be an ingredient in our deliberations. On the micro level, we need to know more about the particular students in our own classes in ways that are relevant to what we are trying to accomplish there.

Further, we need to know much more than we generally do about how students learn and what techniques are likely to succeed in helping them. Such knowledge helps to shape the curriculum. This is not a case of substituting process for substance, but a consequence of thinking of a curriculum as delivered to students, rather than as a group of words on paper in a course bulletin. In short, information about the road by which students learn needs to be built into a course in the same way as the material we want them to master.

Better knowledge about our students, finally, should help to inform our discussion about undergraduate education with a sense of what can be done, of what is possible. The very introduction of this scheme should lead to more sophisticated decisions about requirements. After all, when we follow the normal practice of leaving

course content to the experts, we are mostly pushing the button that is labeled: "cover the ground, crowd in as much stuff as possible."

In one sense, much less is possible than is conventionally held, and, in another, much more is. Father Sarducci's sketch is a good symbol of the "less." Reasonably able and ambitious students will retain what they need to long enough to give it back on the final exam. But there is a lot of evidence that they give most of it back to us for keeps. That the students themselves are profoundly skeptical about their retentive powers is suggested by the question that was asked in every class I have taught: "will the final examination include questions about the material we studied before the mid-term?"

But we can do much more if we renounce our drive toward wall-to-wall coveragenot because it is evil, but because it is futile. More room must be made in undergraduate education, including in the delivery of a core curriculum, for independent work. A larger number of opportunities must be provided for students to dig deeply into more narrowly focused issues and problems. Such pursuits into particulars may give more effective insights into the general than do surveys that aim at depicting some totality. More important still, learning to marshall information and different methods of investigation in the execution of a project is likely to contribute importantly to a student's learning how to learn: a requisite for survival in our rapidly changing world.

I have tried to make your life more complicated by asking you to consider difficult matters that are often left out when educational policy is made. I did so, because I believe that without looking at details of course content and without attending to the ways curricula are taught, what students learn remains wide of the mark being aimed at. But I will conclude by making a plea on a substantive aspect of a core curriculum

that is very dear to my heart.

A specter haunts American civilization at the end of the twentieth century. Given that we are facing a serious decline of such central arts institutions as art museums and symphony orchestras, we can look forward to a 21st century of philistinism.

Having received my degree from Father Sarducci, I know that directly or indirectly, the support that is available for the arts depends on the demand that exists for it; and audiences are dwindling. Raphael paintings and Brancusi sculptures, Beethoven symphonies and Britten operas are acquired tastes. And what it takes to acquire them is education. Audiences are dwindling, because there is less and less education in the arts.

I agree that arts education at the primary and secondary level is central to the creation of the appetite that builds audiences. Buthere comes Father Sarducci's lesson againit will take demand by parents to get local districts to provide the funding needed to return education in music and art to the schools.

This is where college comes in and my plea to make education in the arts a part of every undergraduate's experience. This topic may well be missing from your conference agenda, because a sizable number of faculty members subscribe to the doctrine of logocentricity, the belief that meaning is to be found only in what is expressible in words, preferably in propositions that are either true or false. Yet, intentionally or not, adherents to this creed make up the vanguard of that philistinism, for by denying that art has significanceand remember that the words "meaning" and "significance" are, at bottom, synonymsthey relegate art to the status of entertainmentfor "those who like that sort of thing."

You'll be relieved to know that I will not try to show here how and why this view is so horribly wrong. I

Some Characteristics of an Effective Core Curriculum, Rudolph H. Weingartner

merely assert that if members of the academy, when explicitly considering the matter, cannot come to recognize that there are painters, composers, sculptors, and architects among the greatest minds the human race has produced, then things really do look bleak for the 21st century.

But if this proposition is accepted, educational consequences follow immediately. Acquaintance with some of the products of these exceptional minds at once becomes a candidate as a pedagogic goal, on a par with past great events that have shaped our lives or discoveries about nature that provide us with understanding about the world in which we live. Moreover, just as it makes no pedagogical sense to try to retail to students detached historical or scientific facts, so in this context, becoming acquainted with works must be embedded in conversancy with how the works are created.

The last few sentences point to an educational assignment of exceeding difficulty: to make undergraduates conversant with the arts, although very few of them bring even elementary knowledge of the arts to college.

But then, what else is new? I am very aware that all of the aspects of undergraduate education I have touched on imply that we should perform tasks that are very hard to carry out, especially in the real world in which we operate. Compromises of every kind are undoubtedly called for. But taking undergraduate education seriously requires full awareness of those compromises when they are made. Because that awareness presupposes clarity about the goals to be pursued. And only by keeping in the forefront the educational goals we mean to accomplish, can we rise above lip service to genuine reform of undergraduate education. p


1.This talk was not written for publication, nor was it assumed that the audience would be familiar with the speaker's publications. Accordingly, the paper paraphrases from these writings and even quotes from them directly, without identifying use of quotation marks or references. In particular, the author leans on his Undergraduate Education: Goals and Means (Phoenix: American Council on Education/OryxPress, 1992) and "General Education is Not Icing, But the Cake," published in Perspectives 22 (1992).

2. A New Vitality in General Education, p.3.

3. The New York Times, July 4, 1993, Section 4, p.5.

4. 50 Hours: A Core Curriculum for College Students



Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum

"Faculty at the Core:

New Perspectives on Cultures, Learning,

and Technologies"



Education in a Multicultural Society

dyard Kipling

t might seem ironic that I would start a talk about education in a multicultural society with a poem by Rudyard Kipling, who is better known as an apologist for English imperialism. Yet in that poem, Kipling captures the essence of the dilemma of multiculturalismits opportunities and challenges, its avenues and obstacles, its possibilities and complica tions. In keeping with the theme of this conference, I want to talk to you about diversity in terms of its place in the larger system, keeping in mind the idea of moving toward whole system change.

The Search for Multiculturalism

After some twenty years of working in the area of multicultural educa tion, I recently decided to expand into an additional searcha search for multiculturalism itself. First I decided to assess how other people have ex plored this issue, but I was shocked to find that there has not been a single book that deals comprehensively with the nature and complexity of multiculturalism in America. There are lots of books on multicultural educa tion, and many others that criticize multiculturalism but do not attempt to


Carlos Cortés

University of California, Riverside

analyze what multiculturalism actually is. There are thousands of books on dif ferent racial and ethnic groups, on gender, on immigration, on religion, on language, or on other facets of multiculturalism, but no author has really tried to grapple seriously with the larger concept of multiculturalism in Americawhat it means, how and where it functions, how it ties together different aspects of diversity, how it interacts with unity, and how the dif ferent dimensions of diversity intersect, coalesce, and sometimes come into conflict. In fact, I have found only one book that even attempts to address these issues, a 1993 book called Culture of Complaint by Robert Hughes, an Australian immigrant and currently art critic for Time magazine. In his book, Hughes says many things with which I agree, and some with which I disagree. Yet even though I disagree with some of his assertions, I admire his willingness to plunge into the mo rass and attempt to engage different aspects of multiculturalism in a daring way beyond what anyone else has been willing to do.

Hughes says two principal things that I want to try to connect with the ideas about whole system change that have been raised at this conference. First, he argues that one of the silliest debates going on in America today is, "Should we be a multicultural society?" That isn't even worth talking about because multiculturalism

is a course of destiny upon which we embarked centuries ago. When Europeans came to the western hemisphere, they began to interact with indigenous people, thus launching a multicultural society. When black Africans were brought here as slaves, who strove mightily to maintain and adapt their cultures, we became more multicultural. As the United States expanded west, it took in new lands. And with those lands came people, both Native American and Mexican, with their own cultures, languages, religions, worldviews, and ways of being. And when America opened its doors to immigrants, people (with cultures) came from all parts of Europe, from Latin America, and later from Asia. Today we continue to bring together people of different cultures, and every time a new cultural view or a different language is added, we become more multicultural.

Our history has made us what we are. As Ken Burns, the documentary filmmaker, said, "Our future lies behind us." We've already created it. Hughes is right. We have always beenand will continue to bea multicultural society. The critical question, then, is not, "Should we be a multicultural society?," but "How can we become a better multicultural society?"

Hughes then goes on to say, "America is a collective work of the imagination whose making never ends." Collectivity is not real


Carlos Cortés, Education in a Multicultural Society

ly collective unless all voices have the opportunity of speaking and being heard. One of the issues we face in America is how to open up our institutions to voices that traditionally have not been heard. How do we create schools and classrooms so that all students feel recognized and empowered to bring to the schooling process their voices, their perspectives, their selves? Then Hughes continues, ". . . and once that sense of collectivity and mutual respect is broken, the possibilities of Americanness begin to unravel." 1 In other words, "collectivity and mutual respect" are the two pillars of America. You can't have lasting collectivity without mutual respect, because it would be a groupocentric hierarchy of imposed decision making, exclusivist norms, and exclusionary guidelines. But you can't have lasting mutual re spect without a true sense of collectivity. You can't build society on dif ferences alone, because without some common ground you have anarchy. But how do we maintain a multicultural collectivity that is con stantly in the process of re-imagining itself, and how do we expand the dia logue for multiple voices to speak and multiple ears to listen with mutual re spect?

Tensions in a Multicultural Society

Let me make a couple of points about some of the tensions associated with being a multicultural society. First, there is a tension because being multicultural does not necessarily mean being equitable. A multicultural society can be unjust and oppressive. Slavery in the United States was an example of multiculturalism, and it certainly wasn't very equitable. Some people who had certain hyphens (white-skinned) had the right to op press and enslave people who had different skin-color hyphens. This is what I call "vertical multiculturalism," in which people with certain kinds of hyphens can control the desti

nies of those who carry other kinds of hyphens.

One thread of the history of the United States as a system is the slow, but not always steady, movement from the vertical multiculturalism of hy phen-based oppression and hierarchy

toward a more horizontal multiculturalism of greater equality. Of course it has not been a smooth, constantly progressing continuum. Our na tion goes in fits and starts. For example, an event such as passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, dra matically changed the verticality of our political system. This process of move ment from verticality to horizontality is constantly going on, even though it is not a steady parade of progress.

A second kind of tension arises around the issue of whether or not there can be a common culture in a multicultural society. I've heard many people, including teachers, proclaim that there is no such thing as Ameri can culture, that we're just a collection of different cultures. They use metaphors like "salad bowl" or " stew" or "mosaic" or "crazy quilt ." But such metaphoric rhetoric merely obscures the basic question of how a system operates; when people have significant differences in such matters as race, lan guage, ethnicity, religion, and regional culture.

How does the fact of this complex diversity interact with the quest to find linkages that hold us together? Much of the current debate surrounding multiculturalism is based on the fear of losingor not achievinga com mon culture. But this is the wrong way to look at it. Instead, we should be ask ing, "What has that common culture meant overtime? How has it changed, what has been discarded, and what has been retained as we moved through history? How can we continue to adapt and develop new common ground in the face of the ever-changing dimensions of diversity?"

Certainly there is a common culture in America, bu

t it is often very hard to find. One of the difficulties is that it does not stand still. We can't freeze the American cultural system. We can't identify the fourteen things students need to learn about America, teach them those things, and then say, "Now you know what America is," be cause by the time we do that, the United States has already moved on and has become different.

But as the system changes, it doesn't leave everything behind. One of the reasons is the chameleon-like nature of the U. S. Constitution, the entire text of which you can hold in one hand. Because the United States is based on such a thin but flexibly powerful basic document, we have the possibility of constant self renewal. We enjoy a basic set of adaptable prin ciples upon which we can operate. Among these principles are two com peting imperativesthe principles of unity and diversity. Both are built into the Constitution.

One example: "Congress shall make no law respecting the establish ment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Does that mean that if one of the precepts of your religion is the taking of human life, you could practice it? No, because it conflicts with other American principles. The Founding Fathers put conflicting principles into the Constitution and left history to take care of that conflict. They also set up the U.S. Supreme Court to decide which principles would win out over which other prin ciples in specific situations. In other words, they established the constitu tional basis of continuous whole system change.

The Dog Barks . . .

I ran across an Arabic proverb that I find appropriate for this discussion: "The dog barks, but the caravan moves on." Too often we confuse the woofing with the reality. While we as indi viduals

and institutions are woofing, the caravan called reality moves on. So what does it mean for schools? We might think of schools as self-organiz ing ecosystems that operate within a larger ecosystem (the caravan), which includes multiculturalism. We in the schools have no control over whether there will be a multicultural eco-caravan. But we canand shouldcon nect more insightfully with that caravan, because we don't have the option of divorcing ourselves from the larger system around us. We school educa tors need to take that caravan into consideration in our thinking, planning, and decision making, or else our woofing may render our schools irrelevant. Our re-organizing or our restructuring won't add up to anything meaningful if these actions are detached from the larger ecosystem of multiculturalism.

We need to think about where that caravan is moving and constantly ask ourselves, as we re-organize, "Are we addressing that caravan?" What is our purpose? What are our dreams? We're not in the business of preserving schools just for the sake of preservation, but rather we're trying to help young people become better participants in the caravan of the near and distant future. And if we think of our ecosystem called schools as windows of opportunity for preparing students for this larger, chaotic, multicultural ecosystem called America, then we can more constructively and effectively ad dress the phenomenon of diversity.

Alvin Toffler, the futurist, said, "All education springs from some im age of the future. If the image of the future held by society is grossly inac curate, its educational system will betray its youth " Every teacher, every educator is a conscious or unconscious futurist. We're all connected by our personal or collective visions of the future. In a sense we're in the prediction business whether or not we want to be. Yet, I'm a historian, one of the worst kinds of people to be a futurist, because historians a

re folks who get paid to predict the past, with greater and greater precision. So instead, I've decided to become a "backist," because I'm good at looking at the past and addressing the question, "Where is that past driving us?" By focusing on that question, I can determine which things I can do to help schools connect successfully with the driving forces emanating from the past, and at the same time discover ways to help windows of opportunity, such as schools, influence the caravan of the future.

The Caravan of Future Multiculturalism

I would like to take you on a brief journey into the future, examining how the window of opportunity called schools will be interlocking with the caravan of the larger multicultural ecosystem. Below are some of the things that I see taking place in the larger multicultural ecosystem, all of which have a direct effect on schools.

Demographic Multiculturalism

First, let's look at demographic multiculturalism. During only two days of this conference, 93 out of 100 new babies in the world will be born in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Nothing that you do now in your insti tutions will affect that. Woof, woof, woof. The caravan moves on. It has already happened.

Look what this means in a "backist" sense. In l900, Europe had one-third of the world's population. Yet by l 990, Europe had receded to only one-tenth of the world's population. And even Europe isn't the same old Europe. Why? Because all growth in Europe in the last twenty-five years has resulted from immigration. From where? Mainly Asia, Africa, and Latin America. What does that mean to us? Future immigration will come from Asia, Africa, and Latin America, because that's where people are. While Europe provided 97% of immigrants to the United States in 1900, by 1990, 85% of immigrants were coming from Asia

Education in a Multicultural Society, Carlos Cort és

and Latin America.

What about internal growth? Every group in the United States has de clining birth ratesincluding African Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics. But Anglo birth rates are not just declining; they are plummeting, down to 1.8 children per couplebelow the break-even point. So we know that just about every school and every teacher will have plenty of "them" as students in the years to come.

The Holmes Report projects that by the year 2000, more than forty per cent of all students in American schools will be children of color, while eighty-five percent of all teachers will be white women. The question is, are we preparing teachers for this multicultural inevitability? Or are we ignoring it?

Intergroup Multiculturalism Next, let's look at intergroup multiculturalism as part of this larger system. In the 1890s, the United States declared a state of national emergency: the end of the U.S. frontier. Why? Be cause we had reached the point of having two people per square mile, the 1890s' definition of congestion. At that time there were 90 million Americans. Today there are nearly 260 million Americans. By the turn of the century, we will have three times as many Americans as we had in the "con gested" 1890s, and they will be more diverse.

Space used to be the great American escape valve, but now we can't get away from each other anymore. What does this mean for schools? Because the larger ecosystem of America is becoming more demographically dense and diverse, schools need to focus more consciously on preparing young people to go forth and live with understanding, insight, and respect for people who are different in some respects than they are.

The challenge we have in America is, can we all learn to do a better job of sharing our space with those with whom we

Carlos Cortés, Education in a Multicultural Society

share both similarities and differences? The challenge we have in schools is, can we help young people prepare for that future of an increasingly con gested, increasingly multicultural America?

Affinity Multiculturalism

A third dimension is what I call affinity multiculturalism. I'm going to give you what Elizabeth Minnich calls a "BFO"a blinding flash of the ob vious: people like to be around people with whom they have something in common. They tend to cluster around people with whom they share affinitiesit might be ideology, it might be race, it might be politics, it might be religion, it might be language. Every body carries hyphens of connection with multiple groups. Those hyphens influence who you are, but they don't determine who you are.

When teachers and administrators and students come to school, they bring those hyphens with them. They may be gender hyphens or religious hy phens or national origin or racial or linguistic or ideological or economic or avocational hyphens. On school campuses and playgronds, students often self-organize themselves in this hyphenated way. Yet as observers, we also impose our vision of what's taking place.

Visible affinity groups become frightening. Administrators or teach ers usually aren't concerned when groups of Lutherans or Baptists or Mormons or Jews group together on campus, often because we don't rec ognize that grouping. It's the visible racial groupings that cause concern when you can see the differencesor language or cultural groupswhen you can hear different languages or accents.

I'm not saying it's necessarily good that people hang out with their affinity groups, but rather that it will happen. People tend to cluster with people with whom they have something in common. Therefore, one goal


in our systems called schools ought to be to work with students to help them discover unnoticed things they have in common with others.

There was never a moment in our nation's history when all Americans were just plain old unhyphenated Americans. This kind of romantic longing for such a nonexistent past of plain old unhyphenated Americanism causes us to look for illusory, escape-into-the-past answers. We should not be wasting our time vainly trying to get rid of hyphens, which have existed throughout human history. Instead we should seek to build new hyphens of connection, connections that help our multihyphenated multicultural ecosys tem work more constructively.

The issue is not how do we get rid of old hyphens, but rather how do we build new hyphens? How do we encourage the building of new hyphens of connections among students? In doing this, we need to realize that not all hyphens are equal. Some hyphens you choose; some hyphens are historical accidents such as by birth; and some hyphens are imposed by others through prejudgments. The question is, can we help kids move through a life in which, when they notice differences (because they are going to notice differences), they do not let those differences divide them?

Societal Curriculum


Finally, there is societal curriculum multiculturalism. Suppose we de cided to ban all discussions of diversity from our windows of opportunity called schools. Do you really think that would inoculate students from notic ing differences? Of course not. Study after study show that young people notice differences by the time they reach school. If we in schools never mentioned diversity, students would still learn about it through the societal curriculum. They learn about it at home, in their neighborhoods, from their peer groups, and through the

media. Intended or unintended, teaching about diversity is part of the larger multicultural ecosystem that surrounds schools. The only choice that schools have is to decide whether they want to participate in the process through which students learn about and understand diversity.

If schools avoid teaching about diversity, they opt out of the larger eco system of inevitable societal multicultural education. And if so, we surrender our right to complain about the misfunctioning of our multicultural campuses and communities. Multicultural education will occur in society. The question is, will it also occur in schools? Can we help our schools connect with and deal with students who come from and will live in the larger multicultural education ecosystem that is functioning around us?

Dialogues about diversity need to continue and become richer. Every year, new students will enter our classrooms, and they won't have the ben efit of what we did last year. So when we talk about this ecosystem called multicultural education, we've got to realize that we're talking about an on going, never-ending process.

Historian E.L. Woodward once said, "All good things must be done again, forever." The ecosystem of diversity is a forever thing. By con sciously and constructively connecting with that multi-cultural ecosystem, we have a chance through schools, our window of opportunity, to make this a better world by making a contribution to that "forever." p


1. Hughes, Robert. Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993). p. 13.

Jack Meacham

State University of New York

at Buffalo

Goals for Student Development

and Curriculum Change1

istory, and science.

You in the audience have come to the University of Houston for the 1994 Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum because you already know what I have said in my introduction, and because you are interested in and com mitted to the philosophy of liberal education and to general education and core curriculum programs. All of the institutions represented here are in the process of modifying or strengthening their general education programs, in several instances starting over at the beginning of the process of curricu lum design and implementation. You are at the leading edge of the changes that are coming in higher education; you have an opportunity this week to take steps toward designing new programs of immense value for your stu dents and for your campuses.

In order to provide you with an idea of how this week-long seminar can facilitate your efforts to bring about curriculum change on your own campuses, I've asked two people who were present at last summer's Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum to speak briefly about their experience and the impact that the 1993 seminar had on curriculum development on their campuses. The first speaker is Harriet Schwartz, Dean of Social Sciences and Public Services at Collin County Community College. The faculty at Collin County Community College have been working on converting their

I. Introduction

While driving home from campus a few weeks ago, I happened to hear an economist discussing recent changes in the American economy: layoffs, downsizing, global competition, new jobs at lower wages, and demands for increased productivity. My students, I thought, are in for a dif ficult time, and are facing a future quite different from the life I have led. I'm glad that I am a professor, and not working for a large corporation.

Then the economist went on to say: There remains one major sector of the American economy that has yet to be affected by these changes, but one that soon will be affected: higher education.

In the past few years, a number of articles and books have appeared rais ing concerns and criticisms about higher education. In a general sense, these criticisms reflect a view that higher education is wasteful, that it isn't performing the job that it was intended to do, and that there is little connection between what is taught and the real-life problems of our society and of the world.

For example, early in 1994 a report of the Wingspread Group on Higher Education, titled "An American Imperative: Higher Expectations for Higher Education," was published. The Wingspread Group was made up of business leaders, college presidents

, and others. This report is critical of higher education for, among other fail ures:

continuing to behave like the average student is still a 20-year-old white male living on campus, when the average student is now a 26-year-old woman living off campus; continuing to graduate a surprising number of stu dents who are unable to perform simple tasks involving reading, writ ing, and mathematics and who are not prepared to meet the demands of con temporary adult life, and offering as undergraduate education merely sec ondary school material, at a higher cost to students and their families but not at a higher level of effectiveness.

The Wingspread Group report calls on colleges and universities:

· to demand more of students and faculty;

· to promote civic values in the cur-riculum, including respect for the views of others;

· to take values and spirituality more seriously;

· to put student learning first, ahead of research;

· to promote a national culture that views learning as a life-long habit,

· to tailor programs, including cur-riculum, to meet the needs of the stu dents, not the convenience of the faculty; and

· to insist that students complete a curriculum that provides the benefits of a liberal education.

The Wingspread Group report describes American higher education as offering students fanciful courses in a fragmented curriculum in which courses in popular culture count equally with courses in English com position, h


Jack Meacham, Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change

general education courses into a true core curriculum. The second speaker is Wilkes Barry, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Texas Woman's University. The faculty at Texas Woman's University have been planning a new core curriculum to be implemented in the fall of 1994. (Wilkes Barry's remarks are included in Appendix V.)

II. Successful Curriculum Change

In the past decade, almost every institution of higher education in America has initiated changes in its general education curriculum. Yet it has been estimated that roughly 80 percent of these efforts at curriculum change fail. Many fail in the design stage and are never implemented, oth ers fail in the pilot stage, still others fail a year or two after they have been implemented, as the faculty lose interest, as the administration withdraws support, or as it becomes apparent that the goals of the new curriculum are not being met.

I'm a practical person; I want to know how to get a curriculum change designed, piloted, implemented, and assessed with the greatest likelihood of long-term success. Today I would like to suggest four principles for how to engage in successful curriculum change.

A. Focus on Student Development, Not Disciplinary Content

The first principle for successful curriculum change is to focus on stu dent development, not disciplinary content. The title for my presentation today, "Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change," is de liberate. Too often we act as though our goal is merely to change the cur riculum. Instead, the goal we ought to keep in mind is to increase the possi bilities for student development by means of changing the curriculum.

Unfortunately, here's how general

eed to be addressed before turning to matters of disciplinary content.

Here's an example of how it can be useful to think about curriculum change in terms of student developmentin terms of how one would like to change the studentsrather than in terms of disciplinary content. When we began in 1987 to plan our American Pluralism course at the State Uni versity of New York at Buffalo, a major difficulty was how to fit into one course all the content that seemed appropriate and essential: (a) the many historical and contemporary issues of race, gender, ethnicity, social class, and religious sectarianism in American society; (b) given the backgrounds of the students on our campus, readings that would reflect the experiences of Polish Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics (including Puerto Ricans and Cubans), Jewish students, Native Americans, and Asian Ameri cans (including Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, and others), as well as other groups; and (c) because members of the planning committee each believed that the intellectual frameworks of their own disciplines were essential to the course, content that would reflect the disciplines of African-American Studies, American Studies, English, History, Law, Modern Languages and Literatures, Psychology, Sociology, and Women's Studies. There were too many competing demands for textbooks, chapters, and articles to be re quired as part of this multiculturalism course, as well as associated problems of how to find an adequate number of faculty willing to teach the course.

After three years the planning committee was able to reach agree ment when our American Pluralism course, now a required course for all students as part of our core curriculum program (see Meacham, 1993), was conceptualized not in terms of course content but rather in terms of broad goals for student learning and development such as the following:

to develop a sense of informed, active

education reform too often takes place. A dean, perhaps in response to fac ulty concerns about general education, establishes a general education com mittee. For political reasons, the committee needs to reflect the main disci plines on campus, and so all are invited to send representatives. In their wisdom, these committee members decide that students need exposure to each of their own disciplines. A new set of general education requirements ensuring breadth of disciplinary content is implemented. Yet none of the problems of the previous general education curriculum have been ad dressed. Several years later, a new dean again initiates the process of gen eral education reform.

The process of curriculum change ought to begin not with a survey of disciplinary content that the institution can offer, but instead with a discus sion of where the students on our campus are coming from, where they are headed, and what they need to learn at this institution. Who are these stu dents, in terms of background and experiences? Are these students work ing part-time or full-time? Will they acquire their college education prima rily on our campus or on several campuses? How concerned are they with being able to get a job with their college degrees? What do these students need to learn in order to survive as adults? What would they like to learn? And how can we best teach them?

