Education Reform LO9880

Keith Cowan (72212.51@CompuServe.COM)
10 Sep 96 17:05:48 EDT

Replying to LO9822 --

Marion Brady <> continues:
>.... Keith's comment makes me wonder anew if perhaps a way around the
>problem might be to create in our secondary schools and universities
>autonomous general education departments unabashedly committed to a
>supradisciplinary approach to the task of understanding reality. The
>conceptual framework for organizing study within such a department--a
>framework more defensible than that which undergirds existing
>discipline-based departments--already exists. I'd think their creation
>would simply require . . . their creation.

> Present academic departments, freed from responsibility for doing
>something they're doing poorly and usually reluctantly (trying to provide
>a brief taste of a discipline), could almost certainly go farther faster
>if a general education department "took care of all that" and allowed them
>to work primarily with interested, able students.

I had the benefit of schooling in "Engineering Science" which was created
to give the best common learning amongst Honours Math-Physics-Chem and
Engineering. It gave us an appreciation for the academic approaches of
science and the pragmatic engineering, then specialized in esoteric areas
such as nuclear physics, space studies as well as process engineering, a
combined chemical-electrical engineering graduate program which I

This general basis proved to be superior because we had an understanding
of what values the related pursuits could add. What I was hinting at in my
earlier attempt is that there would be common elements of curricula such
as how to learn language, how to master sciences and maths, how to discern
material from written works, and then the "specialties" would become just
instances, as in Master of Language - French and Spanish, Master of
Science - Phyics - Molecular, etc.

Maybe we could introduce Master of Language - Oral (versus Written) and all
measure of interesting material that would be more helpful in the real
world than our tightly-bound specialties. FWIW...IMHO....Keith
"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price."


Keith Cowan <72212.51@CompuServe.COM>

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