US curricula changes focus on self-discovery

June 3, 2014

Some US colleges are trying to increase the appeal of required courses by focusing them on the students themselves. Faculty are being encouraged to tailor course content around self-discovery, reconciling students’ prior knowledge with challenging new content. These courses are often interdisciplinary, focusing on what the National Endowment for the Humanities describes as “enduring questions” that have “long held interest for young people,” such as the meaning of “the good life” or definitions of the self. Some see the courses as a return to an older style of introductory humanities or general education surveys that might range from Aristotle to Herman Hesse. However, some caution that implementing these courses successfully is no simple task. It requires concentrated effort on the part of faculty to make the material relevant to students. The Chronicle of Higher Education