Questions such as these can be difficult to answer, for they call upon fac ulty to make predictions, as our students and their families are attempt ing to do, about how American society will be changing in the next de cade. In light of these predictions, what will be the best preparation for our students? And what can our institution offer them, in the context of its own institutional history, mission statement, and unique strengths? These and other questions about student development n

citizenship as students enter an American society of increasing diversity;

to develop an intellectual awareness of the causes and effects of structured inequalities and prejudicial exclusion in American society,

to develop an increased self-awareness of what it means to be a person of their own gender, race, class, ethnicity, and religion as well as an understanding of how those categories affect those who are different from themselves;

to expand abilities to think critically and with an open mind about contro versial contemporary issues that stem from the gender, race, class, ethnic, and religious differences that pervade American society; and

to develop an awareness of the enriching aspects of cultural pluralism as well as mutual respect for the integrity of other people's life experiences.

Now the procedure on our campus is that any faculty member from any discipline may teach our multi-culturalism course, as long as the fac ulty member can show how the syllabus, the readings, and the course work will help students to achieve these and related goals for student learning and development. At present, we have more faculty interested in teaching our multiculturalism course than are needed to staff the course. An impor tant turning point in making the design and implementation of our multi -culturalism course a success was to think less in terms of disciplinary con tent and more in terms of student development.

B. Don't Change the Curriculum, Change the Faculty

During the course of general education reform at the State University

of New York at Buffalo, I served as a member of several committees, co -chairing some, as an elected member of a faculty governance group con cerned with general education, as a member of the executive committee for that group, and eventually as an administrator with shared responsibili ties for general education. What would I do differently, if I could start over again in 1986? I would leave the general education requirements un touched, and avoid all the debate between students and faculty, between faculty and administrators, between departments, and in the faculty sen ate. I would skip the entire six-year process that took place on our cam pus.

Instead, I would begin by identifying key faculty who have substan tial contact with freshman and sophomore students. I would work closely with these faculty, striving through a variety of means to change their un derstanding of who the students are on our campus, to change their views of what students need to learn, and to improve their skills in relating the con tent of their disciplines to the lives of their students. (I would expect my own perceptions, views, and skills to be changed as well.) If I could have changed only a few faculty each year, I would now be much further ahead in addressing the concerns of the Wingspread Group and in improving the climate for undergraduate education on my own campus.

The point is that improving undergraduate education depends not merely on designing new courses and on establishing new breadth and depth requirements for students. Indeed, to do only this much is not sufficient for successful curriculum reform. Even if new course content and requirements are fully implemented, these will have little impact unless the faculty who are teaching those courses can be changed as well. Why not start by changing the faculty?

Here's an example of how, in

Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change , Jack Meacham

implementing our core curriculum course in World Civilization, we fo cused too much on course content and too little on changing the faculty. A group of faculty who were committed to reform in undergraduate education met regularly for two years to plan this course, learning about and discussing new content in preparation for teaching about the major civilizations of the world, and reading and selecting original texts to be assigned to the students. Many of the faculty who were involved expected that teaching this course would be the high point of their teaching careers. A two-semester World Civilization sequence was launched in the fall of 1988 with much publicity, and all five sections of the course were filled with 175 freshmen each.

In January, we received the enrollment figures for the second semester of the course. The enrollment was minimal, and within a few days all but one of the sections were cancelled and the few remaining students were re scheduled into a single section of fewer than 100 students. Three years later, several hundred students were graduated from SUNY at Buffalo who knew the history of the world up to the sixteenth century, but little beyond that.

What was the mistake that we had made on our campus? We had a new core curriculum, and new courses with new contentbeing delivered by the same faculty with the same old teaching methods. It was a surprise to us that we needed faculty development, for the faculty teaching our World Civilization course were all senior faculty who had good reputations as teachers and many years of teaching experience, who were interested in and committed to undergraduate education, and who had volunteered to give much time and effort to preparing to teach this new course.

But we were teaching a course that no one on our campus had taught be fore; and we didn't consider fully the

Jack Meacham, Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change
implications of teaching this core curriculum course primarily to freshmen, with their special strengths and weaknesses, and unfortunately the faculty had been focusing in their preparation almost entirely on the content that they were to teach and very little on how they would present that content to the students. In subsequent semesters, these faculty worked to select texts and readings that were more appropriate for freshmen rather than for gradu ate students, they gave greater attention to how they would be teaching this new content, and they attended more to how they would make con nections between the course content and the students' lives. Many of these changes were brought about through faculty development seminars that were oriented less towards course content and more towards teaching tech niques. The World Civilization sequence remains as a foundation course in our core curriculum program.

Here's a second example of the importance of focusing on changing the faculty rather than changing the curriculum. I am frequently asked by faculty from other campuses for copies of syllabuses for our American Plu ralism course and for lists of readings used in the course. These requests re flect, in part, a mistaken emphasis on the content that is being taught in the course and insufficient regard for how the course is being taught.

One of several areas in which faculty are ill-prepared for teaching multiculturalism courses concerns their role in the classroom. Many fac ulty, especially senior faculty teaching from the base of their disciplinary expertise, are comfortable with the role of authority. Many students are comfortable with faculty playing this role. But the issues of multiculturalism and diversity in American society are problematic, there is no authoritative answer for most, if not all, of these issues.

Faculty who attempt to set forth an authoritative position on issues of

multiculturalism will quickly be perceived by students as politicizing the course, as attempting to indoctrinate the students. To avoid this perception, faculty must make a special effort to communicate to students that getting a good grade does not depend on agreeing with the professor, that stu dents are able to bring up issues in the classroom and express their point of view, and that their opinions will be respected.

The faculty teaching our multi-culturalism course have learned through faculty development seminars to avoid an entirely lecture format or an authoritarian style in the classroom, preferring instead to serve as informed moderators or facilitators of classroom discussion. Some of our faculty are successful at managing classroom discussion with the entire class of stu dents participating; many, however, prefer to have students begin discuss ing in groups of four or five, which then report key points back to the re assembled class; a few faculty have had great success assisting teams of students to prepare ahead to engage in formal debates during class on key issues such as affirmative action, campus speech codes, pay equity, immi gration policies, or tax support of religious displays.

Let me summarize this second principle: Curriculum change isn't about changing the curriculum, it's about changing the faculty.

C. Changing the Faculty

is Difficult

Changing the faculty, it has often been noted, is like herding cats. Here's what has not worked well at the State University of New York at Buffalo. On several occasions we've brought one or two experts to our campus for a day or two, to provide major presentations or workshops on various aspects of teaching. Between 20 and 200 faculty attend, and the evaluations at the con clusion are usually excellent, includ

ing phrases such as "very inspiring" and "we should do this more often." Three days later, however, all the faculty have returned to their old routines, and nothing has been changed in the classrooms.

Here's another faculty development scheme that does not work. We've tried providing incentives, such as a temporary reduction in teaching load, for individual faculty to commit time and energy to developing new courses. In the case of our World Civi lization course, faculty received $2500 as a summer stipend for preparation of lectures and materials for the course they were about to teach. Unfortu nately, in this model of faculty development each person tries to reinvent the structure of the course and how to teach it, and there is little learning from the mistakes or from the good teaching of others.

In a recent semester, six years after our World Civilization course was first taught, we offered a section of the course for which the faculty member reported that many of the students were not reading the text and had stopped coming to class. The students in this section reported on an evalua tion instrument at the end of the semester that they had studied twice as many hours per week as students in the other sections reported. Yet the same students rated the amount that they learned as the lowest among all nine sections of the course, rated the instructor's teaching effectiveness as the lowest, and gave the lowest ratings of the overall importance of the course.

Our university failed in its responsibility to the 175 students in this sec tion of World Civilization, and we failed in our responsibility to this fac ulty member who a year earlier had enthusiastically volunteered to teach in our core curriculum program. Now the faculty member is discouraged and, despite a tremendous effort in preparing to teach this year-long course, will probably never teach the

course again. But it's not just this one section of the World Civilization course for which there were problems. Despite the fact that the World Civili zation course, as the foundation course in our core curriculum program, has received eight years of attention and institutional support, and granting that there have been some isolated teaching successes, as a curriculum inno vation and as a program for students the course continues to be unremark able.

We have been far more successful in changing the faculty with the faculty development program for our multiculturalism course, a one- to four-week summer seminar involving prospective teachers of American Plu ralism in a collaborative effort aimed at learning how to engage students and how to teach the complex and challenging issues that arise in this course (see Meacham, 1993). Rather than describe the details of this faculty devel opment seminar, I would like to suggest some principles for faculty devel opment that reflect my experience with this and other successful faculty development programs:

1. Don't teach content to the faculty . Unfortunately, too many of us think of faculty development pro grams as merely inviting experts on the content of a new course to lecture to prospective teachers of the course, treating the faculty as though they were passive students in a traditional classroom. Yet it can be a serious mis take to begin faculty development so far along in the process. Instead, it is far better to trust that most faculty, given their many years of education and advanced training, have the skills to learn new content on their own if motivated to do so. Furthermore, faculty development programs should be primarily about how to teach, not what to teach.

2. Help the faculty to listen to and respect each other . Rather than begin

ning with content, it is far better to begin a program of faculty develop ment by identifying, creating, and building on friendships among the fac ulty. I recently had a conversation with the director of an interdisciplinary pro gram in the humanities, who told of having presented a proposal for cur riculum innovation to the faculty in a social sciences department. Their im mediate reaction was that they couldn't do what was being proposed, and that was the end of the exchange.

The mistake of this program director was starting with a discussion of curriculum rather than with food. Effective faculty development pro grams will not take place until after a conversation has been initiated among the faculty, friendships have been established, the faculty have learned to listen to each other with respect, and they have begun to learn about each other's interests and disciplines. In my own situation, at a large research uni versity at which most faculty do not know each other well, it has not been sufficient to merely speak out and present a good idea for curriculum re form. Instead, there must be a gradual process of discussion, debate, nego tiation, persuasion, and consensus building. All of this is far easier when the major participants are also good friends.

If your tentative ideas for curriculum reform will involve bringing to gether groups of faculty who have not worked together cooperatively with success, then an important first step is to ask how you will get these fac ulty to become friends and to listen with respect to what people from dis ciplines other than their own have to contribute. There are a variety of ways to initiate such conversations, such as sponsoring colloquia on topics of common interest and providing sufficient food and drink so that people stay afterwards to converse. Other possibilities might be to bring together faculty who have children of high school and college age, and start a

Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change , Jack Meacham

conversation about goals for their own children's learning and development; or to engage faculty in a series of conversations about their interdiscipli nary, scholarly interests, and then ask how students might be included in this great conversation they are having. It can take weeks and months before friendships and trust are established, only then can the discussion of cur riculum reform and faculty development be initiated.

3. Encourage the faculty to accept responsibility for their own develop ment. Once friendships are established, the conversation can now be turned toward faculty development. One way to do this is to have faculty share problems they have had in teaching and how they have solved these problemsfor it is the experience of teaching that faculty first have in com mon, not the content of the courses that they teach. Another approach is to have faculty read an article or chapter that might be assigned to students, and then to share ideas about how they might teach this material from the per spective of their own disciplines.

Faculty development proper cannot begin until a group of faculty can agree upon and articulate how they believe they must change, in terms of acquiring new understanding and new teaching skills, in order to become more effective as teachers in the context of goals that they have established for student learning and development. Learning new content alone is not a sufficient rationale for faculty development; a better rationale is to dem onstrate the connection between goals for student learning and development and how the faculty must change in order to accomplish those goals. Ad ministrators should not release funds or other resources for faculty devel opment until the faculty have made clear what their developmental need is and how money will help meet that need.

4. Help the faculty to learn and do

Jack Meacham, Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change

what they want. Once the faculty have made clear what they need to learn and do in order to more effectively teach toward the goals for student learning and development, then it becomes the responsibility of administrators to sup port and facilitate this faculty effort. One important support can be a go -for, someone to maintain files, to bring books from the library, to photocopy, and to make telephone calls. Some faculty are willing to do these tasks, but providing such assistance conveys an important message to the faculty that what they are doinglearning new content and acquiring new teach ing skillsis more valued.

Another important support for a group of faculty is to identify a facili tator or coordinator for the faculty development effort. The facilitator should be someone who is knowledgeable about the course content and who is sensitive to and skilled in managing interpersonal dynamics among a group of faculty. The facilitator may also need to fill the role of counselor and support for individual faculty; for example, in the faculty development seminars for our American Pluralism course some faculty have become anx ious about the teaching challenges they were about to face. It can be dif ficult to find one person to fill all three of these rolesknowledgeable about content, skilled interpersonally, a counselor and friendand so it can be good practice to ask two people with different skills to serve as co-fa cilitators.

5. Encourage faculty development to be product-oriented. Faculty are in many respects similar to real people they do better work when there is a clearly stated goal and when they can be active rather than passive in their learning. An important part of the re quest for funds or other resources for faculty development should be a com mitment to produce a tangible product. There are many possibilities: a syllabus for a course, a lesson plan for

several days or for a single day of the course, an annotated bibliography, a demonstration of a new teaching technique, a videotape that would stimu late student discussion, and so forth. The products of faculty development should be ones that could be of benefit to more than one faculty member; that is, other faculty in the seminar as well as other faculty recruited to the program in future years ought to be able to benefit from these products.

6. Have the products of faculty development be evaluated . Even our best efforts as faculty can be made better when we share them with oth ers and receive constructive feedback. One of the most important compo nents of our American Pluralism faculty development seminar has been for each participant to present a proposed course syllabus and then to hear the reactions and suggestions of the other participants. Our faculty have not only been saved from mistakes in level and sequence of topics and readings that had been planned for students, but also have often received many useful sug gestions for alternative readings as well as for ways to engage students in new issues.

It can, of course, be difficult for some faculty to submit their work to peer evaluation and to merely listen and take notes for an hour or more without becoming defensive. Useful evaluation sessions depend very much on following the second principle, helping the faculty to listen to and re spect each other, and the third principle, encouraging the faculty to ac cept responsibility for their own development, as well as the presence of a sensitive and skilled facilitator for the group. The products of faculty de velopment can also be evaluated by others who have not been participants in the faculty development seminars, for example, master teachers on this campus or elsewhere and students who have completed this course or similar courses. It should be the participants

in the faculty development seminar who decide how the products of their efforts should be evaluated.

7. Allow sufficient time. It is important in planning a faculty develop ment seminar to allow sufficient time for faculty to reflect upon what they are doing and to maintain their personal lives. Many faculty will not ac cept, nor should they accept, what is offered in a faculty development semi nar without striving to integrate new material with they intellectual and dis ciplinary frameworks that they have already been using. Unless the partici pants are quite homogeneous, for example, all from a common discipline, much of this effort of integration must take place individually. The schedule for the seminar should include time when there are no other demands for reading and writing and during which reflection and integration can take place.

It is a reality that many faculty development programs must be sched uled when faculty are not normally teaching, such as weekends and sum mers. But these are also the times during which most faculty expect to catch up with responsibilities that have been postponed during the regular aca demic year, including spending more time with family members, becoming more physically fit, and attending and participating in cultural events and ac tivities. Planning a faculty development seminar without sufficient time for faculty to fulfill these other needs will not work, for many faculty will simply choose to not participate in various portions of the faculty devel opment seminar. Not only will they miss important opportunities for learn ing, but their absence can be harmful to the atmosphere of respect and trust that has been nurtured among the participants. It is best to acknowledge the need for faculty to have time for family, for exercise, and for cultural en richment, and where possible to schedule appropriate activities for the

participants to engage in together.

8. Have faculty development be continual. Changing how the faculty teach is so important in the process of curriculum reform that faculty development should be conceived not as a one-time event but instead as a continual, visible, and expected compo nent of academic life Certainly there are times when a seminar focused on a few days or weeks can be beneficial. But having faculty development extend in some form throughout the year can be very important for main taining friendships, respect, and trust among the faculty, for faculty to con tinue to accept responsibility for their own development, for faculty to share new scholarship and teaching techniques as well as to discuss and solve problems that arise in teaching, and as an opportunity for new faculty to become involved in the teaching community.

There are a number of ways that faculty development can take place regularly throughout the academic year. For example, at the State Uni versity of New York at Buffalo the faculty teaching our World Civilization course have frequently invited other faculty with expertise in particular ar eas to present. The presentations are not, however, standard 50-minute pre sentations of disciplinary content. Instead, the faculty guests are asked to speak for 15 to 20 minutes about a topic of scholarly interest or impor tance, and then to talk for a similar amount of time about how they would go about teaching this topic to freshmen. For example, what articles or chapters could be assigned that would be readily accessible to freshmen? What are the "hooks" that could be used to get freshmen interested in this topic? What are some classroom activities that could engage students ac tively in the issues that surround this topic? At this point in the faculty de velopment seminar, the discussion usually turns towards a general discus

sion of teaching goals and techniques in which most of those present are able to participate and contribute.

The importance of a good faculty development experience cannot be overestimated, for it is likely that many faculty adopt the intellectual, motivational, and learning atmosphere of the faculty development seminar as a model for what they hope to be doing with students in the classroom as they teach new courses in a general education or core curriculum program.

D. Compromise and Consensus

So far I have suggested three principles for successful curriculum change: focus on student development, not disciplinary content, don't change the curriculum, change the faculty, and changing the faculty is diffi cult. The fourth and last principle is to be prepared to compromise and to strive for consensus on proposed curriculum changes.

We have each been socialized, as a result of our undergraduate and graduate training and our subsequent experience within our disciplines, to think of our own disciplinary content as essential to any conception of what it means to be an educated person. When we first put onto the table at the State University of New York at Buffalo all the great ideas for a core cur riculum that faculty from many disciplines had contributed, the total was a package of 80 credits that students would have to complete. We compro mised within our Curriculum Committee and within the Undergraduate Col lege, and brought the total down to 64. After the various departments were finished reacting to our proposal, we compromised again and the total came down to 46. We've now fully implemented only half of that.

As a result of this long process, we've learned to have modest expec tations for our core curriculum. The critical question is no longer: Does this proposal represent an ideal program of general education for our students?

Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change , Jack Meacham

Instead, the critical question has become: Is this proposed course or pro gram a worthwhile improvement over what is currently in place? Our core curriculum program at the State University of New York at Buffalo, al though less than we had envisioned, is far better than what we were previ ously offering to students.

The most important part of our discussions was that part that led to our understanding clearly what features of our proposal were essential for the in tegrity of the core curriculum and what parts might be compromised and even negotiated away in the effort to gain widespread approval for the proposal.

It can take a long time for consensus building, but curriculum changes are stronger and more likely to be sustained when there is consensus. Con sensus-building dialogue among the faculty establishes a sense of owner ship of new courses and programs, gets faculty to assume responsibility for the curriculum, and helps to maintain the quality of curriculum innova tions over the long run, past the initial wave of enthusiasm.

III. Team Planning Session

At this point, I have spoken for too long, and so I would like to have us break for refreshment and then to have an opportunity for you in the audience to share ideas. After the break, I would like you to meet with the other mem bers of your planning team and, first, discuss and agree upon one change that you might make in your curriculum in the coming year and, second, discuss what you must learn and do this week during the Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum in order to bring about that change on your campus. A page with more detailed instructions will be distributed (Appendix III).

IV. Institutional Self-Assessment

Yesterday I asked for your coop

Jack Meacham, Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change

eration in individually completing a 27-item Institutional Self-Assessment Questionnaire (Appendix I) and then meeting this morning at breakfast with your planning team leader who would summarize the answers from the mem bers of your institutional planning team (Appendix II). While I was speaking before the break, these anonymous responses from all the in stitutional planning teams were averaged.

I recognize that there are problems with the Institutional Self-Assessment Questionnaire. In particular, the questionnaire gives little recognition to the differences among institutions in their history and mission and in their stu dent populations. Further, assumptions are made in the scoring proce dure that there are right and wrong ways of doing general educational and curriculum reform, assumptions that might be incorrect for your campus. Nevertheless, I constructed the questionnaire to reflect dimensions of some of the best general education and core curriculum programs in the United States.

My intention was not to have this Institutional Self-Assessment Ques tionnaire be taken as a reliable and valid indicator of where your institu tion stands in the process of curriculum change. Instead, my intention in asking you to respond to the questionnaire was to show that there are in deed choices that have to be made when we consider carefully the issues of general education and core curriculum, and that the choices that are made must be ones that are right for your institution. Several people have told me that the questionnaire stimulated a good discussion among the planning team members at breakfast; in this respect, the questionnaire was success ful, for a good discussion is much more important than what any particu lar numbers might be.

Let's now turn to the numbers, keeping in mind that these are not an end in themselves but merely a stimu

lus for further discussion. By comparing the numbers from your institution with the averages from all the institutions represented here, you should be able to identify areas in which your general education or core curriculum program is strong as well as areas in which you can construct specific goals for your planning team to focus on during this week-long Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum and over the coming year.

Rather than review these numbers line by line, I would like to call atten tion to certain questionnaire items and numbers that are relevant to the four principles for successful curriculum change that I presented earlier. These average responses and the ranges of responses to the 27 items of the Insti tutional Self-Assessment are now presented on the overhead projector (Ap pendix IV).

A. Focus on Student Development, Not Disciplinary Content

Do the faculty on your campus have a good understanding of who the students are and what their educational needs might be? The responses to item 4 suggest that faculty on many of the campuses represented here do have a good understanding of their students, although for some campuses the self -assessments are as low as 1 or 2. Clearly, for these campuses, learning more about who the students are, where they are headed, and what they need to learn should precede further discussion of curriculum change.

Item 5 asks whether the current general education or core curriculum requirements are expressed in terms of content that students must acquire or in terms of goals for student learning and development. With few excep tions, all of the institutions represented here responded that general education and core curriculum requirements are expressed primarily as a list of courses that students must take. As I've tried to argue, I believe that to do this is a


Item 15 is perhaps the clearest evidence that general education and core curriculum programs are not working properly on the majority of campuses represented here. On almost all the campuses, the students appar ently regard general education primarily as a burden that stands in the way of taking courses in their major department, rather than as a program that can facilitate their own development as individuals and add to their potential value for employers. The responses to this item alone should serve as a ra tionale for our commitment of time and energy during this week of the Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum.

B. Don't Change the Curriculum, Change the Faculty

Further symptoms of the need for institutions represented here to rethink general education and core curriculum reform are found in items 7 and 14: the faculty who are teaching in the general education program have little or no understanding of the purpose or rationale of the program, and faculty and department chairs regard teaching in the general education program as a chore or burden. In response, I will repeat what I said earlier: Even if new course content and requirements are fully implemented, these will have little impact unless the faculty who are teaching those courses can be changed as well. Much time, effort, and money will be wasted unless we realize from the outset that curriculum change is really about changing the faculty.

C. Changing the Faculty is Difficult

Are your institutions ready to enter into the difficult process of chang ing the faculty? The responses to item 11 suggest that there is modest sup port for faculty development at our institutions. Course evaluations (item 19) and the campus mission statement (item 22) are possible paths toward

faculty development, although not necessarily the best path. A better path can be through comprehensive assessment of whether the general education program is achieving its goals for student Iearning and development (item 13). The low average score for this item suggests that on many of our campuses we simply have no idea whether general education is working or not. In such a context, it is difficult to know whether or how to go about changing the faculty.

D. Compromise and Consensus

Is your campus ready for a dialogue about general education and core curriculum, about curriculum change, and about faculty develop ment? One indicator is item 8: do the faculty teach courses in isolation or do they talk with other faculty about course goals, teaching techniques, and intellectual issues? If your institution's score for this item is low, then an im portant goal for your campus, prior to initiating any discussion of curriculum change and faculty development, should be to build a greater sense of community among the faculty. How can your faculty be encouraged to build friendships and to listen to and respect what each has to contribute?

V. Conclusion

Let me conclude by saying that I hope that my presentation and the re sponses that you as planning team members have contributed have helped to convince you that constructing a core curriculum for your cam pus isn't merely about disciplinary content and lists of requirements for students. More importantly, curriculum change is about knowing who your students are and what they need to learn and then helping the faculty to change how they teach so that your campus's core curriculum can better meet the students' developmental needs. p


1. Paper presented at the Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum (supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities), University of Houston, July 1994. I appreciate Dr. Brian McKinney's assistance in averaging planning team responses while I was speaking.


Meacham, J. A (1993). Guiding principles for development and implemen tation of multicultural courses. Journal of General Education, 42(4), 301-315.

Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change , Jack Meacham

Jack Meacham, Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change

Appendix IInstitutional Self-Assessment

Please complete this questionnaire in preparation for Monday morning's session on

" Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change" led by Jack Meacham.

Step 1. By Sunday evening, please answer the following questions by assigning any number of points from 1 (poor) to 5 (good). You may write your answers in the space next to each question. This questionnaire with your answers will not be collected. You will be sharing your answers with the other members of your institution's Planning Team. (Bring the questionnaire to breakfast and to Monday morning's session.)

Step 2. By the end of breakfast on Monday morning, please share your answers with the other members of your institu tional Planning Team. At this point, your Planning Team Leader will complete a similar questionnaire representing your team's answers as a whole (e.g., the average answers for each question). This questionnaire will be collected at the end of breakfast. Your team's answers will remain anonymous; there will be a check only to make certain that each Planning Team turns in a questionnaire.

1. General Education Purpose. Please assess your campus's general education program on this scale, from 1 to 5 points. Answer here:

* Our general education (or core curriculum) program may be characterized by an absence of clarity about the purpose of the program, by the inclusion of too many purposes, and by too many compromises in the design of the program. 1 point

2 points . . . 3 points (midpoint between 1 and 5) . . . 4 points

* The purpose of our general education program is explicit and clear both for the faculty and for the students. Our general education program is based on a coherent rationale and reflects the central educational values and commitments of our institution. 5 points

2. General Education Coherence

* Students experience our general education curriculum as fragmented. Separate courses and academic disciplines stress particular content and approaches. It's up to the students to search for commonalities and make connections. 1 point

2 points . . . 3 points . . . 4 points

* Our general education program strives for educational coherence through required core courses, interdisciplinary courses, capstone courses, emphasis on the acquisition of certain intellectual and communication skills, focus on the de velopment of personal qualities in students, or similar means. 5 points

3. General Education Structure (1 to 5 points)

* Our general education program reflects a distribution structure. Students select courses from lists of courses that fulfill requirements in various categories. 1 point

* Our general education program is a mix of distributional and core curriculum structures. 3 points.

* Our general education program reflects a core curriculum structure. Commonality in the undergraduate experience is achieved by requiring all students to complete the same set of core courses. These courses have been designed to assure coherence and integration. 5 points

4. Student Experience (1 to 5 points)

* Our faculty often know little about student lives today, and many students may feel that what happens in the classroom is not related to their lives. 1 point

* Our general education program recognizes and takes seriously students' histories, ideas, attitudes, perceptions, and views of themselves and of the world. Students are enabled to connect their lives to what takes place in the classroom. 5 points

5. General Education Goals

* Our general education program is expressed primarily as a list of courses that students must take. 1 point Our general education program is expressed primarily as a set of goals for student learning and development. 5 points


Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change , Jack Meacham

6. Continual Change

* Our general education program was formulated, approved, and implemented several years ago, and since that time has remained relatively static. 1 point

* Our general education program is continually changing, in response to students, resources, and creative tensions. 5 points

7. Faculty Teaching Experience

* Many of the faculty who teach in our general education program have little or no understanding of the purpose of the curriculum and its rationale. 1 point

* The faculty who teach in our general education program have a good understanding of the purpose of the curriculum and its rationale, and of the place of their own courses within the curriculum. We ensure that faculty who are new to our institution are introduced to the purpose and rationale of the general education program. 5 points

8. Faculty Community

* At our institution each faculty member teaches his or her own courses with little or no consultation or dialogue with other faculty. 1 point

* Our general education faculty interact across disciplinary lines in interdisciplinary curricular projects, team planning of course syllabuses, revision of guidelines for requirements, and conversations about intellectual issues. 5 points

9. Leadership

* Our general education program exists primarily as a set of requirements and a list of course offerings in the catalog. The program runs itself. 1 point

* Our general education program has an administrator in charge of the program, a faculty committee that considers changes and establishes policies, clear lines of responsibility and authority, and its own budget. 5 points

10. Support for General Education

* Few on our campus would care if the general education program were abolished. 1 point

* Our general education program has strong support from many constituencies, including students, faculty, department chairs, alumni, trustees, and employers of our students. 5 points

11. Faculty Development

* Support for faculty development is non-existent at our institution. 1 point

* The faculty who teach in our general education program have continuing and ample support for faculty development activities such as development of new courses and learning new content and new approaches to teaching and learning. 5 points

12. Co-CurricularActivities

*Our general education program is focused in the classroom. 1 point

* Our general education program recognizes that student learning takes place not only in the classroom but also in cafete rias, dormitories, student clubs, student car pools, hallways, employment settings, and so forth. 5 points

13. General Education Assessment

* Individual courses are evaluated by students, but there is no evaluation of the general education program as a whole.

1 point

* There is a continuing process of assessment of whether our general education program as a whole is achieving its purposes for students. The assessment may take many forms, including instruments we have designed, exit interviews with graduating students, surveys of students who graduated several years earlier, examination of portfolios, discussions with employers, and so forth. 5 points

14. General Education Teaching

* Faculty and department chairs regard teaching in the general education program as a chore or burden. 1 point

* Being selected to teach in our general education program is an honor. 5 points


Jack Meacham, Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change

15. Image of General Education

* The students regard our general education courses as a burden that stands in the way of taking courses in their major department. 1 point

* Our general education program is an important selling point in recruiting students, talking with students' parents and employers, and attracting donations from our graduates. 5 points

16. Evaluation of General Education

* Our general education program barely meets Texas requirements, if at all. 1 point

* Our general education program more than fulfills the Texas requirements. 2 points

* Our general education program has unique strengths that go far beyond the minimal Texas requirements. 3 points

* Our general education program is among the very best in Texas. 4 points

* Our general education program is among the very best in the United States. 5 points

17. Multiculturalism

* We have few or no multicultural courses at our institution. There is little interest in multiculturalism and diversity. 1 point

* We have some student ethnic support centers, a few faculty striving to teach the new scholarship on multiculturalism and diversity, and many students who resist being exposed to other cultures. 2 points

* Our general education program includes a required multiculturalism and diversity component. 3 points

* We have good administrative leadership on multicultural issues, a healthy campus dialogue with good arguments pro and con, and faculty engaged in strong scholarship on multiculturalism and diversity, but we continue to have problems retaining a diverse student body. 4 points

* We have diversity in both our students and our faculty. Our students expect to learn about each other's cultures as an important part of their education. Issues of multiculturalism and diversity are discussed not merely in a few designated courses, but arise as legitimate intellectual issues in many courses at our institution. 5 points

18. Technology

* Few or none of our faculty have personal computers in their offices. 1 point

* A few facultyprimarily in natural sciences and mathematicshave developed courses that involve some of our stu dents with computers. 2 points

* Our general education program includes at least one course that provides all of our students with hands-on experience with computers. 3 points

*Almost all of our faculty have personal computers; all of our students have access to campus computers; and many of our courses (including some social sciences and humanities courses) provide students with experience with computers. 4 points

* Our general education requirements ensure that all of our students graduate with a solid understanding of the use of computers and technology in contemporary society. 5 points

19. Course Evaluations

* Some courses are evaluated by students, but not all courses. 1 point

* Student course evaluation is an expectation, but does not occur in all courses. 2 points

* Student course evaluation occurs in all courses; the evaluations are returned to the faculty members. 3 points

* Student course evaluations are important in deciding whether particular courses will be offered again and whether they will satisfy general education requirements and in tenure and promotion decisions. 4 points

* Our process of student course evaluation is tied closely to our faculty development program. Course evaluation is viewed by the faculty as diagnostic. Our faculty have immediate access to resources and opportunities to improve their teaching. 5 points

20. Faculty Attitudes

* The faculty at our institution are opposed to curriculum change. 1 point

* The faculty at our institution are apathetic toward curriculum change. 3 points

* The faculty at our institution are strongly motivated toward curriculum change. 5 points


Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change , Jack Meacham

21. Administration Attitudes

* Our administration is opposed to curriculum change. 1 point

* Our administration is apathetic toward curriculum change. 3 points

* Our administration is strongly motivated toward curriculum change. 5 points

22. Mission Statement

* We have no institutional mission statement. 1 point

* We have a mission statement, but no one has read it recently. 2 points

* Our mission statement mentions undergraduate education. 3 points

* Our mission statement has explicit goals for the general education of our students. 4 points

* Curriculum discussions and decisions at our institution are grounded in our institutional mission statement. 5 points

23. Articulation

* There have been no discussions aimed toward linking general education requirements at our institution with either institutions from which many of our students come or institutions to which many of our students go. 1 point

* Articulation agreements ensure that students can transfer from another institution to ours or from our institution to another without any loss of credits and time because of general education requirements. 5 points

24. Grants

* There is little or no understanding at our institution regarding how to be successful in winning external grant support for curriculum development initiatives. 1 point

* Our institution has been successful in the past in winning external grant support for curriculum development initiatives. * The understanding of how to do this is widely shared on our campus. 5 points

25. Long-term Goals

* The members of our institutional Planning Team attending the 1994 Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum have not discussed together any specific goals for general education curriculum development on our campus for the next year or two. 1 point

* The members of our institutional Planning Team have a shared understanding of and commitment to some specific goals for general education curriculum development on our campus for the next year or two. 5 points

26. Dissemination

* To my knowledge, there is no concrete plan for disseminating what is learned at the 1994 Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum to other faculty and administrators at our institution. 1 point

* There is a concrete plan for disseminating what is learned at the 1994 Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum to other faculty and administrators, through writing of reports, distribution of materials, reports to committees, workshops for faculty, and so forth. Our aim is to have an impact on core curriculum planning and faculty development at our institution. 5 points

27. The Next Six Days

* I am expecting to sit and listen for the next six days. 1 point

* Each member of our institutional Planning Team has specific goals, responsibilities, and tasks to be accomplished during the 1994 Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum. Our aim is to make significant progress toward achieving our long -term goals for general education curriculum development on our campus. 5 points


Jack Meacham, Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change


Association of American Colleges (1994). Strong foundations: Twelve principles for effective

general education programs. Washington, D.C. 70 pages (phone 202-387-3760).

Meacham, Jack (1993). Guiding principles for development and implementation of multicultural

courses. Journal of General Education, 42 (4), 301-315.

Schmitz, Betty (1992). Core curriculum and cultural pluralism: A guide for campus planners.

Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities 127 pages

(phone 202-387-3760).

Appendix IIInstitutional Self-Assessment

For Planning Team Leader to Complete

Please complete this questionnaire in preparation for Monday morning's session on

" Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change" led by Jack Meacham.

By the end of breakfast on Monday morning, please summarize on this questionnaire the answers of your institutional Planning Team. It is not necessary to compute the exact arithmetical average. Simply indicate the whole number (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) that is most representative of your team's answers as a whole. This questionnaire will be collected at the end of breakfast. Your team's answers will remain anonymous; there will be a check only to make certain that each Planning Team turns in a questionnaire. You may want to keep a copy of your answers.

1. General Education Purpose

2. General Education Coherence

3. General Education Structure

4. Student Experience

5. General Education Goals

6. Continual Change

7. Faculty Teaching Experience

8. Faculty Community

9. Leadership

10. Support for General Education

11. Faculty Development

12. Co-Curricular Activities

13. General Education Assessment

14. General Education Teaching

Total score for your institution (between 27 and 135):

Appendix IIITeam Planning Session


After the break and before we reconvene for discussion, please meet with the other members of your Planning Team to discuss the following questions. Please write your answers on this page.

(1) At the present time, what are your primary goals for curriculum change on your campus during the next year (or two)? Has there been any change from the goals that were expressed in your application to participate in the 1994 Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum? Does any one of your goals stand out, as the most important, the most readily achievable, or the most interesting?

15. Images of General Education

16. Evaluation of General Education

17. Multiculturalism

18. Technology

19. Course Evaluations

20. Faculty Attitudes

21. Administration Attitudes

22. Mission Statement

23. Articulation

24. Grants

25. Long-term Goals

26. Dissemination

27. The Next Six Days


Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change , Jack Meacham

(2) In view of your answer to (1), what must your Planning Team strive to accomplish during this week's Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum? Are there particular questions to which you must obtain the answers? Is there particular information that must be obtained? Can you foresee possible problems for curriculum change that could be discussed and perhaps resolved this week? Which of the program sessions appears most essential for achieving your goals for curriculum change? Which members of your Planning Team are responsible for ensuring that important information and materials are trans mitted to your home campus?

Low Rating High Rating Mean

1 General Education Purpose 2 4 3.0

2 General Education Coherence 1 4 2.4

3. General Education Structure 1 4 3.1

4 Student Experience 1 4

5 General Education Goals 1 4

6. Continual Change 1 4

7. Faculty Teaching Experience 1 5

8 Faculty Community 2 4

9 Leadership 1 3

10. Support for General Education 2 4

11. Faculty Development 1 4

12. Co-Curricular Activities 1 4

13. General Education Assessment 1 3

14. General Education Teaching 2 4

15. Image of General Education 1 4

16. Evaluation of General Education 1 3

17. Multiculturalism 1 3

18. Technology 2 4

19. Course Evaluations 1 4

20. Faculty Attitudes 2 5

21. Administration Attitudes 2 5 3.8

22. Mission Statement 3 5 3.8

23. Articulation 2 5 3.6

24. Grants 1 4 2.5

25. Long-term Goals 1 4 2.3

26. Dissemination 1 4 2.3

27. The Next Six Days 1 4 2.8

Total Institutional Rating 52 94 73.9

Appendix IVEighteen Planning Team Responses



















Jack Meacham, Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change

Appendix VTexas Woman's University

Wilkes Barry

Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

When we arrived in Houston for the 1993 Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum, we were already three full years into the process of revising our core, with plans to implement the revisions just more than a year later in the fall of 1994. Most of our difficult decisions were made; we had survived the campus political wars; our crucial alliances were in placewe expected little more than having our choices validated, our decisions affirmed. We anticipated that John Ettling, Cynthia Freeland, Shirley Ezell, and Jack Meacham would place hands of benediction on our heads, say "Well done," and send us back to Denton with their blessing.

If we did not have a life-changing experience at the 1993 seminar, scales did fall from our eyes, giving us fresh insight into what a core curriculum should be and do. Our experiences in the presentations, workshops, and discussions influ enced us to do some things we were not already doing, to cease doing some things, and to clarify our thinking in other areas.

In the course of the 1993 seminars we realized that we had paid insufficient attention to faculty development for those planning to teach courses in the new core curriculum. Consequently, we decided to invite Betty Sue Flowers and Shiela Tobias, two of the most impressive presenters at the seminar, to visit our campus during the 1993-94 academic year. Moreover, we secured the approval of our Interim President to provide modest summer stipends to seventeen members of our faculty, some of whom were interested in developing new interdisciplinary courses for inclusion in the core, while others wished to prepare to teach interdisciplinary courses already approved for the core.

Among the bad habits we had picked up and resolved to break was the tendency to view the core from an extremely narrow, nuts-and-bolts perspectiveconcentrating too heavily on the guidelines, regulations, policies, and logistics at the expense of fostering a genuine understanding and appreciation of the philosophy of a core curriculum. To questions such as: "What benefits should students derive from the core?" or "What skills, insights, and habits of mind should core courses impart?" we were likely to answer: "The core consists of a minimum of 54 semester credit hours" and "Students may not use one course to satisfy both Literature and Women's Studies requirements." The 1993 seminar helped to reveal to us the error of our ways and nudge us back on to the high road of purpose and integrity.

Our work in Houston in the summer of 1993 also enabled us to rethink, more deeply and clearly, some of our half -formed assumptions which had been masquerading as fully-developed positions. For months we had spoken glibly of our three-hour requirement in Multicultural Studies without coming to grips with what we meant by that term or hoped to accomplish for our students. Material presented in many of the seminar sessions convinced us that Multicultural Studies at Texas Woman's University should center on the opportunities and challenges inherent in the robust pluralism of con temporary America. That realization has resolved a number of questions for us and has dispelled much of our confusion.

Having learned last year that we did not possess the final, absolute truth on all matters relating to the core curriculum, we have returned for the 1994 Texas Seminar on Core Curriculum chastened, receptive, and alert to new information which will be of benefit to our colleagues and our students.


Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum

"The Core Curriculum:

Toward the Twenty-First Century"



The Scholars' Community:

Reinventing the Commuting Student's

Academic Experience

he life of the commuting college student is stressful and demanding. As is the case with many of the major urban universities in the United States, the largest share of students at the University of Houston commute, and many of them work. Holding jobs and commuting are two of the most pow erful risk factors working against retention. Interruption of degree pro grams and student turnover are very costly, both to the students and to the University. The Scholars' Community, an innovative and comprehensive stu dent-facilitating and student-retaining system has been established at the University of Houston, in partnership with the Exxon Education Foundation, to address the distinctive problems of that large group.

The ultimate goals, the outcomes, of the Community are to enhance (a) retention, (b) timely progress toward degrees, (c) academic achievement, (d) satisfaction with university life, (e) skills in groups, and (f) computing skills for commuting students.

The programmatic components of mechanisms created to achieve those goals are: (a) a home base on campus that includes lounges, study areas, per sonal lockers, staff offices, faculty, telephones, advisors, tutors, class


Terrell F. Dixon &

Edwin P. Willems

University of Houston

nd office manager). The co-director team has worked well. Both co-directors are seasoned administrators and senior faculty, with wide visibility around the campus and in their broader professional constitu encies. Dixon comes from the arts and humanities and heads the Community's faculty development, curricular planning, and academic co ordination. Willems comes from the social sciences and takes primary re sponsibility for evaluation, budgets, and arrangements for tracking students and managing schedules and records. They collaborate on strategic planning, campus relations, outreach, personnel matters, fund raising, and writing.

Four units or clusters make up the organizational structure. The electronic and teaching support unit includes the computer laboratory and focuses on classroom support, computer training, course development, and computer networking. The advisement and academic tracking unit oversees recruit ment, advising, registration, tutoring, mentoring, and tracking of student progress. The evaluation unit organizes evaluation systems, data analysis, data management, and reporting of program evaluation. The office services unit organizes and monitors clerical ser

rooms, and counselinga convenient, one-stop location where members can take care of much of their personal and University business; (b) a state-of-the -art computer laboratory for classes and personal use; (c) arrangements to get to know other students who are in the same situation; (d) peer mentoring and other personalized advice and help in finding important places and people at the University; (e) specially designed and linked courses that meet core cur riculum and other degree requirements, taught by Community faculty; (f) small-group advisement and registration that cuts through most of the University's bureaucracy and red tape; (g) course registration before the rest of the student body; (h) peer tutoring; and (i) collaborative learning in small groups. The expectation is that, together, these program elements will facilitate a sense of academic community and campus involvement for com muting students, reduce disconnections in their academic lives, and bring focus to their university careers.

Leadership and Organizational


The Scholars' Community functions with an efficient organizational structure. For a complex academic organization, the Community's staff is relatively lean, with only one full-time position (coordinator a


Terrell F. Dixon and Edwin P. Willems, The Scholars ' Community

vices, records, budgets, reception services, equipment, and facilities. Lead ers of these four areas, together with the co-directors, form the core staff, which forms and reviews policy, outlines plans, and allocates resources for Community activities.

Except for the office services area, doctoral students on half-time appoint ments provide the bulk of the leadership for these clusters. In addition to providing talented leadership, this arrangement will prepare a new genera tion of experts in innovation in higher education. The Community has hired and trained staff who are very talented but who create an environment of re spect, friendliness, and supportiveness.

Mentors and tutors for the second year have been recruited from second -year members, as have six work-study employees (for the computer lab and clerical areas). Thus, in every way possible, the Community seeks to perpetu ate itself.


Unlike many programmatic innovations in higher education, which de pend on concepts and staff activities to achieve their goals, an appropriate physical setting to capture, symbolize, and support major themes in an aca demic home for commuting students has been central to the Community from the beginning. Long delays in renovating and preparing the facilities here have caused the most serious problems and disappointments in the first year of operation. Mechanical, structural, and asbestos-abatement problems meant that full occupancy was not achieved until April 1995. Stu dent members sensed the importance of place and talked about missing it. Community plans and activities had to be scattered and changed. Faculty, stu dents, and activities could not be focused in ways that readily fostered in teraction. Lack of the computer lab delayed course development and net working.

The extent to which these delays

ruiting strategy for faculty has been developmental; that is, to bring interested faculty into the orbit of the Community and them to socialize them into the new ways of teaching emphasized by the Community. This process has been working quite well. The major features of teaching toward which the process is directed are (a) linkage with other courses; (b) relatively small sized subsections within the typically huge sections found in freshman courses; (c) collaborative and cooperative models of learning; (d) emphasis on writing; (e) allocating time to interact with students; and (f) use of computers.

For the first year, three faculty and six teaching assistants executed the program fully in freshman English (except for the linkage). The process was much slower in mathematics and science, partly because of the Community's inability to guarantee adequate numbers of students for courses. Thus, during the first year, a great deal of attention has been de voted to development of faculty and courses.

The results have been gratifying. For Fall 1995, 11 faculty and 10 teach ing assistants are teaching in Community courses. During the academic year, these instructors will be teaching English, math, chemistry, biology, geoscience, history, physics, philosophy, sociology, and political science. All of the TAs and nine of the faculty have offices with the Community. A number of the faculty have won University teaching awards, and most are recognized for their contributions in research and publishing. In addition to stipends for developing new approaches to teaching, office space, and access to computers and the computer lab, the faculty are attracted to the in teractive and interdisciplinary atmosphere of the Community. We antici pate that a community for students will

have affected the first year and the first-year members, as well as the posi tive consequences of initiating and training the second-year cohort in the Community's own facility from the beginning, have confirmed the impor tance of having a home base for the Community. The facilities are excel lent, and the computer lab is in almost constant use, as is the lounge and stu dent work area. The place is teeming with student members, staff, faculty, teaching assistants, tutors, and mentors.

Cohorts of Members

Although the original plan called for the Scholars' Community to invite 300 new members each Fall, the Community opened its first year with 130 members rather than 300. This happened largely because (a) the facilities were not ready, (b) recruitment started late, and (c) the roster of Community courses had not been developed fully. Then, through announcements in large freshman classes, 188 additional members were added for Spring, 1995, bringing the total members to 318. The membership matches the demograph ics of the total group of first-time-in-college commuters almost exactly.

Recruitment of the second cohort proceeded much more smoothly and effectively. As candidates meeting the criteria for membership were admitted to the University, invitation-information packets were sent to them, instruc tion those who were interested in joining to attend a session of the University's two-day Orientation program. Scholars' Community mentors and academic advisors conducted recruits all the way through the point of registration for the Fall of 1995. This system worked so well that 391 new members and a waiting list of 200 were signed up by the end of the third of four Orientation sessions. This system also enabled the successful directing of members into Community courses.


It takes time to entice university faculty into new habits of teaching. The rec

's life has many centrifugal forces, an intricate balance of college classes, work, and family and community life, a balance that would be intimidating to those who have the ready-made community life of a dormitory. For commuters, the draw of linked courses is often coun teracted by the need to be elsewhere at the times that the courses are offered. Accordingly, throughout our courses, we encourage instructors who work with the Scholars' Community to encourage their students to work together on course materials and assignments. This collaborative approach takes vari ous forms. For example, a biology professor allows the 40 Scholars' Com munity members of his large section of 300 to form study teams whose members help each other and report on progress to him or to his teaching as sistants. An English professor asks the students in her class to work and write together on international literature, thus preparing them for work in teams and preparing them for our summer offerings in work and study abroad. In this multifaceted approach, students get access to the kind of academic work teams that, despite their complicated daily schedules, build academic community.

These models are being implemented fully for the second year of the Scholars' Community, but their applications has bee much more piecemeal during the first year, largely because of the slow start in availability of fa cilities and the self-imposed limits on recruiting the first cohort of students. During 1994-1995, the academic centerpiece was the two-semester core sequence in English composition, developed on the theme of understand ing modern urban life. In the Fall, dedicated Community subsections were based on the theme of "Understanding Beliefs from Diverse Cultures. " In the Spring, the theme was the "Human Being and the Physical and Urban En

lay the groundwork for a strong sense of community among the Community's intellectually active faculty.


The Scholars' Community uses curriculum innovation to build aca demic community for its students. One method is linked courses, and linkage can occur in several ways. One way is to advise students to enroll in sections of core courses that have other Scholars' Community students in them. Stu dents attend classes together in groups with familiar members and work with each other, first in the Community's lounge and computer lab, and then by means of telephone or group study sessions away from the University. In these ways, students build peer-support networks, a conclusion supported by evaluative feedback from students.

Faculty also are encouraged to link course material, instructors, and syllabi around common themes or topics. The topics are chosen to be at the heart of core studies at the University and to stretch readily across several disciplines. These linkages promote intellectual community from the other side of the classroomthe professor's side. One core course combination, "What It Means to Be An American," links English, Political Science, and History in the Fall semester and English, History , and Sociology in the Spring. Another, "Science and Culture," combines Literature, Geo science, and Psychology for the Fall, and then Physics, Philosophy, and Lit erature for the Spring. These linkages offer students a setting in which, much like life after the degree, subject matter and everyday issues do not fall into rigid compartments, but are linked together. The process of linkage also encourages individual faculty to rethink their own classroom work. Fac ulty involved at this level of reconceptualizing their teaching also work exceptionally well with students.

The linked course is very important, but it is not the only way to build academic community for students. The commuting student

The Scholars' Community, Terrell F. Dixon and Edwin P. Willems

vironment." In introductory courses in Geoscience, Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry, cooperating professors worked with subgroups of Scholars' Community students.

Program Evaluation

The Scholars' Community has been a true experiment from its incep tion. Accordingly, it includes a number of elements whose effectiveness is being tested and about which data-driven decisions will be made. Some of its elements will no doubt be effective, and some may not work at all. Systematic evaluation methods are employed to measure the achieve ments of the participants and the effectiveness of the Community's com ponents. In four or five years, we will be in a position to make the case to fold the effective elements of the program into the entire University pro gram for commuting students. That decision must be driven by coherent, systematic assessment of the program's success in achieving its aims.

The evaluation includes both formative evaluation, using assessment data continuously to refine and improve the program, and summative evaluation, to measure outcomes and to support decisions on continuing pro gram components. Two waves of assessment data will be obtained during most years. The evaluation will compare (a) students in the Scholars' Com munity, (b) a matched group of commuting students who have not been selected for the Community, (c) all commuting peers not in the Commu nity, and (d) students living on campus.

During the first year, the focus has been on developing (a) routinized mea sures from students' records, such as course grades, drops, adds, withdraw als, and progress toward degrees; and (b) semi-routinized measures, such as surveys of student perceptions and attitudes. Next year, standardized tests of academic achievement and ad hoc

Terrell F. Dixon and Edwin P. Willems, The Scholars ' Community

measures, such as interviews, focus groups, and portfolio analyses, will be added. Tests and surveys are completed in the Community' computer laboratory. Bar-code scanners provide tallies of rates of use, occupancy, and attendance at Community services and activities.

Overall, the student response to the first year has been positive. Sev eral important facets of data on the first year are just being analyzed; e.g., re tention into Fall, 1995, number of hours meeting requirements of the core curriculum. During the 1995-1996 academic year, we will meet with appro priate individuals and groups around the campus to discuss the issue of timely progress toward degrees for commuting undergraduates. We be lieve that the notion of the four-year degree is too strict a criterion for these students. If that is so, then the cut-off point for achievement of degrees will be adjusted, and more data-gathering periods will be added to the evalua tion system.

Routinization and Sustainability

In order to be usable to the University of Houston or other universi ties in the long run, the key elements of the Scholars' Community must meet certain criteria of cost and efficiency. For example, to be useful to the Uni versity, the mechanisms developed by the Community must be as readily ap plicable to 6,000 commuting students as to 300 or 600, or nearly so. Accord ingly, the Community leaders and staff devote a great deal of attention to the issues of routinizing the pieces of the program and making them sustainable.

For example, systems are being developed to retrieve 13 major mea sures of student achievement, progress, and retention from the University's computer system. These steps will make it possible to obtain important program appraisals routinely and at little cost. Just as importantly, once these techniques are fully developed, they will be generalizable procedures


for analyses of institutional effectiveness; that is, they will be applicable to any program, department, or college, both at the University of Houston and at other universities.

Other examples of such developments are one-stop procedures for ad visement and registration, computer-based procedures for clearing registra tion stops, computer-based gathering for program evaluation, and the use of bar code identification for access to program functions and for gathering data on rates of use. Finally, extensive negotiations are underway with all of the University's formal student advisors to train them in steering Commu nity students into the appropriate courses.


Since the original partnership, several sponsors have joined in the fi nancial support of the Scholars' Community. They are the George and Anne Butler Foundation; Entex, Inc.; Houston Industries; and the Cullen Foun dation (through a retention grant).

The co-directors have been actively involved with the University of Houston's Office of Development in the pursuit of additional funding for the University's match for the Community, as well as funding for new activities. Pending is a major request for support that will substitute for a major portion of the University's annual guarantee. Serious negotiations are underway with another major foundation to experiment with asynchronous ap proaches to learning; i.e., decentralized, computer-based courses with in dividualized and self-paced formats.

The Community's computer lab is an ideal focal point for such experi mentation. Together with the leadership of the Learning Communities pro gram at Temple University, plans are underway to involve at least three, and perhaps more, urban universities who have developed extended learning communities for commuting students in collaborative, multi-site testing and

evaluation of many of the central concepts of the Scholars' Community.


A potential collaboration with Temple University and Portland State University is moving along well. Representatives of the three universities will meet in Portland to firm up plans for a proposal for a planning grant. One of the products of the planning grant should be the more formal plan to in clude several additional urban universities in a long-term demonstration project.

The Scholars' Community has placed the University of Houston in a position of national leadership in the area of academic support systems for commuting students. For example, during the first year, the co-directors have consulted with representatives of Seattle University and Florida Interna tional University regarding plans for programs to enhance retention among commuting students.


The Scholars' Community experiment has been in progress for one year. All of the Community's components are functioning, some have been modi fied, the facilities are complete, equipment is in place, appropriate courses have been designed, significant faculty are involved, the first and second co horts of students are working, the design of the evaluation system is nearly complete, staffing has been coordinated, positive working alliances are developing on the University of Houston campus, student response has been informative and positive, and significant collaborations are evolving with other universities.

Problems remain. Although none of the problems are insurmountable, solving them will take substantial time and effort. Much work remains to be done, and the final outcomes for the Scholars' Community, though prom ising, are as yet unclear. However, several things are becoming quite clear:

The University of Houston is on track toward reinventing the commuting student's path through the core curriculum by means of a powerful support system and facilitating system, an on-campus Community with significant holding power for ethnically and demographically diverse commuting stu dents who value the Community and who, within its arrangements, are mak ing more timely progress toward their undergraduate degrees than commut ing students outside the Scholars' Community. p

Evaluation Summaries

How closely did the first-year group in the Scholars' Community represent the ethnic make-up of the larger population of commuting freshmen? Very closely. In fact, almost perfectly.

Sch. Comm. Population

Afr.-Am. 10% 9%

Asian 25% 28%

Cauc. 42% 42%

Hisp. 22% 19%

International 0% 1%

Native-Am. 1% 1%

[Both groups were 58% minority.]

Did the Scholars' Community affect retention during its first year of opera tion? Quite dramatically, as can be seen from the following figures indicating students who re-registered from Fall, 1994, to Spring, 1995.

Sch. Comm. Population Difference

Afr.-Am. 100% 77% + 23%

Asian 100% 94% + 6%

Cauc. 89% 79% + 10%

Hisp. 97% 86% + 11%

International 0 100%

Native-Am. 67% 63% + 3%

95% 84% + 11%

[The figures for minority students are especially noteworthy.]

Did these differential rates of retention have consequences for the University?

Yes. Example: The comparison population not in the Scholars' Community gen erated 1,416 fewer semester credit hours (and, therefore, formula funding) than it would have if its retention rate had equaled the retention rate of the Scholars' Community.

Do these differential rates of retention have consequences for students?

Yes. Example 1: The lower retention rate among students not in the Scholars' Community meant that 118 of those students lost at least one semester of work toward their college degrees and, thus, fell behind their peers.

Example 2: In 1993, the American Council on Higher Education estimated that the average college graduate earns $12,000 more per year than the average per son with only a high school diploma. The lower rate of retention means, at best, that 118 students fell behind in the progression toward that higher earning power or, at worst, lost their opportunity for that higher earning power altogether.

Did the Scholars' Community affect the rate at which its members completed the credit hours they attempted? Yes. At the end of the Fall semester 1994, Schol ars' Community members completed 90% of the credit hours in which they had enrolled, while the nonmember commuting population completed only 81%. In fact, it is noteworthy that the 90% completion rate for Scholars' Community members also exceeded the rate for residential students (85%).

The Scholars' Community, Terrell F. Dixon and Edwin P. Willems


Terrell F. Dixon and Edwin P. Willems, The Scholars ' Community

Evaluation Summaries, continued

Did the Scholars' Community affect the number of credit hours earned by its members? Yes. During the Fall semester 1994, Scholars' Community members earned an average of 11.52 total semester hours compared to an average total of 10.36 total semester hours for students in the comparison group outside the Com munity. In fact, Scholars' Community members earned as many semester hours as their counterparts living in campus housing (11.52).

Did the Scholars' Community affect the grades earned by its members? Yes.During the Fall semester 1994, the numerical grade point average earned by Community members was 2.57, compared to 2.34 for the comparison population of students not in the Community and 2.33 for residential students. The Scholars' Commu nity prides itself in being accountable and data driven.

Have evaluative data and feedback from students and staff influences the Com munity? Yes. The following are a few examples of such changes:

1. Orientation and training of staff regarding the Community's objectives.

2. Addition of formal advisement.

3. Modification of procedures for recruiting members.

4. Expansion of the peer tutoring program.

5. Arranging member parking in nearby parking lot.

6. Diminished emphasis on large social events.

7. Mechanism for eliminating registration stops.

8. Diminished emphasis on three-way linkage among very large classes; more focus on two-way linkage.

9. Allow students to enroll in two-course options within three-course linkages.

10. Deletion of personal and career counseling; creation of referral service to Counseling and Testing Center.

11. Increased emphasis on friendly, receptive, responsive environment.

12. Radical change in Scholars' Prep (orientation) from a dense, day-long sched- ule to the Scholars' Fair, comprising introductory activities and flexible sign- up for required training.

13. System of personalized member codes to control access to Community ac- tivities and facilities.


Technology, Writing, Learning Styles,

and Core Teaching

The following seven presentations were made by the team from the University of Houston Downtown for the session "Technology, Writing, Learning Styles, and Core Teaching. "

that I could use to assist in presenting 4 to 6 weeks of the mate rial in the course. A projector or a liquid crystal display computer screen with an overhead projector could make the computer screens available to a roomful of students at once.

The style of presentation of course material that was made possible by the computer-based presentation has several consequences:

·The instructor spends more time facing the students and discussing the material rather than creating or producing the visuals, whether they be maps, charts, or texts.

·There is a reduction in the use of throw-away hand-outs, but the material usually contained on such hand -outs is immediately available for general viewing at the instructor's will.

·Aspects of the presentation can be precise while remaining variable and able to be updated.

·Students with various learning styles have additional channels through which the material may come to them.

University of HoustonDowntown

Michael Dressman

University of HoustonDowntown

The Use of Multi-media for Instruction in

History of the English Language

During the summer of 1993, Harry Berry, a graduate student in in structional media at the University of Texas Health Science Center, served an internship in the UH-Downtown Computer Center. Working with Erin Mayer and others on our staff, he developed a demonstration module for a multimedia classroom presentation of a course. The course that was chosen was my version of English 3320: History of the English Language.

Speaking to Mr. Berry and staff from the Computer Center, I delivered a 45 minute overview of the course, the kind of preview that I usually of fer during the first week in a semester. The talk was videotaped by Lloyd Matzner so the parts of the lecture and the charts and maps that I drew on the board could be analyzed in preparation for creating multimedia aids for in struction.

Using the taped lecture, as well as notes I supplied and a textbook, Mr. Berry designed a sequence of computer screens for my course. He, also, combined these screens with maps and cd-rom to make a basic multimedia framework

Ronald J. Heckelman

University of HoustonDowntown

The Jesse H. Jones

Academic Summer

Institute: The Writing Core and


AtRisk High School Students

The Tenneco Jesse H. Jones Academic Summer Institute is a three-and- a-half-week cooperative enrichment program between Houston's Jefferson Davis High School, Tenneco Corporation and the University of Houston Downtown. Jeff Davis is an inner city school serving a culturally diverse but mostly Hispanic student population.

In 1981, when the initial partnership between Tenneco and the school began, "of the 600 entering freshmen . . . only 200 would be expected to graduate, and of those, only twenty would enter college" (Thielemann). At first the program consisted of Tenneco volunteers tutoring at Jeff Davis as needed.

Then in 1989 the University of HoustonDowntown joined the col laborative, and began offering the an


University of HoustonDowntown, Technology, Writing, Learning Styles, and Core Teaching

nual academic summer institutes, in which I have taught writing for two years. The university's involvement is commensurate with its essential mis sion of offering higher educational opportunities to the widest possible urban population. We have found that the best way to accomplish this goal is to try to impact the lives of potential students as early as possible, when still in high school, and introduce them to what a college education can mean not only to them but also to the community at large. Predictably, many of the students we serve require considerable remedial work.

The Institute is therefore an enrichment program designed to better prepare the students for future college "Core" work in reading, writing, math ematics, science and computer. At the same time UHD came on board in 1989, Tenneco established the Presidential Scholarship, which awards ev ery Davis student who completes the program a $4000 four year college.scholarship. And if they select UHD as their college, the university doubles the award to $8000. To date, I have had numerous graduates of the Institute in my college classes in writing and literature at the university. Few if any of them would probably have been able to attend college, both finan cially and academically, without having been prepared by the summer In stitutes.

Although there are certainly other influential factors, "[t]he annual drop out rate [at Jeff Davis] has been reduced from 19.9 percent in 1989 to 13.1 percent in 1993 and the percentage of students graduating in four years has increased from 50 percent in 1989 to 78 percent in 1993." In May 1994, "130 out of the 235 graduating seniors received the Tenneco Presidential Scholarship" (Thielemann).

Working as part of a collaborative teaching team which consists of a read ing teacher, a math teacher and computer specialist, my primary goal as a writing instructor in the program is to

enhance each student's willingness and confidence to express him/herself, that is to discover his/her distinctive voice, as Peter Elbow, the well known com position theorist might observe. Many are still struggling with English and are also hampered by low self image and the lack of technological resources, not to mention a full service library, at their school. They are often very reluctant at first. We have found it serves the students well to nurture the varied learning styles and intelligences which they bring to us, with a variety of teach ing approaches that encourage both individual and team initiative. In this postmodern era of the image, when even the most impoverished household will have a television and maybe a vcr, although rarely a computer, teaching that emphasizes so called "hands on" exercises has proven to be very effec tive. The computer is a valuable although not the only tool in this regard. Although for many of the students the Institute marks their initial experience with technology in the classroom, our goals go beyond technology. We are trying to connect with people.

The ninth and tenth graders meet in the computer lab for one or two classes per week and learn Word Perfect (for Windows). The computer allows us to engage more than the verbal/linguistic and logical capacities of the students. The actual physical activity of learning to use the keyboard and mouse stimulates the students' visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic, and musical/rhythmic intelligences in ways that marking on a page with a pen or pencil does not. In some instances students have told me that just the rhyth mic beat of the keys seems to satisfy and gratify them, as the sound magi cally becomes letters and words and sentences before their eyes. Even though to begin most just hunt and peck at the keyboard, the professional look of their text, no matter what it says, increases the students' confi dence. "Hey, I wrote that. Look at what I just did! I'm gonna keep go


The use of the computer productively complements older pedagogical technologies traditionally used in process-oriented composition instruction. For example, I have found it helpful to encourage fluency by emphasizing rhetorical invention strategies such as brainstorming and freewriting right at the terminal. It is important that the students see the computer as a dynamic means to extend and reshape thought, and not just as a fancy typewriter. To that end, the students are occasionally asked to darken their terminal screens so they are not moved to read and correct their blossoming text too soon. Helping them feel comfortable just getting words down on the page is our initial, but of course not the only priority. Since the students will eventu ally need to pass the TAAS test to graduate from high school, part of our responsibility is whenever possible to work on TAAS writing and rhetorical skills such as persuading, analyzing and arguing.

To conclude, I'd like to mention three multi-sensory writing projects which have produced valuable results, all of which rely on individual and collaborative effort on the part of the students.

Making Clay Sculptures: Each writer first uses clay to fashion an im age which represents them in some way. They might metaphorically en vision themselves in any number of literal and figurative ways, say as a mountain or a bird, or as some abstract shape. After they fashion the sculp ture, I ask them to describe what they have created in writing to an audience who cannot see it , and then to explain how and why they see themselves that way.

Collaborative teams of four students each then work together to es tablish a consensus and fashion a sculpture representing their entire team. Then they each write about their own perspective about the object as well as their team, and make a group

Technology, Writing, Learning Styles, and Core Teaching, University of HoustonDowntown

presentation before the class.

Designing a Community Center: Teams of four students first decide how they will divide the labor, and then using architectural modeling materials design a community center which they must justify and explain in a written proposal. Typically, each team member takes responsibility for conceiving and writing about one aspect of the center, for example those parts meant to serve different groups within the community such as preschoolers, teens, adults and the elderly. The writing and design are evaluated by a panel of judges from outside the class in order to simulate an authentic profes sional process.

Publishing a Book: In this project each member of the class contributes a page to a class book which is bound and presented to each student at the end of the Institute. This summer our course and book theme was "Creating Selves, Communities and Cultures." Each student-writer illustrated a shield with four sections designated as follows: self, interests, communities and cultures. To the right of the shield on the same page was the student's writ ten explanation of his/her drawings.

The students also designed a group shield to represent our class which we used on the cover of the book. For many of these at risk teen agers this was their first ever attempt at collaborative decision making inside a writing classroom, and it prompted stimulating debate over such issues as how to represent their community and culture in light of their own interests, hopes and ideals.

All of these writing projects, each utilizing technology to different de grees, were stimulating to the students, I believe, because each activity en gaged the multiple core intelligences we all possess: verbal/linguistic, logi cal and mathematical, visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic, musical/rhythmic, interpersonal and intrapersonal (Lazear). The success of these activi ties demonstrates that we must not lose

sight of the fact that at the core of any curricular and pedagogical "Core" are real people, subjects not objects, with their own histories, desires and intel ligences.


1. Lazear, David. Seven Ways of Knowing. Palatine, IL: Skylight, 1991.

2. __________. Seven Ways of Teaching. Palatine, IL: Skylight, 1991.

3. Thielemann, Jane (Director). Jesse H. Jones Academic Summer Institute Faculty Handbook.Houston: University of HoustonDowntown, 1995.

s, I have not been able to make clear my criticism. This immediate and complete response is often a way of working through with students prob lem areas of grammar and composition by dealing with these problems in a direct, one-to-one interchange.

2. Second, use of the Timbuktu program allows me to focus on the in dividual needs of students. Class becomes a time when I can address the specific problems that each student is having, and from that experience I may adjust homework assignments and in-class activities.

3. Use of the Timbuktu program adds a new dimension to the in-class writing assignment, turning it into an interactive effort that involves teacher and student in an exchange of information and experience.

4. Using the Timbuktu program

Homer Johnson

University of HoustonDowntown

"Teaching Developmental Writing in the

Electronic Classroom: An Interactive


I teach in the Foundations Program at the University of Houston. This pro gram is administered by the University of HoustonDowntown and in cludes courses in developmental writing, reading, and math. One feature of the Foundations program is a 24-station Macintosh computer lab that is organized to function both as a classroom and as a place where students can come after class to work on their writing and reading assignments.

My English 1300 class meets in this lab once each week. In the lab, they work on a writing assignment, usually drafts of essays that they are in the pro cess of completing. While they write, I sit at my computer and, using a soft ware program called Timbuktu, call up their work on my screen, student by student. During the class period, I critique the work of each student several times, giving the students an oral response to their work. I discuss with them any issue I think important to what they are writing, including prob lems with grammar and mechanics as well as with essay organization and development.

I have found that using this program in a computer classroom enhances the instruction of developmental writing in several ways:

1. First, it allows me to give students immediate feedback on their work. Not only do I point out the area of concern to the student but also I can give him or her a fuller explanation of why this is a problem than I would be likely to give through written comments on a paper. In addition, I may suggest improvements, or I may comment on the student's own corrections. Using the "control" function, I can myself make alterations, if, as is occa sionally the case with my international student

University of HoustonDowntown, Technology, Writing, Learning Styles, and Core Teaching

also has psychological benefits. It is a way of paying attention to each stu dent, allowing the instructor to show his concern for the student's progress and keeping students from becoming alienated from the course. Moreover, I praise the students generously when their work merits it, and my criticisms are always very polite and conveyed in a supportive way. There is also an element of fairness in this activity, since I spend roughly an equal amount of time with each student.

5. Using this program adds variety to the classroom experience, and it is an enjoyable activity as well. Students often are impatient for me to come around to them again with another critique.

6. There are many other benefits to using the Timbuktu program. It makes paper grading easier since, by the time students hand in their drafts, I am very familiar with the essay and they have already made many neces sary improvements. Furthermore, if I should need to, I could sit in my office and monitor their work with my office computer, using the message function to suggest improvements . The Timbuktu program adapts to peer grad ing, since students may sit near each other in the lab and critique each other's work on their own screens. In addition, it would be possible for a group of students, for example student/athletes, to work in the lab along with a tutor, who would use the Timbuktu program to help them with their writ ing. Finally, class activities are possible using Timbuktu, since all students in the lab can tune in on any one student's screen, and any student can make cor rections or comments on any other student's screen.

With the use of the Timbuktu program, the computer classroom can be come a place where there is more interaction between teacher and student, or between student and student, than there may be in the traditional class

room. During this interactive experience, many of the specific difficulties students are having with their writing can be focused on and worked through.

in this session is achieved as students necessarily sharpen their evalu ative techniques of comparison, definition, and analysis.


Format: Students work independently at computer terminals, responding to

the topics set out below. Their writing is saved to disks, and it is later as sembled into the class's booklet of criticism.


1. Awareness of self as a creative participant in reading.

2. Practice in active approaches to evaluating literature.

3. Production of written work for the class's critical booklet.


1. Are you more attentive and involved when you read fiction (Homer) or nonfiction (Suetonius' biographies)? Why?

2. Who meets your idea of a "hero" or "heroine": Hector, Achilles, Julius Caesar, Clytemnestra, Penelope? Why?

3. What elements of Homer's works have ensured them admiring readers for 3,000 years?

4. What changes would you have to make to turn Aeschylus' play Agamemnon into a successful movie today?

5. Do you see similarities between life in Homeric times and life in our tech nologically advanced society?


1. Involvement of the entire class in intrapersonal learning.

2. Increase in interactive discussions during traditional classes.

The third goal of this session is production of an informal compen dium of students' responses to the

Sylvia P. Bowman

University of HoustonDowntown

"Computer Sessions Activate Learning in Literature Courses"

In teaching the survey of Western literature, a core curriculum course for sophomores at the University of HoustonDowntown, I schedule at least 10% of our classtime about five hours in total in a computer class room. During that time, students increase their intellectual involvement with literature through activating their intrapersonal and interpersonal learn ing capabilities.

The computer classroom activities that I will describe in this presen tation make every student active in evaluating our readings from several points of view: from the perspective of their personal tastes, from an his torical perspective, from a comparative thematic perspective, and so forth. Thus the computer activities provide an essential supplement to traditional lecture anddiscussion classes where, as we know, our assertive, verbally adept students thrive, while the shy students and those who have fallen be hind on reading assignments daydream in the back rows.

I schedule the first computer session several weeks into the semester. Its primary goal is to make students aware of themselves as intelligent criti cal participants in the reading process. To this end, I give each student the option of responding to one or more of five questions that I have put onto individual "loaner" diskettes. The questions, shown below, draw students into thinking and writing about their own critical or creative responses to the material we have read. A second goal

Technology, Writing, Learning Styles, and Core Teaching, University of HoustonDowntown

questions. By writing and saving their responses on diskettes, rather than writing with pen and paper, the students can easily put together a neat, readable collection. This little booklet heightens their interest in the course because they delight in seeing their names and ideas in print. In addition, the booklet facilitates interpersonal learning. Within the regular class room, the questions and responses become a basis for discussion of later reading selections.

The second session on computer provides an interpersonal learning ac tivity to make students think about controversial concepts in our assigned texts. Typically, two or three students work together at each terminal to de vise a "Utopia" for our times or, if they prefer, an uptodate Inferno. This session follows readings in Dante's Inferno and More's Utopia as well as lectures on other utopian fiction such as Bellamy's and Huxley's.



Format: Students work groups of three, combining discussion with writ ing at each computer terminal. Writings are read and discussed in a later class.


1. Recognizing reading as a basis for creative thought.

2. Building concepts through interactive writing/discussion.


1. Devise a modern Utopia with a viable economic and social system.

2. Decide if Dante's classification of sinners is relevant to our society. Out line a 21stcentury classification of sinners and describe their hell.


All students actively evaluating and building on the themes studied.

The final three hours of computer classroom work, toward the end of the semester, give students time to finalize collaborative research reports. Stu dent teams have already selected top

ics and have divided the areas of research. Each team member has drafted a report on his or her area of research and now brings in their draft material already on diskettes-for joint review and editing.

This collaborative method of developing literary research reports has several advantages over the individual research effort. First, it allows for a wider investigation of a given topic. Second, as the students juxtapose their draft materials, they discover new insights and new lines of discussion. And, as a practical bonus, collaborative writing in the computer lab obvi ates the use of termpapers bought from professional paperwriters.

A successful student team last semester started with an investigation of epic features in Twain's Huckleberry Finn. In the research phase, one member of the reportteam read criti cal articles on the book's structure, etc., while the other student-a dyslexic- studied all movie versions of the book. As they developed the final report dur ing computer sessions, the computer features of cutandpaste, insertion, clipboard, and easily printed drafts allowed the team to develop a rich study of Twain's irony. As a result, both students learned more and produced a more thoughtful report than I would have expected without the collabora tion on computers.

I mention that one of the students was severely dyslexic in order to em phasize that sessions in the computerclassroom make every stu dent an active learner. Those who might have spent the semester pas sively adrift find themselves drawn into structured, yet intellectually cre ative, exercises in criticism.

Their rewards are almost immediate; their works are "published" in a readable format and their ideas get some respect. The first success leads to selfconfidence and selfawareness as an active reader. It encourages even the most dilatory students to keep up with the reading and to pay attention

to what they read.

In sum, all the students leave the computerwriting enhanced classes better able, and much more eager, to read literature.

William Gilbert

University of HoustonDowntown

A Step Back From

Certainty: Using Word Processors to Give Basic Writers a General

Education in the

Malleability of Text

In English 1300, UHD's basic writing class, students are typically uncomfortable with writing and cover their discomfort and uncertainty with gut responses, often drawing on familiar, but unproductive methods partially "learned" in earlier instructional settings. All writing may start with an impulse, but basic writers need to expand their repertoire of responses. They need to learn new and different ways of writing. The needed self-con sciousness and self-criticism come slowly, but can be aided by the rela tively low-tech word processor.

Any writing course will address some facets of the Core Curriculum by encouraging students to increase the precision of their language use and the accuracy of their observation. In a basic writing course, they also learn some of the most conventional organizational patterns used in expository prose.

Using word processors to help students achieve these goals of the Core appeals to two of David Lazear's Seven Ways of Knowing, verbal/linguistic intelligence and body/kinesthetic intelligence. Adding group ac tivities in class (like comparing opin

University of HoustonDowntown, Technology, Writing, Learning Styles, and Core Teaching
ions about assigned readings, ideas about assigned topics, and drafts) ap peals to a third way of knowing, interpersonal intelligence. This diversity clearly meets the needs of more students than would reliance on any one method alone.

Basic writers benefit most from structured in-class writing sessions devoted sequentially to inventing/planning, comparing notes and outlines, drafting, getting peer evaluation, and revising/editing. In the last several se mesters, I have been able to schedule students in UHD's Computer Lab for two of those sessionsdrafting and revising/editing. Several advantages were evident for both writers and readers:

Writer Advantage 1

Students, knowing that they can use a spellchecker at the end of their writing process, feel free to concentrate their creative energy on compos ing and draftingon generating language and ideas.

Writer Advantage 2

Students are more open to revising (inserting, deleting, transposing text) on a word processor because they can make such changes quickly and easily.

Writer Advantage 3

Basic writers can be proud of the neat, clean appearance of their writ ing, perhaps for the first time in a writing classroom.

Writer Advantage 4

Students learn that neat appearance and quality of writing are not syn onymous as soon as they see their teacher's response to their word-pro cessed drafts. The teacher has looked beneath the surface to suggest global improvements in substance rather than in form.

Reader Advantage 1

For teachers of basic writers, word processors encourage them to respond on the level of content and organization. Just as writers can defer correc tion of errors, so too can teachers defer noticing errors of style and gram

mar more readily than they seem to in handwritten drafts. The same ease of alterationthe malleability of textreorients the attention of both writers and readers.

Reader Advantage 2

Word-processed draftswhether printed "hard copies" or on-screen ver sions retrieved from disksare easier to read than are holograph drafts. By the same token, teachers' responses and comments are easier to understand, particularly for basic writers, who also tend to be weak readers. The colors and typefaces available on many word processing programs make it easier for students to see and focus on their teacher's advice. Teachers can insert their comments into drafts as footnotes or in a distinctive font or in some other recognizable form.

With any method, advantages bring up problems.

Writer Problem 1

The low reading skills of basic writers discourage them from read ingwhether assigned articles to stimulate thought or assigned models to borrow techniques from or even topics to write about problems as readers make basic writers procrastinate; they prefer to believe in the Romantic myth of Writer's Block than to get on with the business of grappling with assigned readings, drafting, experimenting, and changing their text.

Writer Problem 2

Procrastination can play havoc with a syllabus. The unwilling writer can skip class wasting a class day and her money. Drafts come in late or never. (Notice that I see these lost learning opportunities as writers' prob lems, not teachers' problems. Keeping up with drafts does present problems to the teacher, however. ) These difficulties in scheduling are mitigated by a double-disk system. Students store their work produced in class on two disks, one of which gets turned in to the instructor for a preliminary re sponse (usually to the relevance of the draft to the assigned topic and to the

effectiveness of the apparent organization [many basic writers can't com plete an entire draft in a 50-minute class period; thus technology does not speed up the creative process for every student, reducing the benefit of technology for creative drafting]); the second disk is for the student to use in completing and refining his draft on his own, outside of class, before shar ing the draft with classmates for a response.

Writer Problem 3

While many students are familiar and comfortable with word processors, many are not. Those who Are put off by computers need to be allowed to pursue their old devotion to pen and ink. Those who can be persuaded to experiment with the technology will end the course having acquired or im proved useful word processing skills, whatever the level of their writing skills.

Technology, Writing, Learning Styles, and Core Teaching, University of HoustonDowntown

particular title ("Lacks conclusion"). At this point a sample comment pops up in the window.

The program proved surprisingly simply to write: I had a working model in about a week. And since I had files of comments stretching back several years related to different writing assignments covered in different chap ters of The St. Martin's Guide, a popular rhetoric for freshman composition, I also had a few surprisingly large databases of comments.

Critical Remarks on Program

If I haven't yet lost you in this description of the program design, you might well respond sofar, so good. Or, more probably, so what? In my few remaining minutes, I'd like to survey briefly both the results of the experi ment and indulge in self-criticism of the program.

First, after using the program several times while commenting on stu dent papers, very little in the results surprised meother than I did find it to be of limited usefulness. Since I expected still to primarily draft or com pose "unique" responses to student drafts and since each writing problem or issue takes a unique form in each "individual" paper, from the start I expected to be able to do very little "recycling" of comments in the data base. That proved to be the case.

Only once every two to four student papers would I actually use, al ways in modified form and often in severely modified form, a database comment. Nor, at least in an unscientific assessment did my efficiency or average time grading per paper decrease; if anything my efficiency de creased, if only from having one more distraction in my commenting process. So why use the database at all?

Robert L. Jarrett

University of HoustonDowntown

Commenting On

Student Essays

with a Database

My remarks are an exercise in self criticism concerning a database pro gram which I wrote and have used intermittently over the last two years in one of our core curriculum classes, our first semester course in Freshman Composition. After a brief description of the program's history, design, and uses, I will note several pragmatic and theoretical pedagogical issues in the use of such a program.


Perhaps the fantasy behind such a program is the fantasy of all fresh man composition teachers (perhaps all teachers at the University level); pos sessing a program which would grade papers or at least write comments on such papers. This fantasy parallels the old academic chestnut, at which stu dents laugh somewhat nervously, of the professor's grading by tossing a stack of papers down the stairs. Recognizing from the start that no program can either grade or comment on writing for the teacher or writer (note the many problems in the use of relatively simple grammatical editing programs like Grammatik), I entered this project with far more pragmatic goals of databasing frequent rhetorical comments and teaching myself to program in the process.

For years, I have commented on many, although not all, student drafts by keyboarding comments on a wordprocessor. And often, particularly midway and at the end of the term, I have reviewed those comments, both to assess the student's performance but usually more solipsistically to self-as sess my own pedagogical performance, to see which comments "paid off." In December, 1993, though, my

purchase of Microsoft Visual Basic, a "Windows" programming tool, re sulted in my switching from word processor to a database "interface" for such commenting.

Program Design

From the

start the program design has been relatively simple, matching my originally nil and still modest programming capabilities. The program consists of three window: one to add comments to the database; a second window to review or select a comment in the database; a final windowa sample wordprocessorto write, edit, and save comments in a file or files for printing or other purposes.

In using both the first and second windowsthat is, either to add com ments to or to select comments from the databaseI used a simple logical process, elemental to database design.

Basically, the program requires me to divide all comments in the database into two main categories, the first relating to the general type of essay as signment, the second relating to a particular general feature or criterion for thator allparticular type of academic writing. Thus, in screen one, while adding a comment, I must assign a name to and then add a set of comments for a particular writing assignment or for a particular type of writing assignment. For example, I might create one set of comments for writing about an important autobiographical event (a narrative), another for writing about a person important in the student's life (description); an other for explaining a concept (exposition). I then must assign to each com ment a general category name (comments about introductions or thesis sentences, for instance), then assign to each comment a specific title ("intro duction is misleading"). At this point or after writing a comment, it is saved to the database of comments for that type of essay.

While commenting on a stack of drafts, I use screen two of the program. To select a comment, I first select (by clicking the mouse on) the name of the type of essay In grading, then select the general category or criterion ("con clusions," for example), then select a

University of HoustonDowntown, Technology, Writing, Learning Styles, and Core Teaching
Advantages and Uses of Program

First, the program satisfied my main criteria of an efficient and logi cal system of storing a thumb-nail history of my typical responses to typical criteria-based "problems" or issues in student drafts. Note that this has more to do with pedagogical self-assessment than student assessment.

Secondly, even though I reused relatively few comments, I found us ing the database to be a surprisingly effective "invention" device for the writing of student responses to student writing. In explanation, I should make several points. In compositional rhetoric, of course, invention involves brain storming what to say, overlapping the planning stage of how to arrange what will be written.

In the database, the very lists of the general criteria or features of the essay assignment and the lists of specific comments proved remarkably helpful, first in reminding myself of the main goals of the writing assign ment and the main possibilities of what main issues or problems I might dis cuss in the draft (and have discussed in past comments). 1 One might conclude, from a cognitive perspective, that the use of the program both improved (by continual refreshing) my memory of the goals or criteria of the writing and introduced a meditative or inventive pause which oftennot alwaysresulted in a more careful selection of what issue to raise to the student. I might add here that my courses are based on repetitive revision, that the St. Martin' s assignment chapters are based on guiding the students through invention, drafting, and revising based on main criteria of that par ticular mode of writing, and that the last course assignment is to revise one or two earlier drafts. So my comments generally function less to defend a par ticular grade than to analyze both the strengths and weakness of the essay as a draft (an essay in the French or very sense) and to focus on a few goals for the potential student revision. Compar

ing the files of my comments produced with the use of the grader to earlier years, the new comments as a whole seemed more focused, though this im provement could be attributed of course to additional pedagogical expe rience or gray hairs. The positive effect of using the program, then, was to reinforce what I would call a criterion-based approach to commenting; cer tainly, one does not need a program for similar reinforcement.

Pragmatic Criticisms

Hand in hand with these benefits come a series of potential or actual problems. Some of those problems are pragmatic. Briefly, the program is in efficient, at least in terms of time, requiring periodic review, updating, and addition or rewriting of comments. Of course such time may not be wasted in terms of reinforcing the goals or criterion of an assignment. Yet if a data base comment was to be based on an actual comment to a student essay, usu ally I had to briefly rewrite it for the

database, usually decontextualizing a particular comment from it as a re sponse to a particular essay and generalize it more abstractly. To "recycle" the general comment, I conversely would then have to recontextualize it for the needs of a particular student and paper. It is simpler and quicker to write each comment afresh.

I should note also that I generally chose to add only particular types of comments dealing with wide-spread and common issues or problems in writing. Yet each student experiences even such typical problems from a unique perspective; rewriting comments is rhetorically and pragmatically essential. Further, I refuse to generalize from this experience; I happen to like commenting or grading at my computer desk, and have used word processors to do so for years, while I suspect most of my peers would not be comfortable with this approach, not to mention the issue of dealing with computers and software while grading.

Thus, there is not a commercial future in this software, even if all the bugs were worked out.

Theoretical Critique

I would add at least one more theoretical concern about the program's design and my use of it in commenting. And this critique is aimed at what is at the heart of what composition teachers like myself do: assign, conference on, read, comment on, and grade student papers. Though I do other things, my whole approach at commenting on student papers, includ ing this database, might be viewed as a variation of what Mary H. Beaven in a classic essay terms "individualized goal setting," a type of response that, diagnostically assessing (either generally or for a particular assignment) the

individual student's strengths, weaknesses and performance, assigns a few specific goals for student work.2

But certainly there is a danger that in taking this approach, the teacher will come to dominate the student's discourse, even becoming the sole or ex clusive audience for writing (Beaven, 1977). Further, the student may be comemany do, I suspectdependent upon the teacher both to analyze drafts and propose solutions, in effect revising drafts for the student.

As our discipline has long realized, the antidote lies in two directions: defusing the teacher's sometimes intimidating authority through supplying other readers, the writer's peers who will supply their own responses and evaluations inevitably conflicting or even contradicting the teacher's own, and encouraging the student to seize back control of the writing process through self evaluation.


And at this point perhaps we can guess the main future of computerized evaluation, namely the use of electronic digitalization of the student's text (allowing cheap duplication and dispersion of it) and what is called in

Technology, Writing, Learning Styles, and Core Teaching, University of HoustonDowntown

the business world "groupware" to encourage a process of criterion -guided peer evaluation. This raises an entirely new issue for which we lack time. But programs like Ami Pro, Lotus Notes, or Daedalus, give peer re viewers the advantages of networking, allowing peer reviewers the ability to comment both individually and in threaded" responses. In addition, re viewers are forced to write their responses, reinforcing the built-in prob lems of written communication, yet see their reviews "published" and in turn "reviewed" by others before their own

eyes, complete with misreadings motivated or unmotivated by the text. All this is digitalized, in its own form of immortalized "database," available for digitalized recovery. Presumably this

demystification of the evaluation and reading-reception stage may function to encourage the student reluctant to seize control of the process. But the jury is still out on this potential efficacy of groupware as commentary.


1. I find the program enforces the guidelines made by Erika Lindeman in her chapter on writing evaluation; see "Making an Evaluation Writing As signment," in A Rhetoric for Writing Teachers (New York: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), especially pp. 216-l9.

2. See Mary H. Beaven, "Individualized Goal Setting, Self-Evaluation, and Peer Evaluation," in Evaluating Writing: Describing, Measuring, Judging, eds. Charles R. Cooper and Lee Odell

(National Council of Teachers of English, 1977), pp. 135-153.

eader is engaged in guided reading strategies which con sist of; answering questions, marking clue words or phrases, verifying pre dictions, and discovering the text. Finally, the reader uses postreading strat egies; such as, summary writing, paraphrasing, visualization techniques, concept mapping, and motor skills. Many of the reading strategies encour age collaborative learning and each strategy serves to "actively "engage the reader in the reading process.

Class activities are reinforced and enhanced in the reading lab. Essays and appropriate strategies are put on Hypercard for students' use on the computers. The essay " A Confederacy of Complainers" is one example. Stu dents are first introduced to the vocabulary words then the text. Through out the text, the student may " click" on the bold print for additional infor mation or for clarification. Many of our students are lacking prior knowledge or background information and this tool" in Hypercard is very helpful. The essay is followed by 10 comprehension questions. The questions test the

student's understanding of the reading. Some of the questions deal with explicit meaning and others check implicit meaning.

Reading skills are taught through reading strategies while the student is involved in the reading process. This makes reading more fun and strategies more purposeful. Students are exposed to a wide range of readings and strate gies.

Hopefully, each student will choose the strategies and techniques that are suited for their learning style and appropriate for the type of mate rial that they are reading. p

Helen H. Allen

University of Houston--


Teaching Critical


An Interactive


Foundations Reading is a multipurpose course. Students enroll in the course for a variety of reasons. Some students have poor reading skills and need general help. Other students take the course for TASP remediation. Many students take the course as preparation for the verbal reasoning or critical reading sections of the M-CAT (medical school exam) or the O-AT (optometry school exam). The course is designed to model and offer prac tice using a wide variety of reading techniques and strategies.

Students are taught the importance of "focus" or reading for a pur pose. Throughout the semester, students are introduced to a variety of essays from the academic areas. Readings are selected from natural science, social science, and arts and humanities. These reading selections broaden the student's understanding of vocabulary words or terminology and their un derstanding of concepts in the academic areas.

Awareness of the diversity of learning styles exhibited by students, encouraged the potpourri of strategies used in conjunction with each essay introduced in the Reading 1300 course. Vocabulary strategies are used to in troduce unfamiliar or difficult words, prereading strategies are used to set the focus for the reading, guided reading strategies are used to keep the student engaged in reading, and postreading strategies are used to clarify and so lidify concepts.

Prereading strategies consist of: previewing the material, making pre dictions, recalling prior knowledge, generating questions, and developing vocabulary.

Next, the r

The Pluralist Challenge to the Curriculum:

A Required Visit to Unexamined Privilege

eborah Bowen raised this

issue in the fall, 1993 ADE Bulletin:

"How can I teach a reading that allows for difference when by defini tion I, already endowed with institutional authority in the eyes of both stu dents and self, consider my own reading to be the best."

In this formulation, the students are characterized as the challengers of professorial authority. A challenge to an interpretation is rendered as a threat to the faculty member's capacity to be authoritative when communicating some important feature of the curriculum. Yet, upon closer inspection, the issue of authoritative voice of the instructor and implied un-informed voice of the student, or worse, the student's advocacy of a particular political in terpretation, can be seen through different lenses as anything but a singu lar truth under attack.

I want to begin by telling four storieseach of them addressing the is sue of advocacy and authority in the classroom, from a slightly different angle. I will then shift to provide some interesting social, historical and demo graphic data, and finally, return to the theme of the conference.

The first story goes back some twenty-five years, when I was a rela tively young, recently appointed instructor. I had one of those nightmar ish experiences that one can usually only conjure in the earliest years of one's teaching career. I was invited to the University of British Columbia to



Troy Duster

University of California, Berkeley

teach a course in Social Anthropology. I was lecturing about the then common wisdom in the field, and all was going along rather well. I was describing the famous "potlatch" ceremony among the Kwakiutl IndiansI explained what it meant to the Kwakiutlwhen all of a sudden, the nightmare came to life. A student raised his hand, and said,

"Professor Duster, I am a Kwakiutl Indianand what you say about the ceremony and its meaning just is not so!"

He said that western-trained anthropologists misunderstood the pot latch ceremonythat it was not a purely pathological display of compe tition. Rather, he said, there was a different kind of symbolic meaning to "giving" that had eluded the anthropologists from an alien culture.

At that moment, I had some choices. I could have treated his state ment as a "challenge to my authority," and I could have said, summarily, "Young man, what I have reported is printed in the literature of the field based upon observations by the most esteemed of anthropologists. How dare you challenge their interpretation?"

Or, I could have listened with an ear to defeating whatever point he was trying to makea not untypical debating posture in the academy, when chal lenged. But something gave me pause. It is my second story:

Recall that at the time, I was still a relatively young instructor, not so far from having received my own graduate training, indeed, not so far from

having been an undergraduate. I remembered having taken a course in the History of Journalism at Northwestern University when I was an undergradu ate.

For the whole term, we read about the nineteenth century giants of the field. But there was no mention of a figure that I knew had been an impor tant force in the history of "investigative reporting."

I knew of this figure because I had heard stories at my mother's knee . . . a journalist who, in her time, had been a well-known public figureand just happened to be my mother's mother. Had I raised this issue as an under graduate, I would have been seen as an upstart, challenging the established authority. Now, some forty years later, my grandmother's story is part of the History of American journalism (Duster, 1970). Sometimes, personal experiences make one more receptive to hearing alternative stories from stu dents that challenge the established and conventional wisdom.

The third story is of very recent vintage. Indeed, just last week, I was in Barcelona, Spain, delivering a series of lectures at the university there. One of my colleagues, a well-traveled academic, completely bilingual in En glish and Spanish, told me a story about his child's educational experi ence that caught my attentionand which fits perfectly into the theme of this conference.

For several years, he and his wife and young children had lived in En

gland. His son had attended the English schools, and had learned of the exploits of Sir Francis Drake. For the English, Drake is a national hero. But, the family left England, and returned to Spain a few years later. Here, the son once again was sitting in a classroom studying history, when he heard an account of someone called "El Pirata Drake." The Spanish texts had nothing good to say about "El Pirata Drake."

And so the student raised his hand "Is this the same Drake that is called 'Sir Francis' in England?"

So, which is he? Sir Francis . . . or El Pirata? Is there a clear and definitive answer? Or are we left with a kind of endless relativism? So far, this is only the student's problem.

There are, of course, voices among us that chide those who would say this is a matter of "relativity" that it depends upon one's position or as they like to say these days, "positionality." Here is what the Encyclopedia Brittanica has to say about Drake:

English admiral, the greatest and most famous of Elizabethan seamen (p. 626). In 1566, he sailed on a slaving voyage from Guinea to South America. (Between 1569-1573) he was the most successful of the many corsairs raid ing the Spanish main . . . ." (In 1578) sailing alone up the coasts of Chile and Peru, he sacked towns and plundered shipping, notably, the 'Cacafuego' treasure ship. (p. 626)

Again, to this point, the problem is simply that of a single student, caught between two versions of an historical figure. So long as all the stu dents in England are sitting in an English classroom listening to an English version of the story, there is no problem of perceived "advocacy." And, so long as all the students in Spain are sitting in a Spanish classroom listen ing to a Spanish version of the story, there is no problem of perceived "ad vocacy."

But what happens when half the students in the classroom are English, and half are Spanish? Suppose some have heard version one of Sir Francis, and the others have heard version two,

of El Pirata? Who is the advocate? Now how do we frame "advocacy in the classroom"? What do we do with the presumed authority of the instruc tor, in Deborah Bowden's phrase?

This is all still within Western Europe, piracy at sea and some agreed -upon terms. But what do we do when we have eastern and western traditions of the world in the same classroom, and we are giving them just the his torical facts?

This situation is not just hypothetical. To demonstrate my point, here are the most recent figures from the University of California, Berkeley proportion of students by race and ethnicity:

Asian Americans: 37%

White Americans: just under 35%

Latino Americans: 14%

African Americans: 6%

As for the what things look like in the near future, for the fall, 1994 entering class at Berkeley, just under 42% are Asian Americans, whites are at 30% of the freshman class, Latinos at 15%, and Blacks at about 61/2%.

Part Two:

Set and Setting for

"The Pluralist Challenge"

In San Francisco today, the North Beach area which has been predomi nantly Italian for much of this century, is now being sensed by that commu nity as being "encroached upon" by an expanding Chinese and Asian commu nity.

What is the history of Chinese and Italians in California that might throw this into a larger perspective? Were the Chinese only permitted as immigrants to build the railroads, and later, to do the laundry? Many history books give that impression, and many begin and end there.

What if we have a situation, paralleling what I described above, not just hypothetically half Spanish, half English, but rather, about one-third Chinese, one-third white, and then "other," and one tells some version of

The Pluralist Challenge to the Curriculum, Troy Duster

the following (hi)story.

Historian Sandy Lydon (1985) has pointed out how the Chinese were the superior fishermen in the Monterey peninsula; they were much better than the Italian fishermen. Indeed, they were so much better that the Italians used political power to establish zones, which ultimately excluded the Chi nese. Lydon reports that, by 1878, over half the fish caught in Santa Cruz county were caught by Chinese (p. 49).

In 1879 the 139,000 pounds of fresh fish put aboard the railroad in Santa Cruz were joined by the 177,000 pounds of Chinese-caught fish loaded at Capitola and Soquel.

The design of the Chinese boats gave them an advantage over the Ital ians. The coastline at Santa Cruz was shallow and more exposed, and the Italians were using keeled feluccas, not the flat-bottomed boats used by the Chinese.

With the coming of the railroad connections to Santa Cruz, hundreds and hundreds more Italians arrived, hungry for employment. They would compete directly with the Chinese, but not just to see who was best at a meritocratic game. In the late 1870's and early 1880's, the Italians banded together to get politicians to pass regulations to prohibit Chinese from fish ing (p. 51). In 1879, a constitutional provision prohibited the Chinese from fishing in California's coastal waters.

In May, 1980 this was vigorously enforced, and within eight years, the Chinese had been driven out of fishing in the area.

When I tell this story in my class, there is an uncomfortable stirring. Both whites and Asians are listening, indeed both Italians and Chinese are listening, in the same classroom.

Suppose I give the version of the story that the whites like to hear: that through hard work and perseverance, they prevailed? And suppose some Chinese American student, who has been reading about Chinese American history from Ron Takaki across cam pus, challenges my narrow interpretation. Is that Asian student now an "ad vocate" guilty of white male bashing? Is it Sir Francis Drake, or is it El Pirata


Troy Duster, The Pluralist Challenge to the Curriculum

Drake? If I go with the Chinese version, the white students complain that this is just a class in "political correctness." They want their "Sir Francis Drake" and not any disturbing interpretation of El Pirata.

Here is the supreme interlacing of ignorance with arrogance. Having sys tematically excluded the Chinese, then to suggest that this was simply histori cally true is then characterized as "victimology."

If I as instructor simply take the position that what I have to say is based upon objective truththat Sir Francis Drake was a great navigatorthen, when one of my students raises the question of whether this was "El Pirata Drake", I can simply say that the student is being political .

Notice, that as instructor, I get to pre-empt the claim to neutral, techni cal expertise. I alone possess this control over the curriculum. I get to assert my authority as the holder and upholder of principles of universalisms, while the challenge to my assertion is said to be political.

This is what my colleague Elizabeth Minnich (1994) calls the false claim to universalism under the disguise of particular interests. Minnich is pointing out that what we often hear in the academy is the preemptive stake of the claim to "universalisms" which are often little more than unexamined assumptions and unexamined privileges of the group in power.

But what do we do? I would be the first to acknowledge that personal experience as the source of authority is not the answer, and that there is a danger taking it down this road! The truth, of course, is that he was both Sir Francis Drake and El Pirata Drake. Those who would deny this truth and claim that they transcend issues of perspective and positionnow re-named positionalitythose who would deny this truth would deny or minimize the role of power.

This is about dialogue, about who gets to come to the table to establish what is the truth: did the Kwakiutl student at UBC have a version of the


Recent Social and Demographic


In the last two decades, the great majority of colleges and universities throughout the United States have had to come to terms with an increased consciousness of the ethical, racial, cultural and social diversity of their students. While this has been especially true for those institutions located in or around our major urban areas, even those colleges without notable so cial demographic shifts (e.g., rural Nebraska, northeastern Massachusetts, or southern Oregon) have experienced the "winds of change." Sometimes this takes the form of purposeful recruitment to "increase the diversity" among faculty, students and staff.

Sometimes there are pressures for a more inclusive curriculum. Both fac ulty recruitment and curricular innovation were initiated to redress the his torical exclusions advocated by the new students. Thus, while it can cer tainly be argued that "demography, not demogoguery'' (Paget, 1993) was the impetus behind a number of institutional changes, the changes came only after considerable resistance, some remaining reservations, and continue to be the focal point of heated contestation.

However, the public discourse around these developments typically occur without appreciation for the larger context of this recent and rap idly shifting urban demography. In the last quarter century, America's urban population has undergone the most dramatic racial re-composition in its entire history. Beginning in the 1970's, the ten major metropolitan areas each experienced a precipitous increase in the proportion of its residents that are non-white. New York City dropped from about 75% white in 1970 to 38% white in 1990; San Francisco went from 75% white to 43%; and for Los Angeles, the drop is even greater, from 78% to 37% white in 1990.

There is a similar pattern for almost every major metropolitan area in the nation; all this was occurring while the racial segregation of the popula

tion by residence, was increasing. Residential racial segregation in our cities began to solidify in the period from 1940 to 1970, shaping public school segregation, segregation of medical care, and a host of ancillary institutions (Massey and Denton, 1993).

If we go back to the decade of the 1960's, the nation's system of higher education was de facto almost completely racially segregated: basically either all-white or all-Black with at best a 1-2% variation at some major institutions. Thus, the traditionally Black colleges were routinely at least 99% Black, and it was the rare traditionally white college that was less than 97% white. School segregation mirrored urban and suburban residen tial segregation by race.

A relatively small 2-4% change in these figures at the dominant elite col leges and universities were mere ripples that were experienced as shock waves that would reverberate through the entire institution, and thus into the public sphere. For example, in 1960, Blacks were only 4.3% of all college -enrolled students in the United States (Karen, 1991) and most of these were in the Traditionally Black Colleges in the south. As late as 1967, the Ivy League Schools had a total enrollment of only 2.3% Black. And for the same year, 1967, Black enrollment at "other prestigious institutions" in the coun try was only 1.7%. By 1980, the proportion of Blacks in the Ivy Leagues had more than doubled (from the 1967 figure), but they still constituted only 5.8% of the students (Karen, 1991). By 1975, the proportion of Blacks in American higher education had also more than doubled (from the 1960 fig ure) to reach 9.8%, and were for the first time in history "integrated" into mainly white institutions.

In short, the 1960's was a period which, after the ghetto rebellions and the aftermath of the Martin Luther King assassination, many colleges sought to actively alter their composition. Nonetheless, even by 1968, Blacks made up only 2.7% at the University of California, Berkeley. The remarkable character of Berkeley and

other major public universities like Ohio State, or Michigan, or UCLA is that they existed in the 1950's with a black undergraduate population of less than one half of a per cent in cities and urban metropolitan areas which had become more than 20% Black in the post-World War II period. Though it existed in a state of enforced racial residential segregation, (Berkeley's pub lic pools were segregated in the 1950's) racially segregated public schools, public accommodations (and this was typical in urban areas with large black populations), the all-white experience of undergraduate education in America was experienced as normal and merit-based.

As we survey the situation of today's debates about diversity and segregation, perhaps the most salient historical fact is the near totally white composition of the undergraduate student body of United States higher edu cation less than three decades ago.

Data from the American Council on Education's National Norms for Entering College Students reveal that in the Fall of 1970, nearly 87 % of col lege students in America were white. Nine per cent were Black, and the com bined total of Asian-American , Native Americans and Others was a mere 2.2%. In contrast, the most recent figures available reveal that white stu dents are now only three-quarters of all college students in the nation (US Department of Education, 1994).

Critical Mass and Curricular Challenge: Contest over Legitimacy and Identity

With a substantial increase in the proportion of women and previously under-represented groups within the student body, a critical mass is reached The point at which this mass becomes "critical" is not absolute, but contingent upon the salient social, political, and cultural context. With the critical mass comes a transformation of the politics of identity and often an attendant interest group political mobiliza tion, the development of social, political and cultural advocacy organiza

tions, challenges to the institution in terms of the gender and ethnic/racial composition of the faculty, and the importation and integration of curricula which address issues of gender and ethnic and racial stratification (includ ing the de-construction and reconstruction of traditional categories of knowl edge). In addition to these changes, there is sometimes the re-allocation of resources to departments which choose to utilize their resources for new courses which address the new set of issues that the new constituencies bring to higher education.

Perhaps the major lesson to be learned from other sectors of higher education is that issues of access are quite different from issues of engage ment, once access is achieved to even

some modest level. To put it another way, just because one has a ticket to the theater is no guarantee that one will enjoy the show. Students from groups where there was historical exclusion arrived in sufficient numbers to mobi lize and challenge, and to request inclusion not only as "admittees" but also inclusion into the curriculum.

Competing Essentialisms: A Confrontation Between " The Canon / Core Values" and "Core Cultural Identities"

For the past two decades, major institutions of higher education have been visited by a profound discord about the meaning and implications of the new student body and its impact on the quality and content of the edu cational enterprise, including the shape and purpose of the curriculum, and the very character of knowledge. From the perspective of the predominantly white and male senior faculty at major colleges and universities, the current cri tiques of the orientation, bias, and focus of the academic curricula are fre quently, even commonly perceived as an assaultunwarranted political at tacks on the core values of the institution.

In sharp contrast, to those who constitute the new and emerging criti cal mass of students, the calls for re

The Pluralist Challenge to the Curriculum, Troy Duster

form and curricular change are vital projects to give voice to the silenced and the ignored. With a level of moral authority and even indignation, they justify their activities as an essential quest to reflect the voices of women and people of color, not only in the content of curriculum, but in the staff ing of faculty and administration, and in the funding priorities of the institu tion. To these advocates of new agendas and new social and cultural iden tities, the emerging critical mass, fueled by a new demography of student enrollment signals a welcome portent, a compelling change that is long over due. They therefore deride the reactions of the predominantly white male professoriat (as being under assault) as nothing more than an effort to sustain a period of white, male dominance, patriarchy, and cultural colonialism reflected in the scholarship for the past millennia.

This conflict of images sometimes assumes epic proportions, and neither side to the conflict of images has much use for the other's version. It is a clas sic case of figure and foreground. What is seen as an affirmation of new forms by the new student critical mass is seen as a reduction and diminution by those who experience themselves as guardians of the dominant values, para digms, journals, and professional associations Or scholars in the major dis ciplines. The effort to assert a relevant and culturally affirming agenda around curricular enrichment which extends beyond the Judeo-Christian European tradition is seen as an effort to dilute and politicize the dominant curriculum and to re-align the personnel and governance of dominant institutions. In the sharpest conflicts these competing points of view are presented without self-reflective distance as two holistic, elementary essentialisms. From the perspective of the historical guardians of the existing institutions and their older (predominantly white and male guard), the new calls for changes in curricula, funding, hiring criteria, and resource allocation is a deep and essential assault on the very character and tradition of higher education.

While when seen from afar both

Troy Duster, The Pluralist Challenge to the Curriculum

adapted to the changing social, nativistic, and scientific trends makes comprehensible how it is that the last fifty years have involved a process of extension of social enfranchisement. This has followed and reflects the graduated process of political enfranchisement and charts the shifting con ceptions of democracy and citizenship which have marked the evolving American definitions of citizenship and social justice. For example, the current "one-man one-vote" doctrine is a long way from the selective en franchisement where less than 20% of the populace was entitled to vote at the beginning of nationhood.

This process of progressive enfranchisement has been integral to the development of American higher education.

The GI educational grants after World War II and the Korean War con stituted a quantum leap in the broadening of the use of higher education as an instrument of secondary social enfranchisement. One irony of the cur rent period is that many of the most passionate and public advocates for an unalterable canon are the sons and daughters of immigrants who attended colleges and universities when the canon was being stretched and tailored and altered by larger economic, demographic and political forces. Even a cursory history of the social history of higher education in the United States reveals that a singular core canon is a mythological construction (Carnochan, 1993). It is mythical because it is not tailored to the reality of the changing composition of the curriculum, the changing role of higher education institutions, and the changing character of the student body. p


Carnochan, W. B. The Battleground of the Curriculum , Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993.

Chan, Sucheng. Asian Americans: An Interpretive History, Boston: Twayne Publishers, Division of G. K. Hall, 1991

Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 7, 1965.

Karen, David. "The Politics of Class, Race, and Gender: Access to Higher Education in the United States, 1960-1986," American Journal of Education, 99, (2) February, 1991, pp 208 -237.

essentialist views appear to be overstated and/or not amenable to compro mise, the actual extent of curricular change is slow and limited. The changes in faculty hiring, personnel decisions, and retention and promotion of women and people of color in comparison to even a recent past where these groups were relatively unrepresented is small and gradual in comparison to the demographic parity of the undergraduate population or the relatively continuing dominance (85% white/male professors) of the tenured faculty at-large. The essentialist critique gains a measure of legitimacy from its efforts to incorporate diverse views and cultural viewpoints. None theless, some of the attempts are easily the subjects of caricature when they seem to celebrate a binary version of truth-seeking. The lesson from these opposing essentialist dialogues is that a substantial schism still divides the guardians of the "traditional canon" from the advocates for a independent and substantial place for curricula and faculty.

Where efforts have been made to incorporate multi-cultural elements into the existing curriculum, e.g., the American Cultures program at Berke ley, these changes have served as a stimulus to an infusion of new litera ture, historiography, and social scientific perspectives into the study of hu manities and the social sciences. In reality, then, while there are strident public voices opposing these developments, efforts to integrate a diversity of voices and viewpoints do not appear to most students or administrators, even to most faculty, as a threat to the tradition and content of the enterprise of higher education.

In part, this apparent ability of the dominant curriculum to absorb new sources, literature, narratives, methods, and voices is not the startling threat that has been portrayed because it does not represent the sharp break from a uni dimensional canon of scholarship that has been idealized by the defenders of the currently constituted canon. In practice, the history of American high

er education, particularly of American public higher education, re flects a process of considerable elasticity; with continuing efforts and prac tices to incorporate new perspectives and canons into the core curriculum of the universities (Carnochan, l993).

Lessons from the History of Higher Educational Transformation

Indeed, it is perhaps only in the long historical view of the processes of curricular change that one finds the current "crisis of contestation" not only understandable, but part of a deep and resonant continuity with similar struggles from the past. The early colleges were private and Protestant de nominational, and saw their mission as one of combining elements of Euro pean classical education with moral and religious education. However, this version would be largely transformed over the first century and a half, eroded by the unrelenting realities of American pragmatism. The curriculum be came both more secularized and infused with the influences of the new sciences that developed and emerged in the l9th century. Then, in the mid- and late-nineteenth century, public funds were extended to develop the great land grant institutions of higher education. From 1870 to 1920, the large immigrant population from Europe would greatly change the nature and meaning of education. For example, in the 1920's, when 85% of the population had at least one parent who was foreign-born, education played an important role as a vehicle for cultural assimilation.

This history of the transformation of higher education reveals a continu ous process revealing how colleges have

Massey, Douglas S. and Nancy A. Denton. American Apartheid: Segre gation and the Making of the Underclass, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1993.

Lydon, Sandy. Chinese Gold: The Chinese in the Monterey Bay Region, Capitoa, CA: Capitola Book Company, 1985.

Minnich, Elizabeth. "The New Academy: Reconfiguring Common Grounds for Liberal Learning, Democracy, and Diversity" Draft as Scribe for the National Panel on "American Commitments: Diversity, Democracy, and Liberal Learning," Washington,D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities, l994.

Tsai, Shih-Shan Henry. The Chinese Experience, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.

The Pluralist Challenge to the Curriculum, Troy Duster
Scholar Enrichment Program

"The Treisman Model Applied"


In the fall of 1990, the mathematics department at the University of Houston introduced a workshop program for the retention and motivation of ethnic minority students. This led to the design and implementation in 1992 of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics' Scholar Enrichment Program (SEP). This program has grown from one workshop serving 23 students to our current enrollment of 540+ students in 15 workshops.

SEP was designed to enrich the academic experiences of ethnic minor ity students who have been underrepresented in the science and engineering disciplines. SEP is an adaptation of the highly successful model initiated by Uri Treisman in the 1970's at UC Berkeley [see "Academic Perestroika" by Uri Treisman, pg. 77]. A primary goal of our program is to increase the retention/graduation rates of students by forming academic peer groups possessing the study skills needed for success in high risk courses in the college of NSM.

SEP has several components including a peer mentor segment, a sum mer bridge program, and a high school teacher enhancement project. We are currently expanding SEP to include


more NSM students, a medical school project and a high school student en richment component. Hopefully, our efforts will result in an increased pool of qualified underrepresented students entering the university and going on to medical or graduate school.


In the early 1970's Uri Treisman, then on the mathematics instructional staff at the Berkeley campus of the University of California, recognized the value of student interaction in promoting academic success at the uni versity level. He, therefore, was responsible for the establishment of math/science workshops at Berkeley. The results were outstanding and rep licated throughout the United States.

At the University of Houston SEP along with PROMES have an equally successful workshop program.Special workshops have been designed to ac company the lecture sections of high-risk courses such as calculus, freshman chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. One goal of the workshops is to create a learning community in which students can collaborate in small groups on challenging exercises. Students also can acquire study and prob lem solving skills necessary for success in the math/science discipline.

Sylvia M. Foster

University of Houston

Successful SEP and PROMES students are hired as facilitators for the workshops and accommodate that portion of the staffing needs.


Successful students who have participated in SEP are asked to serve as mentors. These students serve as sources of information and motivation for SEP students who are new to the university.


The SEP pre-calculus bridge component was piloted during the summer of 1993 with the goal of providing "marginal students" (as identified by test scores) with skills needed to successfully complete Calculus I.


A cooperative arrangement now exists between Milby, Austin, and Yates High Schools to allow teachers to spend a year at UH receiving exten sive training in the cooperative learning based curriculum. The participants will also have an opportunity to enhance their knowledge in the math ematics and science fields while providing staffing requirements for the program. Our desire is to establish a

cadre of high school teachers who would serve as leaders in establishing the cooperative learning method in the local high-risk inner district schools.


Results show that the workshops lead to higher retention rates and higher grade achievements. SEP is responsible for improved GPA's and an increased number of students on the Dean's List and 3.0+ honor roll. Stu dents have been removed from probationary status to the honor roll. Hun dreds of students have attributed their retention and success at the university to their affiliation with SEP and PROMES.


Thirty students were enrolled in the pilot SEP calculus workshop in the fall semester of 1992. These students were enrolled in three of the six calcu lus I sections and the two hour SEP Calculus Workshop. The workshop met for a total of six hours per week.

Comparison of Academic Accomplishments of SEP Calculus I Students to Other Calculus I Students:


B+, B, B- 36% 15%

C+, C, C- 10% 14%

Eighty-seven percent of SEP students earned a C or higher whereas only 44% of the non-SEP students were as successful.

Each semester we continue to receive positive reports from our many workshops. Our students are averaging 10 to 20 points higher on exams than their non-workshop counter parts.

Our retention rates are high and semester grade point averages are above those for non-SEP ethnic minority students (Hispanic, African-Ameri can). Approximately 90% of these students (FTIC-UH) who were pioneers

in SEP (1992) are still enrolled at UH and the semester grade point averages of the SEP students average 0.75 higher than the Non-SEP Hispanic and African American students enrolled in the fall of 1992 (FTIC-UH).

Results for the 1993 group are almost identical and we are encouraged with the progress of the 1995 sessions. p

Scholar Enrichment Program, Sylvia M. Foster

Innovations in Core Instruction:

Distance Education

and the New Technologies

ided disadvantage: many universities have thirty years experience in teaching, building support logistics, funding, administering, planning, policy-making and working with regulatory agencies on behalf of distance learning programs.

Distance Learning in the U.S.

and Around the World

On a national scale, there are individual or multi-institutional partner ships, as well as private providers, whose programs are available nation wide. Private corporations have linked their international locations in distance learning and training networks. In a few states, the legislature funds the costs of installing a statewide system with access for public schools, univer sities, government, health care providers, and job training sites.

In some states, court decisions have forced governments to use dis tance learning for their educational access and equity problems. In other states, university systems have joined togethersometimes with other state groupsfor statewide or multi-state outreach. But most often, one or two universities, or communities working in cooperation with local telephone or


Sandra Frieden

University of Houston

The Environment

for Distance Learning

Distance learning, once considered a solution for problems of rural access to education, now is adapting to a changed environment in our cities as well:

·Urban sprawl and transportation dilemmas have lengthened travel time within large metropolitan areas.

·Employment patterns have destabilized, and social scientists predict sev eral careers for each of us.

·Rapid turnover of knowledge has necessitated lifelong learning to keep cur rent in our professions.

·Changing corporate philosophies based on total quality management have stressed efficiency in the acquisition of needed resourcesincluding "just-in-time delivery" of educational services.

·Professional licensure and mandatory continuing professional education now require annual coursework or training for professions such as accountants, engineers, and medical doctors.

·Access and equity in higher education for historically disadvantaged groupminorities, the underprivileged, the disabledhave become a driving force in the distribution of educational resources.

·Economic development issuesunemployment and re-training, dissemi nation of technology, and prevention o

f young people dropping out of school are vital factors for community well being.

The Environment for Universities

Today, new technologies, the information highway, the global market place, and competition within the education sector for "just-in-time deliv ery" have radically altered the nature of doing business for universities. New technologies make possible for the first time the capability of reaching every student seeking higher education. Many universities that have en joyed a protected market to serve these students now find that their protected market no longer exists, as other schools and universities from around the country (and the world) are suddenly able to deliver competitive pro gramming into their traditional service areas. (Corporate partnerships long cultivated by universities are threatened by other institutions poised for competitionand in some cases, the competitors are the corporations them selves.

Changes in available technologies have opened up new possibilities, and universities that have not previously engaged in distance learning activities are joining in. Although these "late-comers" have the advantage of start ing with the most recent technologies, they have a dec

cable companieshave created "pocket networks." These all ulti mately will for our "information highway," a wide-reaching delivery system that will bring access, as well as uniformity and immediacy of information, andwithin interactive modesopportunities for discussion between geo graphically diverse students and outstanding faculty. Ultimately, such a system will be a global network linking educational resources worldwide and engaging a once-passive viewing public in the process of education.

Degree programs found most frequently in American distance learning programs include master's programs in mechanical, electrical, civil, and chemical engineering, and engineering management; computer science; busi ness administration; education; and nursing. Undergraduate programs are often in business, nursing, or general degree plans. National and statewide organizations meet regularly for demonstrations and discussions of techno logical and instructional models and research.

Distance Learning in Texas

Texas distance learning began with a consortium of Dallas universi ties delivering graduate engineering degrees to high technology companies in the metropolitan area via microwave. Initially funded nearly thirty years ago by the participating companies, the TAGER network (under the umbrella of the Alliance for Higher Education) is now a collaboration in cluding joint purchasing, library access, research, project funding, and courier services. Member companies pay a fee based on company size ($2,000-15,000 annually); a board of members advises the universities as to coursework and training needs.

Texas has been relatively slow to approve and support distance educa tion initiatives. Although the TAGER network was an early efforts the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board did not approve additional degree pro

Innovations in Core Instruction: Distance Education , Sandra Frieden

grams to be delivered via instructional technology until 1993. Both the Board and the State Legislature are now encouraging expansion and development of distance education programs and are facilitating statewide planning and col laborations.

In some cases, cities or regions have created their own networks. Aus tin has launched a collaborative effort to build a fiber ring connecting its city and county government offices, its public school district and community (technical/vocational) colleges. The educational institutions have issued bonds to cover costs; governmental agencies are (donating right-or-way for laying fiber. Fees are established according to anticipated usage. Other in stitutions may also join the project at a later date. Victoria has created a con sortium of its university (University of Houston-Victoria), area community colleges, school districts, local telephone and cable companies, and busi nesses to examine its need for educational programs.

Each of the four largest university systems in the stateUniversity of Texas, Texas A&M, University of Houston, and Texas Techhas a videoconferencing system to provide needed courses at multiple sites with out duplication; to avoid the need to send faculty to remote sites; and to hold administrative meetings for multi-campus departments. Several satellite systems exist as well, supporting programming for public schools, commu nity colleges, and medical schools statewide. Medical services can be shared across the state.

Within the Texas Medical Center, with over fifty thousand employees, an internal distribution system carries training to all of the hospitals and medical schools on site. Large companies receive satellite programming from national consortia (such as National Technological University) or independent satellite broadcasts from out-of-state universities. Such compe tition is a new experience in the life of

public universities in Texas that previously enjoyed " territorial protec tion" of their own domain.

Considerations About Technologies

1. There is no one system that will be the perfect solution. The goal should be the establishment of multiple path ways for transmission, a range of choices that can be governed by con siderations of target populations, pedagogical concerns, and finances.

2. Needs should drive the technology. Telecommunications systems need not be the newest, most expensive tech nology; older and readily available technologies can be useful for particu lar purposes.

3. We are all buying throwaway technology . Planners fear making the "wrong" technology choicespend ing large sums of money on equipment that is immediately outdated. In one sense, they are correct: something newer and better will be available to morrow. Systems should ideally be the latest available and upgradable, with the realization that whatever the planners buy today, they will wish they could replace in two years; in five years, they will replace it.

4. Technology won't really save money. Distance learning strategies allow us to use resources more effi ciently, to distribute them over a wider base, and to be more adaptive to chang ing environments. The technology itself is expensiveif not in set-up costs, then in ongoing fees, maintenance, upgrades, replacements, and most especially in support services.

5. The teacher is the key. It is the skill of the teacher that makes the experience successful, not the technology. Faculty fear that technology will replace them; in fact, they are essential to redesign and to facilitate the new learning environment. Faculty do need retraining and support. Studies show


Sandra Frieden, Innovations in Core Instruction: Distance Education

that curricula designed for active participation by students is a more signifi cant factor than sophisticated technologies or production values.

6. Think networking. Technology is most effective at connections: between departments, institutions, communi ties, other systems. Planning for connectivity from the beginning is much easier and more cost-effective than trying to bridge different systems after they are built.

Project Management Decisions

1. What are the stated goals (or mission statement) of the institution or community?

2. Identify the specific groups to be servedwhere are the students? who are they? what is the subject matter and what demands does that subject mat ter place on a technological delivery system? in deciding between synchro nous and asynchronous delivery methods, what are the needs of the stu dentsdoes the advantage of time-shifting outweigh any perceived dis advantages of delayed interactions?

3. What are the essential support services to make the system work? what personnel are needed for advising and counseling? how are registrations, tuition payments, and books handled? what ongoing technical supports are needed, such as long-distance phone services or e-mail access, help lines, fax machines? how will assignments be collected and returned? how will tests be conducted? will on-line library access and interlibrary loan services be available?

4. What faculty considerations must be taken into account? what financial sup ports will be needed for curriculum revision and development? how will training be arranged for using the new medium? what policies and support services are in place to handle copyright issues? how will resistance to

change be handled?

5. How will evaluations be carried outof the teaching, the learning, technical setup, logistical support, the overall program goals? what allow ances will be made for the newness of the situation? how will faculty time and effort be considered? how will effectiveness of the learning situation be measured?

6. What are the financial constraints (or possibilities)? what are the initial and ongoing costs? what replacement costs should reasonably be built in? at what points should students/companies cover costs? are grants available (par ticularly for startup systems)? what are the possible revenue sources for cost recovery? what are the costs of NOT using distance learning?

7. What are the most effective strategies for implementation? what are the policy barriers? legal? administrative? regulatory? who are the supporters and how can they become partners in the project? Partnerships bring the added values of cost-sharing, economies of scale, and opportunities for specialization and multiple systems. The higher the level of leadership, the more possibilities ensue: on a national level, options for funding, coordination, standards equalization, grants; on a state wide or local level, marketing outreach, coordination of resources to avoid redundancy, and a tie in to localized economic development. Stud ies show that the most effective coordinating entities in the United States have been public broadcasting networks or independent state telecom munications agencies, enhanced by competition across levels.

The Faculty Experience

As the key to any successful distance learning activity, the faculty must be prepared and supported in what for most is a new experience. Important elements for creating a positive envi

ronment for distance education faculty include:

1. institutionalization of distance education teachingpay structures, workload, hiring, tenure and promotion, legal agreements, ongoing devel opment activities, resources for support of teaching and research activi ties related to distance education, and grant opportunities

2. appropriate facilities with hands-on training

3. a support team that will assist in the creative process of redesigning and delivering a course

Those faculty who come forward first are often those more willing to risk and also more excited about exploring new territory. Initial workshops are helpful in presenting an overview of the technology (from the faculty member's and from the student's point of view) and in launching the creative re-thinking of curriculum development and presentation. Examples of strate gies used by others spark ideas for faculty to develop as their own.

In television teaching in particular, the viewer's conditioned short at tention span is an important consideration for structuring course presenta tions. Varying the presentational style in 10 to 15 minute segments helps viewers/students maintain their level of attention most effectively, and fac ulty can generally employ many different activities that fit their own teach ing style and course material. For example:

· lecture (less than 10 minutes at a time)

· interview

· panel discussion

· physical or visual demonstration

· role play (on- or off-camera)

· case study (on- or off-camera)

· brainstorming exercise

· silent reading

Innovations in Core Instruction: Distance Education , Sandra Frieden

· read aloud

· quiz

· written exercise

· on-line discussion

· off-line discussion

· breaks

· new vs. review material

· tours (roll-in)

· excerpts (pay attention to


· guests

· Q&A

· student presentations

Involvement strategies for interaction bring the remote site and/or homeviewing students an experience of participating in the class. A sam pling of such strategies would include:

· using pictures of the students or a seating plan (for remote sites) to as sist calling on them by name

· insisting that each student say some thing (particularly at the beginning of the classan "ice-breaker"

· a site facilitator to establish a physi- cal presence at remote sites

· avoiding a "we vs. they" conversa- tional structure that would work to exclude the remote students

· call on students by name have remote students identify themselves when they ask questions

· group discussion/presentations

· site visits or meetings by/with the instructor

· portfolio assessment allows students a greater sense of participation in the process of the class

Presentation skills (which, of course, can be just as crucial in face -to-face teaching!) have an even greater impact when magnified by the televi sion camera. Among the most significant are eye contact (at least periodi cally) with the camera; appropriate and creative use of graphics; avoidance of distracting clothes or mannerisms; a well-modulated voice; a comfortable sense of teamwork with the production staff; and practice (with critiqueone

University of Houston faculty member gives a tape of his class to his teen -aged daughters to criticize!).

Faculty report that their teaching is revitalized by the experience of re working their materials for a new medium, and that this new energy carries over into the face-to-face classroom.



Glossary of Current Technologies

Used in Higher Education

Radio: one-way audio to unlimited sites within station range; reaches broad segments of the population; call-in phone lines may be used for inter action; some U.S. cities are using two-way FM radio broadcasts.

Television/Cable Television: one-way full motion video and one-way audio to unlimited sites within station range; call-in phone lines may be used for interaction. "VCR Semesters" may run in the middle of the night and students set video recorders to tape classes. Mind Extension University is a private venture offering degree programs from various universities through home cable networks. Interactive cable systems are now in several test markets. The University of Houston, in partnership with local community colleges, offers selected, complete undergraduate and master's degrees into the home via public television and cable TV.

Telecourses/Videotape/Videodisks/C-ROM: prepared programming that may be mailed to remote sites and viewed on the student's timetable (time-shifting) or purchased for broadcast on a local system; costs include production, duplication, and mailing; useful for unlimited dissemination of widely needed material at low cost, for unlimited re-viewings, or for supple

mentation of other course formats; require special playing equipment; used for adult courses and professional training. The Public Broadcasting System's Adult Learning Service has produced telecourses viewed by over one million students. School systems are adopting videodisk "texts" for sci ence classrooms.

Telephone/Audiobridge: two-way audio (carried by phone lines into micro phones) between specific sites; costs of phone lines for time used; may be supplemented with videos sent to sites; successfully used in Texas to teach al gebra in a shortened format to the children of migrant farm workers.

Computer: transmission of text and graphics between unlimited sites con nected through modems; ongoing costs of phone or high speed data lines; may be supplemented with phone-in or e-mail office hours or discussions; used for Computer Aided Instruction (skills courses), for management of support services, for supplementation of other course formats (such as e-mail office hours), or for computer conferencing (synchronous or asynchronous). The University of Phoenix delivers undergraduate and graduate degree pro grams around the U.S. through computer. Multimedia systems are now coming into use with small-scale live video and live interaction. Virtual Re ality systems are in use at NASA for training astronauts and are in develop ment for uses such as a "virtual physics lab" for grade school sciences.

Audiographics: still images combined with interactive computer applications and two-way audio (carried by ordinary phone lines into microphones) between specific sites connected through modems (in effect, an audiobridge); one site originates (equipment costs $5,000-8,000 per classroom), plus ongoing costs of phone lines. The state of Louisiana has delivered advanced math and science

Sandra Frieden, Innovations in Core Instruction: Distance Education

programming to gifted high school students in 100 schools statewide for eight years.

Videoconferencing/Fiber or T1: two-way compressed video (digitized may be full or slowed motion) and two-way audio (and data) between specific sites connected permanently by fiber or by using dial-up telephone services as needed; all sites can originate; equipment costs $15,000-60,000 per classroom, plus cost for laying fiber, plus ongoing lease costs of fiber or full or partial T1 phone lines (bundles of special, high-capacity phone lines costs may be high per month depending on rates, time, speed); useful for continuous transmission between a number of sites at great distances; used for administrative meetings to replace travel time and costs; used in Texas by UH, A&M, UT, and Tech to deliver credit and noncredit (training) courses between universities and corporate, K-12, or community sites. The State of Texas has implemented a statewide network for educational use.

Microwave-/Point-to-Point: nonwired transmission of two-way full motion video and two-way audio (and data) between fixed sites within fifty miles with line of sight (or farther with repeaters); trees, buildings, mountains, or weather may prevent transmission; signals are sent using transmitters ($80,000 per site); available at UH to deliver courses and data around the system campuses.

Microwave/Point-to-Multipoint: one- or two-way full motion video and two -way audio (using telephone lines for "talk-back") between unlimited sites within fifty miles with line of sight of the central antenna (or farther with re peaters), although trees, buildings, mountains or bad weather may inter fere with transmission; signals can be picked up from various origination sites (production studios may range from $20,000 to $100,000) via trans


mitters and sent to the central antenna, which then sends an omnidirectional signal to all receive sites ($1,000-5,000 set-up cost per receive site, plus ongo ing costs for phone lines and equipment rental); transmission to (but not between) a very large number of sites. The federal government provides edu cational programming licenses (ITFS), which are used in Houston and other cities to deliver credit and noncredit (training) courses to metropolitan sites.

Satellite: one-way full motion video and one-way audio signals to widely dispersed populations, across a state, a country, or the world; single signal originates from an uplink site (costing from $200,000 to $800,000 to install), sent to a satellite transponder (at the rate of $200-600 per hour), and re ceived at a downlink dish (costing $1,000-$15,000 installation); down link sites pay subscription fees for programs; broadcast range depends on the "footprint" (transmission area) of the particular satellite; cost effective when used for many sites; may use phone call-in or e-mail discussion for ques tion and answer; used in Texas and several surrounding states for state wide optometry training. National Technological University is a satellite -based program developed by a number of high-tech companies offering a collaborative degree based on courses from engineering schools at major uni versities.

VSAT: (Very Small Aperture Terminal) transmission of one-way digitized video and one-way audio signals (and data) to widely dispersed populations, across a state, a country, or the world; multiple signal can originate from an uplink site (costing $50,000), sent to a satellite transponder (at a much lower rate than for satellite), and received at a downlink site (costing $10,000 in stallation); range is dependent on the "footprint" (transmission area) of the particular satellite; cost effective when used for many sites; students may have

access to phone call-in or e-mail discussion for question and answer; pre viously used only for data and now coming into use for video. Retailers such as WalMart use VSAT transmission for training and communications between its nationwide locations.

Selected Bibliography

Cyrs, Thomas E. and Frank A. Smith. Teleclass Teaching: A Resource Guide.

Second Edition. Las Cruces, New Mexico; New Mexico State Univ., 1990.

Duning, Becky S., Marvin J. Van Kekerix and Leon M. Zaborowski. Reaching Learners Through Telecommunications Management and Lead ership Strategies for Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.

Johnson, Kerry A. and Lin J. Foa. Instructional Design: New Alternatives for Effective Education and Training. NewYork: NUCEA/Macmillan, l989.

Levine, Toby. Going the Distance: A Handbook for Developing Distance Degree Programs Using Television Courses and Telecommunications Technologies. Annenberg/CPB, PBS Adult Learning Service, 1992.

Moore, Michael, Editor. American Journal of Distance Education . University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State University.

Ostendorf, Virginia. Teaching Through Interactive Television . Littleton, Colorado: Virginia A. Ostendorf, Inc., 1989.

Verduin, John R, Jr., and Thomas A. Clark. Distance Education: The Foun dations of Effective Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.

University of Houston


But It's Only A Pot of Iron!

Working Class Students

and the Core Curriculum


ar" job and who did not graduate college.

Experience Factors

Prior experience has long been recognized as a factor in the difficul ties working students encounter (e.g. Rose, 1989; Peckham, 1995; Gos, 1995). For the most part, it has been the only factor seriously addressed. Retention programs flourished nationwide and are now fading quickly as we recognize they are not helping appreciably. Nonetheless, experience is a crucial factor in working class students' success. Students do not all begin college with the same preparation. And yet, they must all accom plish relatively similar goals to graduate. This lack of experience means the working class student must learn everything his managerial/professional class peers learn, plus must catch up on all the deficiencies present at the start of the college career.

A look at the life experiences many working class students share in dicates a number of difficulties these students face.

· Working class students tend to live in the same neighborhood all their lives and that neighborhood often con sists of extended family and lifelong friends (who are often called "aunt, uncle"). One result of this is that everyone in the discourse community is known intimately. Thus, all communication that takes place does so be

or decades working class

students have struggled to overcome every type of adversity in order to have a chance to attend college. In the working class neighborhoods across America, college is seen as the magic ticket outout of the neighborhood, the mills or farms, and the life that your parents led before you. And for the students who are lucky enough to make it to the end, there is the promise they will emerge educated and ready to take respected places in society, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Working class students come to college to become "border crossers," to successfully move into the managerial/professional classes. To do that, they must master the culture of those classes. The core curriculum is their introduction, if not their only exposure to, the dominant culture.

But increasingly, these students come to discover that they are not be ing assimilated into the dominant culture as promised. Instead, they remain outsiders. They know a little bit about the culture they aspire to, but do not get a real opportunity to make the border crossing. At the end of the pro cess, they may find a good job, but they are s

Michael W. Gos

till outsiders looking in. It is ironic that the number of working class stu dents able to attend college today has skyrocketed due to increases in finan cial aid opportunities and open admissions universities.

Now, with the goal of attending college firmly in their grasp, these stu dents are finding fulfillment of the larger goal, mastery of the dominant culture, moving farther away from them. For these students, the pot of gold has turned out to be only a pot of ironstill valuable, but not what they had hoped and worked for.

I'm going to argue that there are three factors that contribute to this situ ation: prior experiences, social class markers, and social class etiquette.

Social Class

In this paper, I will be using the term working classes in opposition to the term managerial/professional classes. Other terms have been used by other researchers. John Molloy uses lower middle class and upper middle class respectively (1981). In essence, we are discussing the two classes that dominate the workplaces of America. While there are smaller groups both above and below these two, they are seldom represented in the workplace. Essentially, I will define working class as a family in which the parent(s) works in a labor or "blue coll


Michael W. Gos, But It's Only A Pot Of Iron !

tween individuals who are very familiar with each other. And since there is only one discourse community to operate in throughout life, the only rhe torical situation students have experience in is the one least useful in col lege.

Occasionally working class families do move, often when it is believed there are better jobs elsewhere. In the 1950's, for example, many working class families from the south relocated to the Midwest in search of jobs in in dustry. But when such moves do occur, they are generally made into neighborhoods much like the one left, and the extended family often moves en masse.

· Working class families do very little traveling, either to visit, or vaca tion. One exception to this might be holiday trips to the grandparents' home which is generally located in a neighborhood which is much like their own. One result of this is that students grow up with limited exposure to other dis course communities.

Meanwhile, managerial/professional class families vacation in the mountains, at the ocean, or in Europe, exposing their children to a variety of communicative situations and making them aware of the differences in the way different discourse groups communicate.

Another, less obvious result of this limited travel is that the student has a limited sense of geography and history. It is far more likely that a child will remember the relative placement of the states if he travels the country by car or plane, perhaps following along on a map, than if she simply tries to memorize a map of the US for a social studies class. A child who visits the Wounded Knee Memorial is far more likely to know and understand the his torical event it commemorates than is one who encounters it as just one more event in an American History class.

· Working class students receive limited cultural exposure in the home and community. Working class fami

lies often lack the money, or the inclination to have home libraries. Classi cal music is not a high priority and family day trips are more likely to be to the zoo or lake than to a play or museum. As a result, we need to as sume that the bulk of these students come to college with no exposure to theatre, art, music, science museums, etc. We might expect that what defi ciencies these students face at home would be made up for at school, but for most students, that is simply not the case.

· Working class students have poor school experiences, even if they attend what are considered to be "good schools." A recent Frontline program on PBS entitled School Colors looked at a school in Berkeley, California, concentrating on two English classes, one consisted predominantly of managerial/professional class students (commonly referred to as "Honors" or "AP") and the other consisting prima rily of working class students (commonly referred to as "General" or "Ba sic"). In the Honors class, discussion revolved around literature that could be described as traditional canon. The Basic class, on the other hand, dis cussed school issues and events, and occasionally national issues. The is sues were discussed, but not written about and literature was not present.

Such division by classes is not uncommon, even in the better schools today. As a result, there is often only a minimal exposure to the dominant culture through school.

· A final experience factor is that, in working class families, no connec tions are made between facts learned. All subjects stand alone. Working class parents often speak of their love of, or difficulties in a certain academic subject. Natural connections between literature and science, for example, are often unseen and certainly not discussed in the home. The division of labor that the working parent(s) experiences at work contributes to this frag mented view of the universe. The

worker sees his job as a discreet unit and seldom is aware of its place in the larger picture. And of course, connections unmade at home do not exist in the student's world view.

Social Class Markers

We have, for too long, overlooked the effect of social class markers on students' success. Some markers are clearly visible to all but are not ad dressed for etiquette reasons. We all have heard grammatically incorrect sentences in conversation yet said nothing in the interest of politeness. Other markers are more difficult to quantify but still are selected against at the college level. While much of what we know of social class markers comes from work in the 1970's, we have failed to apply it to education. Our work in overcoming deficiencies in experience was doomed to fail largely because the effect of social class markers has been ignored.

In working class communities, communications protocols and the way position is determined within a family or community vary drastically from those of the managerial/professional classes. And both have a large im pact on working class students' success.

Working class discourse communities use what Bernstein calls a "pub lic language" (1971). Since all members of the discourse community know each other intimately, they understand the paralinguistic meanings conveyed by factors such as tone and gesture that outsiders would miss. At times, utter ances function merely as place holders, with the real meaning of an ex change being signaled through other channelsfacial expression or ges tures, for example. This is called a public language since the utterances themselves are public property, that is, everyone tends to use the same utter ances. The user must bend his perception of the world to fit the social counters in the language in order to communicate any experience.

Public language also leads to utterances that are not standard English. Relationships between parts of sentences do not have to be denoted by subordinate structures because the listener knows those relationships. Short, grammatically simple, often unfinished sentences are used because the listener understands what the rest of the sentence would be.

Contrast this with the language spoken by the managerial/ professional classes. Meaning is contained in the structure of the language itself, not in the gaps. Since communication takes place in the form of the language it self, the words and sentences rather than gestures and facial expressions, this is called a "formal language" (Bernstein, 1971). The language is rich in personal and individual qualification. Its form implies a set of logical operations. Subtle arrangements of words and connections between sen tences convey feelings, and verbalize an awareness of separateness and dif ferences.

Because formal language speakers communicate with the words and sentences rather than by paralinguistic means, they can communicate effec tively in a variety of discourse communities, including the one found in college. This is a skill the public language speaker lacks.

The implications of public language use are many, but probably the most serious effect is that the user experiences extremely limited commu nication options. Instead of being able to select, from unlimited possibilities, language that states his individual feeling, the user must attach his feelings to social counters which maximize the solidarity of social relationships at the cost of the logical structure of the communication and the specificity of feel ing. More specifically, the users of public languages share the following traits.

· Users think and speak in terms of narrative. Since communication takes place via social counters and

paralinguistic means, individuation of feeling is difficult. As a result, rather than describe a feeling, the user tells of the event in hopes that the reader /hearer can identify with the event and extract the appropriate feelings. In composition classes, these students may do well in early work that is nar rative in nature but encounter difficulties when narrative is no longer avail able as an option.

· Users think and converse in terms of shared experience. Perhaps this is the reason for the preference for narrative. It is very common for the user to punctuate the discourse with the words "you know" in hopes of getting an acknowledgment of understanding. If such an acknowledgment is given, the speaker moves on to the next topic or part of the story.

· Users are unable to individualize belief, feelings, etc. Because the language is based on social relationships, users find it difficult to commu nicate anything that might separate them from the group. Such words and ideas do not exist in the language of the community.

· Users are unable to generalize to "one" (or X in math). Again, be cause of the social nature of the language, there are plenty of counters to identify "you," "she," "him," etc. But the idea of "any person," an unknown, faceless entity, does not exist. It is exactly this movement from individual to "one" that exists in math when one moves from a number to "X." Many working class students acquire the con cept of "one" by going through mathematics. That is, once they understand "X," they have a model for the concept of "one."

· Users often speak and write incomplete thoughts. Because the lan guage is public property and all users share all the utterances, the speaker can assume that the hearer knows what the rest of the sentence would be.

A second factor in social class markers is that families and commu nities are position-oriented, that is, au

But It's Only A Pot Of Iron!, Michael W. Gos

thority lies in the position a person holds in the family or community, not in the individual. Authority and legitimacy of a statement come from the form of social relationships rather than from reasoned principles. The head of household, usually the father, is the ultimate authority based on his posi tion, rather than the correctness of his positions. This is, of course, a reflec tion of the world as he sees it. It is a world where he is governed by a fore man or other supervisor, who is in turn governed by someone higher. With those positions comes legitimacy of statements.

The result of position-orientation is an authoritarian environment that discourages questioning and thwarts critical thinking. A position is correct because of the person espousing it. The idea of supporting the position with relevant arguments is absent.

In the classroom, the teacher is the ultimate authority, taking precedence even over library materials and a student's own opinions. As a result, the teacher's position on an issue is the correct one, and inquiry and discov ery is reduced to merely determining what that position might be.

Public language and position-orientation serve as a foundation for much social class etiquette. In the next section, I will discuss social class etiquette and its effect on working class students. Much of this etiquette comes about as a result of public language use in the community.

Social Class Etiquette

Social class etiquette is the newest area of research in the study of so cial class factors in education. Etiquette in working class families is of ten a function of how position in a community is determined and it has far-ranging effects on students. For example, we have long thought that working class students were weak at persuasion and critical questioning because they were never taught how to perform these activities. Our ap

Michael W. Gos, But It's Only A Pot Of Iron !

proach to this problem has been to offer remediation. We felt a little extra experience would help these students master the needed skills. In fact, how ever, we have been asking working class students to engage in activities they were taught were rude and inappropriate behaviors. We are not only asking students to do things they were never taught to do, we are often ask ing them to do things they were taught never to do. Working class etiquette is largely a function of the social class markers discussed earlier. Along with the use of public language come some factors that influence a student's performance in college.

· Working class etiquette dictates that one never engage in "Overkill" argument, that is, don't argue past the point necessary to convey your mes sage. The term "argument" is in itself a negative in working class communi ties. One of the lines children hear most often in the home is "Don't ar gue with me." When we use the same word in a college classroom, students react in a manner consistent with their background and opt not to engage in that activity. Supporting assertions, whether in persuasion or expository writing, is arguing. So when an assertion is made, the appropriate behavior is to stop talking or writing.

· Working class etiquette dictates that students never use words or dis cuss ideas their community wouldn't understand or use. To do so would be showing off, something considered rude and arrogant. This is not, how ever, a prohibition against learning. Quite the opposite in fact. It is gener ally clear to the child that learning is encouraged and it is okay to under stand such words and ideas. In fact, many in their community do. Using them, however, is something else. Like public language, position-orientation brings with it several points of etiquette to be considered.

· The authority figure is always right. In a position-oriented organiza tion or community, assertions are right

because of who makes them. To disagree or take a differing stand is not merely a matter of favoring a different position. Instead, it is a matter of great social implication. To disagree is to question the authority figure's right to hold that position. In the classroom, the teacher's position is, therefore, the only correct one. And the only correct student behavior is to regurgitate that stand. Working class students go to great lengths to determine the position the teacher "wants to hear." If the teacher gives no clear articulation of position, the student is forced to find another authority figure. This may entail asking another teacher, or going to the library to find some other source to quote. When the new authority figure is found, however, the position is merely stated and seldom supported. It is right because he or she said so, period. On those rare occasions when the student is backed into a corner and forced to take her own stand (For instance, if the teacher insists "You're opinion is as valid as mine"), again, no support is given for the stand. It is right "because I say so."

Results of These Factors

What does all this have to do with the core curriculum? From each of the areas discussed come a series of factors that either affect students' perfor mance in the core classes or that rely on the core curriculum for correction and betterment. Let's examine them by category.

From Experience

· In spite of the fact that some working class students have good high school experiences, most do not. As a result, we need to approach the issue of core design with the assumption that the students' only exposure to the dominant culture comes from the core. We must assume ground zero. If they don't get it here, they don't get it.

· Because working class students have a tendency to live in the same, or similar, neighborhoods throughout

their lives, they are skilled at communicating in only one discourse commu nity, and it isn't the one they encounter in college. Students must under stand the concept of differing discourse communities, not only as determined by social class, but also by academic disciplines.

· Students must be shown the connections between academic disciplines and subjects. The fragmented world view that comes from being on the bottom end of a division of labor society precludes the understanding of con nections that exist, and are integral to understanding the world. It is not pos sible, for example, to understand much 19th century British Literature with out a knowledge of what Darwin was doing in biology.

· Students must learn analysis by part, cause-effect, and other integral concepts. All functions of critical questioning and thinking, these are activities long identified as deficient in working-class students. Remediation, however, can help only when coupled with what we know about social class markers and etiquette.

From Social Class Markers

· Students must learn to think in generalized terms. The social nature of a public language puts a face on feelings and contentions. The same so cial counters make understanding of the concepts of "one" and "X" diffi cult. Math may be the easiest way to overcome this although it also needs to be addressed in English and science discussions.

· Students must learn that the truth is "out there" in the world of ideas, not in the person making the assertion. Again, a multi-phase approach is nec essary to accomplish this. Certainly remediation may help students to learn to develop arguments, but only if it helps them first overcome their belief that arguing is wrong and truth comes with authority.

· Students must learn to develop thoughts, ideas, and arguments for the

audience at hand, not the home community. In this endeavor, a student has essentially two choices. First, he can completely jettison the home audience and begin to view the world as the community he sees in college. While this may aid in collegiate success, it leaves him with the same communi cation shortcomings should he enter another community, for whatever rea son. A better choice might be to become bi- or multi-dialectal, that is, to become fluent in the discourse of several communities. Identifying the au dience to be addressed and preparing the communication for that audience is the way to accomplish this.

From Social Class Etiquette

· Our students need to be convinced that it is okay to expand their vocabulary of usage, not just that of understanding. When they were be ing told not to "use big words" or discuss inflated ideas, implicit in the in struction was the qualifier "in this community." That last bit of information is often lost on the students. They need to be shown how to adjust their com munication to the community at hand.

· Students must learn that supporting assertions is not only okay, it is necessary. Again, remediation without addressing social class etiquette is destined to failure. They must learn a new etiquette for the new community. It may be the place of science and English to do this, although many work ing class students are less resistant to this idea when approached in terms of math, geometry proofs, for example.

· The concept of "argument" (that is, persuasion without audience, based only on logical appeals) is often lost on working class students. Since authority comes from authority figures, and not arguments, the dilemma they face is "whose truth do I argue for?" While the question itself has many interesting philosophical possibilities, particularly if we view rhetoric as epistemic, from a practical perspective, logical appeals do exist and can be

developed even in the absence of emotional or credibility appeals.

· Critical thinking skills are often absent. When a community's social markers discourage critical questioning, the skill of critical thinking is not developed. But again, experience will not be enough. Remediation will con tinue to fail unless we can get the student to understand that it is okay to question.

Clearly, the difficulties presented by social class etiquette will pose the greatest challenge. These types of behavior patterns and beliefs are deeply ingrained in the student and serve to thwart most attempts at remediation. Perhaps this is why most programs of this type fail. Many universities are considering limiting or scraping their remediation programs altogether. Be fore that happens, I hope we will give it another try, this time with social class etiquette in mind.


So what if our working class students don't completely assimilate the dominant culture, or aren't assimilated by it? They find jobs don't they? Some may say we never promised our students a border crossing, only a bet ter life. But we did indeed make that promise. It may have been 30, 40 or 50 years ago, but we did. And that promise is still remembered and cher ished in the working class communities. Until we decide this is no longer our goal, our responsibility is to give these students full access to the domi nant culture and to give them the skills to work and communicate with others in that culture, particularly members of the managerial/professional classes.

The core curriculum we design should take into account the needs of the working class students. They are relying on it to get fully acclimated to the community they aspire to and to be accepted by the members of that community. To do our part, I suggest the following:

· The new core must teach criti

But It's Only A Pot Of Iron!, Michael W. Gos

cal thinking in all subject areas.

· There should be one common core experience for all students.

· The core should be expanded to be a greater, more rigorous part of the curriculum.

While the first recommendation speaks for itself, I would like to ex pand a bit on the other two. Cafeteria cores have long been the norm in American universities, but many colleges have rejected them in favor of the common core. The rational is simple, all students receive the same basic education. This makes the core design a more integrated, better thought out product. By removing the element of student choice, we can de termine exactly what each student will receive and can more easily design multidisciplinary, team-taught courses that make the connections between disciplines more clear. Faculty is given greater control over the students' edu cational and cultural experiences.

In universities today, the core is "education" and the rest is "job train ing." While it is not my purpose to examine how this came about or to argue its relative merits or lack of same, it is a fact we live with. While managerial/professional class students do fine in this system (which was prob ably designed with only them in mind), working class students suffer. To limit the "education" part of the college experience to 40, 44, or 46 credit hours, is to put severe limits on how much of the dominant culture these students can acquire. They must make up for the shortcomings of their past and a 40 hour core is not likely to allow accomplishment of their goals.

Another problem we face today is dilution of the core. If the curriculum is diluted either by reducing hours required, substituting new canon for the dominant culture, or replacement with non-culture courses (such as computer literacy­a critical skill, but not one that should take up valuable core hours) working class students suffer most. Weakening the core only serves to ex

Michael W. Gos, But It's Only A Pot Of Iron!
pand the gap between the classes.

And a bit of controversy

One thing that virtually all researchers looking at working class stu dents seem to agree on is the fact that, historically, students who have "made it," that is, not just graduated college, but went on to be assimilated into the managerial/professional classes, have also severed their ties with their fami lies and communities (Rose, 1989; Peckham, 1995; Gos, 1995). Thus far, no one has postulated whether this might be a means to accomplish the goal of border crossing, or simply an effect of having succeeded. When working class successes are asked why it happened, they usually say some thing like "we just live in different worlds now."

Perhaps the task of assimilating a new culture is much like that of learn ing a new language. There may be several ways to accomplish the task, but the most certain and quickest way is by immersion, a complete separa tion from your own language so the new language is the only alternative. Working class students may find it easier to assimilate the new culture if they don't have the constant distractions of the old one. But one thing is certain; by the time these students graduate, they are aware of the sepa ration they've experienced.

This leaves us with a problem. When a working class student enters college, two things can happen. One is all bad and the other is at least as bad as it is good. The student can fail, drop out and return to the community and life from which he came. That not only hurts the student, but others in the community as well. They see the work put in, and the subsequent failure, and begin to ask themselves if it is all worth it.

On the other hand, we can have the best case scenario. The student graduates, gets a great job and makes it into the managerial/professional classes. It is her dream come true. But


at what cost? Loss of family and community?

Are there ways to soften this blow? To improve chances for suc cess without jeopardizing family ties? Perhaps if we could spread the border crossing process out so the student has eight or ten years to accomplish the goal rather than just four, we might be able to lessen the pressure to change now. I address ways this process might be started in high school or middle schools another article (Gos, 1995). But my purpose here is to point out the mixed messages we are sending working class students with some of the more recent changes to the curriculum.

With a clear awareness that a jettisoning of family and background is taking place in their lives, working class students are often puzzled when they are then asked to "celebrate" the old culture, the old neighborhood they are trying to escape. As one linguistics student said to me, "you spend four years telling me leave the old ways behind, and now you tell me how great they are. Which am I supposed to believe?"

The fact is, multiculturalism is great for managerial/professional stu dents. It broadens the horizons of those already steeped in the dominant cul ture. But for working class students it dilutes exposure to the dominant cul ture by taking up time that could be used more productively, and it causes the confusion addressed above.


There are those who will disagree with much that I recommend here and have sound rationale for doing so. They might suggest, for instance, that rather than changing working class students to fit the dominant culture we should be changing the culture to accept a wider variety of people. Of course, I couldn't agree more. The most effective way to ease the border crossing for working class students would indeed be to tear down the wall

that protects the border. But such a process takes many years, possibly an entire generation. And while that is going on, what happens to today's stu dents?

To those who want to tear down the wall, I give my support and wishes for a complete success. But in the meantime, I believe we need to teach students how to climb that wall­and achieve their goals. p


Bernstein, B. B. (1971).Class, codes and control (Vols 1-3). London: Routledge and K. Paul.

Gos, M. (1995, October). Overcoming Social Class Markers: Preparing Working Class Students for College. Clearing House, NCTE, Special Issue on the teaching of writing.

Gos, M. (1993, July). The blue collar professor: A voice in the wilderness . Paper presented at the Penn State Conference on Rhetoric and Composition, State College, PA.

Molloy, J. T. (1981). Molloy's Live For Success . New York: Bantam/Perigord.

Peckham, I. (1995, forthcoming). Complicity in class codes: The exclu sionary function of education. In C. Law & B. Dews (Eds.) This fine place so far from home: Voices of working class academics. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Rose, M. (1989). Lives on the boundary: The struggles and achievements of America's underprepared. New York: Free Press.

The Jesse H. Jones

Academic Summer Institute:

The Writing Core and College Bound,

At Risk High School Students


aching team which consists of a reading teacher, a math teacher and com puter specialist, my primary goal as a writing instructor in the program is to enhance each student's willingness and confidence to express him/herself, that is to discover his/her distinctive voice, as Peter Elbow, the well known com position theorist might observe. Many are still struggling with English and are also hampered by low self image and the lack of technological resources, not to mention a full service library, at their school. They are often very reluctant at first. We have found it serves the students well to nurture the varied learning styles and intelligences which they bring to us, with a variety of teach ing approaches that encourage both individual and team initiative. In this postmodern era of the image, when even the most impoverished household will have a television and maybe a VCR, although rarely a computer, teaching that emphasizes so called "hands on" exercises has proven to be very effective. The computer is a valuable although not the only tool in this regard. Although for many of the students the Institute marks their initial experience with technology in the

he Tenneco Jesse H. Jones

Academic Summer Institute is a three and a half week cooperative enrich ment program between Houston's Jefferson Davis High School, Tenneco Corporation and the University of HoustonDowntown. Jeff Davis is an inner city school serving a culturally diverse but mostly Hispanic stu dent population.

In 1981 when the initial partnership between Tenneco and the school began, "of the 600 entering freshmen . . . only 200 would be expected to graduate, and of those, only twenty would enter college" (Thielemann). At first the program consisted of Tenneco volunteers tutoring at Jeff Davis as needed.

Then in 1989 the University of HoustonDowntown joined the col laborative, and began offering the annual academic summer institutes, in which I have taught writing for two years. The university's involvement is commensurate with its essential mission of offering higher educational op portunities to the widest possible urban population. We have found that the best way to accomplish this goal is to try to impact the lives of potential students as early as possible, when still in high school, and introduce them to what a college education can mean not only to them but also to the commu nity at l

Ronald J. Heckelman

University of HoustonDowntown

arge. Predictably, many of the students we serve require considerable remedial work.

The Institute is therefore an enrichment program designed to better prepare the students for future college "Core" work in reading, writing, math ematics, science and computer. At the same time UHD came on board in 1989, Tenneco established the Presidential Scholarship, which awards ev ery Davis student who completes the program a $4000 four year college scholarship. And if they select UHD as their college, the university doubles the award to $8000. To date, I have had numerous graduates of the Insti tute in my college classes in writing and literature at the university. Few if any of them would probably have been able to attend college, both financially and academically, without having been prepared by the summer Institutes.

Although there are certainly other influential factors, "[t]he annual drop out rate [at Jeff Davis] has been reduced from 19.9 percent in 1989 to 13.1 percent in 1993 and the percentage of students graduating in four years has increased from 50 percent in 1989 to 78 percent in 1993." In May 1994, "130 out of the 235 graduating seniors received the Tenneco Presidential Scholarship" (Thielemann).

Working as part of a collaborative te


Ronald J. Heckelman, The Jesse H. Jones Academic Summer Institute

classroom, our goals go beyond technology. We are trying to connect with people.

The ninth- and tenth-graders meet in the computer lab for one or two classes per week and learn Word Perfect (for Windows). The computer allows us to engage more than the verbal/linguistic and logical capacities of the students. The actual physical activity of learning to use the keyboard and mouse stimulates the students' visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic, and musical/rhythmic intelligences in ways that marking on a page with a pen or pencil does not. In some instances students have told me that just the rhyth mic beat of the keys seems to satisfy and gratify them, as the sound magi cally becomes letters and words and sentences before their eyes. Even though to begin most just hunt and peck at the keyboard, the professional look of their text, no matter what it says, increases the students' confi dence. "Hey, I wrote that. Look at what I just did! I'm gonna keep go ing."

The use of the computer productively complements older pedagogical technologies traditionally used in process-oriented composition instruction. For example, I have found it helpful to encourage fluency by emphasizing rhetorical invention strategies such as brainstorming and freewriting right at the terminal. It is important that the students see the computer as a dynamic means to extend and reshape thought, and not just as a fancy typewriter. To that end, the students are occasionally asked to darken their terminal screens so they are not moved to read and correct their blossoming text too soon. Helping them feel comfortable just getting words down on the page is our initial, but of course not the only priority. Since the students will eventu ally need to pass the TAAS test to graduate from high school, part of our responsibility is whenever possible to work on TAAS writing and rhetorical skills such as persuading, analyzing


and arguing.

To conclude, I'd like to mention three multi-sensory writing projects which have produced valuable results, all of which rely on individual and collaborative effort on the part of the students.

Making Clay Sculptures: Each writer first uses clay to fashion an im age which represents them in some way. They might metaphorically en vision themselves in any number of literal and figurative ways, say as a mountain or a bird, or as some abstract shape. After they fashion the sculp ture, I ask them to describe what they have created in writing to an audience who cannot see it , and then to explain how and why they see themselves that way.

Collaborative teams of four students each then work together to es tablish a consensus and fashion a sculpture representing their entire team. Then they each write about their own perspective about the object as well as their team, and make a group presentation before the class.

Designing a Community Center: Teams of four students first decide how they will divide the labor, and then using architectural modeling materials design a community center which they must justify and explain in a written proposal. Typically, each team member takes responsibility for conceiving and writing about one aspect of the center, for example those parts meant to serve different groups within the community such as preschoolers, teens, adults and the elderly. The writing and design are evaluated by a panel of judges from outside the class in order to simulate an authentic profes sional process.

Publishing a Book: In this project each member of the class contributes a page to a class book which is bound and presented to each student at the end of the Institute. This summer our

course and book theme was "Creating Selves, Communities and Cultures." Each student-writer illustrated a shield with four sections designated as fol lows: self, interests, communities and cultures. To the right of the shield on the same page was the student's written explanation of his/her drawings.

The students also designed a group shield to represent our class which we used on the cover of the book. For many of these at risk teen agers this was their first ever attempt at collaborative decision making inside a writing classroom, and it prompted stimulating debate over such issues as how to represent their community and culture in light of their own interests, hopes and ideals.

All of these writing projects, each utilizing technology to different de grees, were stimulating to the students, I believe, because each activity en gaged the multiple core intelligences we all possess: verbal/linguistic, logi cal and mathematical, visual/spatial, body/kinesthetic, musical/rhythmic, interpersonal and intrapersonal (Lazear). The success of these activi ties demonstrates that we must not lose sight of the fact that at the core of any curricular and pedagogical "Core" are real people, subjects not objects, with their own histories, desires and intelligences. p


1. Lazear, David. Seven Ways of Knowing. Palatine, IL: Skylight, 1991.

2. __________. Seven Ways of Teaching. Palatine, IL: Skylight, 1991.

3. Thielemann, Jane (Director). Jesse H. Jones Academic Summer Institute Faculty Handbook.Houston: University of HoustonDowntown, 1995.

Leap of Faith: Creating an Interdisciplinary Core Curriculum Class


TSCC team leader, Wilkes Berry, secured funds necessary to offer summer re lease time for faculty interested in designing interdisciplinary courses. Dr. Williams approached two members of the Women's Studies Committee, Dr. Brenda Phillips of Sociology, and Dr. Linda Nickum of Social Work, about her interest in creating a "real class" similar to the TSCC team's proposal the previous summer. With the possibility of securing a summer grant in mind, Brenda approached TSCC team member, Dr. Lybeth Hodges of the his tory faculty, about her willingness to work on the project with the other two women.

At the start of the 1995 Spring semester, Brenda, Linda and Lybeth met to consider submitting a grant proposal. That first meeting was crucial. Although Linda and Brenda were in the same department, and knew each other well, they had never worked together in a class or even discussed most of the key concepts of an interdisciplinary approach. Lybeth had never even met either of the other two. At that initial meeting, we spent almost two hours explaining what each thought about teaching, student learn ing and responsibility, and the value of our own disciplines. We even dis cussed how we personally handled grading, class format and student ab

Lybeth Hodges,

Linda Nickum, &

Brenda Phillips

Texas Woman's University

t all began with a homework

assignment. As part of the first Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum (TSCC) held here in Houston two summers ago, each college team repre sented was assigned the task of creating a new class. Although it seemed a formidable chore to handle in so brief a time, it was a perfect requirement for all of us who had spent the last two weeks hearing so many formal presen tations about other people's core curricula. Now we would have to take all those examples and theories and develop a reasonable course that might actually fly at our own specific institutions.

The team from Texas Woman's University already had a head start. Unlike many of our colleagues at the first TSCC, our institution had spent the last two years roughing out a new core which the faculty believed met our mission statementespecially the empowering of womenand hoped would enrich our students' university experience. It was a year away from implementation, and so far, no genuinely original courses had been devel oped for inclusion in it. Yet, at least we had some plans in place.

When we received our assignment, the perfect place to start seemed the new three-hour requirement for a women'

s studies class. Not surprisingly, Dr. Joyce Williams, the chair of TWU s Sociology Department and member of the university's small, but active, Women's Studies Committee, was instrumental in helping come up with a concept for a course. The TWU team had been impressed by the vari ety of disciplines represented by the TSCC speakers, and some of the mem bers had a long-time interest in women's roles in their own academic areas. We decided we would work on an interdisciplinary course to introduce beginning college students to the primary subjects they would study in our new university core.

The resulting course we presented to our seminar colleagues two days later was entitled "Ways of Knowing and Communicating." Although it looked good on paper, most of us had only a superficial understanding of its focus and no real sense of its implementation feasibility. As one member frankly whispered to the rest of us, we might never look at the proposal again, but at least we had "turned in our homework on time."

Creating the Course

The following Fall term, much attention was given throughout cam pus to the submission of new classes for our proposed core. Because time to create these classes seemed the greatest barrier to their development, the Associate Vice President and


Lybeth Hodges, Linda Nickum, & Brenda Phillips, Leap of Faith

sences. The possible academic content of the course was barely mentioned. At the conclusion of this time together, we realized, fortunately, that we not only liked each other as persons, but we also shared teaching philoso phies and classroom practices as well. At the time we believed our success together in a class would only be possible because those three elements were present. Now, after spending the last year and a half on this project, we are convinced they arc essential.

Two months, and two meetings later, the Core Curriculum Committee notified us that we had been awarded one of the summer stipends. Although the award had little to do with our individual summer school assignments, and by this time we knew we would have proceeded with the course with out the grant, we appreciated the money and the support for our pro posal. We were already convinced new students needed a general class to in troduce them to subjects they had previously either ignored or feared, and one which might aid them in developing study skills designed to encourage academic success.

So that spring we began reviewing the literature about learning styles, particularly women's, and reporting to each other the key elements of our findings. We discussed ways we could present material to students, and the types of assignments we believed were appropriate for a class such as ours. We decided to invite guest faculty to speak to our class, certain this would provide not only greater insight into, and interest in, the various disciplines, but also expose our students to the many different and creative approaches to teaching the university faculty offers. We also expected this to defuse the nervousness, perhaps even resentment, we believed some TWU students had about taking a women's studies class at all.

We continued to meet throughout the summer, working around Brenda's research trip to Pakistan, Linda's hec

tic teaching schedule, and Lybeth's return to the second Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum. Because our class, like most of those at TWU, was to be held twice a week, we decided to meet all together on Tuesdays for guest presentations and break into smaller discussion sessions on Thursdays. Each of the three smaller sessions was to be directed by one of us, and it would be those students in our small groups for whom we individually held academic responsibility. We came up with our wish list of guest speakers all but two of whom actually spokeand took on the task of dividing up the creation of each discipline related assignment.

Brenda created a sheet for our speakers, explaining the philosophy of the class and offering some suggestions of topics each might consider in cluding in his or her presentation. We agreed that a class such as ours did not lend itself to traditional grading procedures, and decided to award only credit or non-credit.

At the university's freshmen summer orientations, we handed out sur veys to determine students' interest in various college subjects,' their opin ions of their own academic background, and their future career plans. Although nothing we had not anticipated was discovered through the sur veys, we were further convinced by them that we were on the right track. We also came up with a course title, suggested by Joyce during the second TSCC meeting in late July, "Women in Learning Communities." By the end of the summer, we had even started jokingly identifying our little three some as "the blond, brunette and redhead."

That fall, TWU s new core went into effect and our group continued its work. Brenda and Linda secured the important approval of the Women's Studies and Core Curriculum committees to allow our course to count for an interdisciplinary and/or women's studies requirement during its trial run.

(We did not want to actually submit the course to the full Curriculum Com mittee of the university until we had tried it out.) Lybeth created flyers to advertise the class around campus, assuring interested students that despite its senior level designationthe only generic number availableit was de signed as an entry level course. As the class became publicized, we fielded questions about it from interested, and occasionally skeptical, faculty mem bers. We approached students we thought might benefit from the class and who might enjoy being our academic guinea pigs. The administration assured those teaching new interdisciplinary courses that full work unit credit would be assigned to each faculty member participating in such a class. Brenda, however, felt students would be less confused if they were able to register with specific instructors. Therefore our individual small groups were listed in the Spring schedules as sections of the same class. By the close of the Fall term, after almost a year of preparation, we felt confident "Women in Learning Communities" was ready to go!

Implementing the Course

With curiosity and excitement we entered our crowded classroom of forty-five young women on that first day. We begin by introducing our selves. This served a two-fold purpose. First, since the success of a class such as this depends upon a free and comfortable atmosphere for exchanging ideas, we gave brief individual histories, our sort of personal journeys to where we are today. Because we recognized that, for a few students at least, taking a women's studies class was threateningfears of standing in circles, holding hands, chanting pagan feminism around smoldering in censewe deliberately included information about the most traditional as pects of our livesour husbands, our children, our pets.

After introducing ourselves, we

passed around notecards. Each student wrote her name, hometown, major and reason for taking this class. After everyone was finished, Linda used the information on the cards to casually ask questions of each student. This beginning seemed to have the desired affect of making the students comfort able and letting us learn a little about them all.

We spent the rest of the class period on the syllabus. Especially impor tant to both us and them was the evaluation and attendance policy. We ex plained our philosophy behind the credit/non-credit grading system and made clear our united resolve on the issues of attendance and due dates. To pass the course a student had to successfully complete, on time, 12 of the 15 assignments, and could miss no more than three class periods (A few sessions later we drew up a contract, which students signed, providing a window of a week following the fourth absence or third missed assignment in which a student could drop without an F.) As accurate attendance records were mandatory, we explained that a student would be responsible for sign ing in with her small group instructor each time she came to class. To sim plify the procedure, we provided different colored sheets for each of us. These were posted on the door for Tuesday's large sessions and passed around during class in Thursday's small groups. Because one section of the class was considerably smaller than the other two, we asked if students would consider switching to it; several volunteered. By the end of that first class period, we believed we had engendered a sense of shared participa tion and discovery, and effectively conveyed the course requirements and lo gistics.

Our topic, "Women in Learning Communities," included the issues of women's learning styles as well as their historical and current place in the communities of advanced learning. The next few class periods, therefore,

consisted of introductory lectures designed to familiarize students with these issues. Each of us presented an appropriate lecture in her own aca demic field.

Linda (Social Work) gave the first lecture. It drew from Belensky, et al's work, Women's Ways of Knowing and summarized the research on women's distinctive learning styles. She described the ways in which women's experiences have often been ignored or distorted by traditional research methods.

Lybeth (History) used the second lecture to provide an overview of the evolution of the academy and the history of the modern university She ex plained the role students played at various periods and gave an overview of the place of women in religious and secular academic communities.

The final introductory lecture was given by Brenda (Sociology). She ac quainted students with the emergence of women's studies, its interdiscipli nary nature, feminist pedagogy and philosophical underpinnings. Building upon the other two lectures, Brenda was able to explain to students why our class met core curriculum interdisciplinary and women's studies require ments.

The remainder of the term consisted of presentations to the whole class by our guest lecturers, followed by appropriate discussions and activi ties in our small groups. Our pre semester brainstorming had resulted in a schedule of lectures divided into two categoriescore classes and profes sional opportunities. In the first group we featured political science, English, computer science, physical science, fine arts, psychology, foreign lan guages and math. The second consisted of law, the fields of sociology/social work/criminal justice, the health professions of medicine/nursing/physical therapy, business, and women's health and wellness. Although in most in stances one individual represented a particular discipline, on a few occa

Leap of Faith, Lybeth Hodges, Linda Nickum, & Brenda Phillips

sions we assembled panels of related fields. For example, speakers from sociology, social work and criminal justice were scheduled for the same class so that distinctions among the three, as well as career opportunities and job forecasts in each, were provided.

After each guest lecture on Tuesday, the small groups met with their own instructors. Each of us was responsible for creating an activity linked with the speaker we had personally invited. Sometimes we con tacted the speaker ahead of time and asked for suggestions of appropriate activities; sometimes we devised the activities on our own. The "Instructor of the Week" was also responsible for coming up with a list of possible ways to introduce the activity for the other two instructors. This format saved time by spreading the work, and provided varied assignments. This arrangement also gave us the flexibility we liked in conducting our own classes, allowing us the opportunity to adapt each assignment's introduction to our own personalities and interests.

For example, the activity connected with the foreign languages lec ture required students to interview someone who was bilingual, asking about the personal and professional advantages of this ability. Yet each of our introductions to our small group was different. Brenda introduced stu dents to Urdu and Swahili phrases, Lybeth examined the artistic evolution of Japanese kanji, and Linda discussed the ways in which any language shapes the perceptions of reality for its speakers.

Each activity for the students, whether individual or group, was ex plained on decorated, colored sheets. After the introduction, the sheets were passed out and discussed. Sometimes class time to begin an assignment was provided, sometimes not. Until we modified the length of time allowed, activities were assigned during the Thursday sessions and due the follow

Lybeth Hodges, Linda Nickum, & Brenda Phillips, Leap of Faith

ing Tuesday. Each small group instructor graded her own students' work. We thought all of the assignments were creative and valuable. Several of these can serve as examples.

In conjunction with our business speakers' presentations, groups of stu dents were to create their own small business. Directions for this stipulated that the product or service the group designed could actually be marketable. Each had a budget of $200, and required the researching of real costs. Market analysisthe random surveying of at least five persons outside our classand some physical advertisementflyer, handbill, cassette com mercialhad to be presented. Some of the resulting businesses showed thought, commitment and humor. One group of enterprising young women came up with a real potential money maker"Dial a Prof." For a $5 per semester fee, this service offered customers access to opinion polls of cam pus professors and their student evaluation ratings. The subtitle of this group's flyer read "No more profs from hell!" Their marketing analysis, as you might expect, showed widespread campus support. To their question, "Would you buy this service?," they received responses such as "Of course, I'd be interested in this service! What student in her right mind wouldn't be?" and "I would buy this service for the asking price in a flash!" Also, "What took you guys so long to come up with this idea? I made some horrible choices this semester that I'm really paying for now!"

The most popular assignment was the one connected with the fine arts. Students had to create sculptures based on a specific, identifiable idea or theme The art had to be made with relatively small, significant objects, which were assembled in class using hot glue guns. The lead in introductions first exam ined the meanings and uses of art in the world, artistic expressions and stu dents' reactions to various types of art. These discussions seemed to liberal

assignments and overall impressions of the course itself. Both were anonymous.

The mid-term evaluations revealed few complaints. The most fre quently mentioned was the brief length of time between activity assignments and due dates. Because we wanted the students to know their input mat tereda key philosophy of women's studiesand because we saw for our selves no academic or grading disadvantage, we modified this requirement From that point on, activities assigned on one Thursday were not due until the next. These extra two days seemed to please the students and proved no hard ship at all to us. The questions they raised were passed on to our future speakers, ant it was dear during some of the presentations that the faculty had made an effort to address them.

Although we had expected generally positive feedback from the final evaluation, we were very pleased with the responses. The students liked al most everything and most believed every field presented had been in some way useful to them. They universally enjoyed the .guest speaker format. The big winners among the presenters were the panel on sociology, social work ant criminal justice and the women's wellness presentation by two speakers from nutrition and kinesiology. We assume the first reflected a career and academic interest, and the second, the dynamic, humorous presentation of the speakers themselves.

Overall, not surprisingly, it appeared interest in the content, and lec ture style of presenter, made all the

ize many students' attitudes, allowing them to go beyond completely conven tional definitions and traditional forms. Many of their resulting works were exciting and provocative. They ranged from a tribute to TWU's athletic prow ess, using items such as sweat bands, pom-poms and pain medication, to an attack on society's expectations of women's beauty, incorporating sexy magazine ads, hair curlers and a padded bra.

An assignment which proved more frustrating than we had ever an ticipated was the one following the computer science lecture. It was de signed to reduce computer anxiety and acquaint students with the many ser vices the university can provide. Students were to set up their own e mail accounts, and check out the women's studies bulletin board. Yet because of glitches at our computer center, hard-to-access equipment, and student fear, this proved a difficult assignment for many. Those who persevered, how ever, were enthusiastic upon the activity's successful completion. We received e-mail comments including:

It took forever...but I finally got into the system. I hope I remember how to do this again.


I FINALLY got into this silly E-mail after about three tries...I'm going to try to figure out how to send my boyfriend a message. Maybe this will help cut back on our outrageous phone bills a little.


Evaluating the Course

Both at the mid-term and again at the close of the semester, we handed out evaluation forms. The former asked questions designed to let us know how the class was being perceived by the students, and allowed them an opportunity to raise questions for the speakers yet to come and air any concerns about the work so far. The latter was a detailed assessment of the structure, content,

difference to students. The other winners were, in order, law, political sci ence, art, physical therapy and nursing. Some students indicated that even though they did not like a subject area, the presentation covering that disci pline had reduced their anxiety about it. (As that exact response had been one of our primary course objectives, we were especially happy to see those comments.) Overall, the combined fields of health and medicine garnered the most enthusiastic support. This was to be expected since the health profes sions are a major focus of our university.

We were more surprised by the activities students found to be the most useful. Art came out the big winner here. Students indicated the sculpture project stretched them mentally and emotionally; they found it therapeutic. Some said it had been a long time since they had done something like this. Al though one wrote she considered the assignment "an affront to art," clearly most students possessed desires to express themselves aesthetically. The computer assignment solicited comments that they had always wanted to learn about computer services but might never have without our having forced them to try. They also liked writing the heroine papers, which in cluded examining the female lead in a novel and reflecting upon women who have been personal heroines in their own lives. They enjoyed the self as sessment career tree and the campus/community scavenger hunts. The hunts solicited a few admissions of embarrassment from students at their not even having been aware of the interesting and usual things and places that exist here at TWU.

Perhaps because it was somewhat unusual in most college classrooms, they were very positive about working in groups. Overall, they said the activities were "fun," they made new friends and they were inspired to delve into a new academic area or two. For us, it was almost everything we could

have hoped to hear.

By far the thing the students liked least about the class was the amount of writing required. Some complained about the length of the papers in a pass -fail course, others about the difficulty of some assignments. The scientific method activity was the least popular. A few singled out the articles used in it, the nature of the paper or that they just "abhor research." Three of the 42 students who finished the course wrote that they hated all the assignments. (Oddly, enough, the three indicated they enjoyed the course!)

Of all the comments made, the ones we had never anticipated at all had to do with us as team members and role models. We expected them to like us as teachers, even mentors, but we were truly surprised by the number of young women who specifically mentioned our success at working together and our having "touched" their lives. We think perhaps the consciousness- raising aspect of our course, and the manner in which the guest speakers and wepublicly recognized the sometimes stressful mixture of our per sonal and professional lives, placed us under greater scrutiny as individuals than instructors generally receive.

So what have the three of us concluded from our interdisciplinary ex perience? First that it was great fun to work with colleagues we respect pro fessionally and like personally. We learned a lot about each other's disci plines and academic views. (Lybeth, however, thinks she will never adjust to the women's studies' mandate to write in the first person!) Second, our careful planning had paid off. With few exceptions, we had anticipated the con cerns of students and organized our sessions well. In the future we will stress, even more emphatically, the requirements of the course, and explain better our reasons for maintaining the credit/non-credit grading system. We will also spend more time admonishing students to exhibit good listener etiquette during the guest lectures. (A

Leap of Faith, Lybeth Hodges, Linda Nickum, & Brenda Phillips

few must have missed this at home!) We now know we need to offer guide lines on the proper way to write a letter to a Congresswoman, and that we should make the portfolio, the fifteenth and last assignment, mandatory. Fi nally, we will have to decide how we want to run the class when we offer it next spring. It is a time consuming operation, and for various reasons, will have to be an overload class for each of us. In theory, having done it once should make it a lot easier. Yet, the interdisciplinary nature of the class means it will probably require more modification than does any course we develop on our own.

Nevertheless, it was a great experience. We believe it benefited every one involved, both academically and socially. It also encouraged our stu dents to see links and connections between the many different subjects they will encounter in their university studies. Because that is a primary purpose of the core curriculum experience, we are satisfied. p

The "Selected Papers from the Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum " was edited and produced by Dr. Cay Smith Osmon. (713) 743-9105. Office of the Provost, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun, Houston, TX. 77204-2162.

The University of Houston provides equal treatment and opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation, except where distinction is required by law. This statement reflects compliance with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and all other federal and state regulations.

The university reserves the right to make changes without notice in any publication as necessitated by university or legislative action.



1993 Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum

The Aims of EducationCome the Millennium

Wayne C. Booth (University of Chicago) 3

Exemplary Core Curricula: Brooklyn College

Daniel S. Claster (Brooklyn College) 12

The Role of the College of Science in the Liberal Arts

and Sciences Program at Utah State University

Donald W. Fiesinger (Utah State University) 18

Cores, Knives, Temples, and Seeds: A Radical Look

at Curriculum Reform in a Multicultural Era

Betty S. Flowers (University of Texas at Austin) 26

Science Literacy by Curriculum Reform SUNY at Buffalo-A Case Study

Clyde Freeman Herreid (State University of New York at Buffalo) 33

What is a Bachelor's Degree

John H. Lienhard (University of Houston) 37

Reflections on Teaching a Modular Course: Studies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

Antonio Nadal (Brooklyn College) 40

Internationalizing the Core

Paul A. Parrish (Texas A&M University) 43

Multiculturalism and the Humanities Core: From Policy to Pedagogy

Karen E. Rowe (University of CaliforniaLos Angeles) 49

Introduction to Music

Paul Shelden (Brooklyn College) 70

Disciplines and the Core

John A. Thorpe (State University of New York at Buffalo) 74

Academic Perestroika

Uri Treisman (University of Texas at Austin) 77



Society, Ethics and Technology Interdisciplinary Core Course Trenton State College

Lynn Waterhouse (Trenton State College) 87

Some Characteristics of an Effective Core Curriculum

Rudolph H. Weingartner (University of Pittsburgh) 93

1994 Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum

Education in a Multicultural Society


Carlos Cortés (University of California, Riverside) 103

Goals for Student Development and Curriculum Change

Jack Meacham (State University of New York at Buffalo) 107

1995 Texas Seminar on the Core Curriculum

The Scholars' Community: Reinventing the Commuting Student 's Academic Experience

Terrell F. Dixon and Edwin P. Willems (University of Houston) 125

Technology, Writing, Learning Styles, and Core Teaching

University of HoustonDowntown 131

The Pluralist Challenge to the Curriculum: A Required Visit to Unexamined Privilege

Troy Duster (University of California, Berkeley) 140

Scholar Enrichment Program "The Treisman Model Applied "

Sylvia M. Foster (University of Houston) 146

Innovations in Core Instruction: Distance Education and the New Technologies

Sandra Frieden (University of Houston) 148

But It's Only A Pot of Iron! Working Class Students and the Core Curriculum

Michael W. Gos (University of HoustonDowntown) 153

The Jesse H. Jones Academic Summer Institute: The Writing Core and College-Bound,

At-Risk High School Students

Ronald J. Heckelman (University of HoustonDowntown) 159

Leap of Faith: Creating an Interdisciplinary Core Curriculum Class

Lybeth Hodges, Linda Nickum, & Brenda Phillips (Texas Woman 's University) 161


University of Houston

Selected Papers

from the

Texas Seminar

on the Core Curriculum

1993, 1994, 1995

Sponsored by the

University of Houston

and supported by

The National Endowment

for the Humanities