General Education

Related Pages


Report of the NSF Advisory Committee for Science Education to the National Science Board, 1970
The National Science Foundation (NSF) initiated a reivew of its educational program and published this report in 1970. The report outlines one essential goal: "To educate scientists who will be at home in society and to educate a society that will be at home with science."


Science and the other liberal arts: Some strategies for general education
A. Truman Schwartz
A FIPSE lecture delivered on March 26, 1993, at Brescia College, in which the author suggests some desirable outcomes of undergraduate science education, proposes strategies for attaining those goals, and describes a number of specific courses created for that purpose.

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Everything I Needed to Know about Averages...I Learned in College
Lynn A. Steen
Undergraduate mathematics, or quantitative reasoning, courses provide a core component to liberal education and apply across all college studies.
Greenspan Says Higher Education Still Key to Future Prosperity
The American Council on Education (ACE) 81st Annual Meeting Special Issue includes Alan Greenspan's speech on how higher education in the United States gives Americans the ability to face challenges in the economy and the work force.
Remarks on the liberal arts by Alan Greenspan Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board
From Perspectives - excerpts from remarks made at the International Understanding Award Dinner of the Institute of International Education, 2002, these remarks by Alan Greenspan reflect on how the standard of living has improved due to education. He comments that "the liberal arts embody more than a means of increasing technical intellectual efficiency. They encourage the appreciation of life experiences that reach beyond material well-being and, indeed, are comparable and mutually reinforcing."
The Creative Campus: Who's No. 1?
Printed in "The Chronicle Review," October 1, 2004 edition, this article measures college "creativity" and defines the important features of a creative campus.
The One Graph You Need to See and The Dartmouth Liberal Arts Conference
W. Robert Connor
These recent essays reflect on a graph based on the freshman surveys by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA and an article in the Boston Globe about a conference at Dartmouth College.


"What does it mean to be liberally educated in the 21st century" and Other Small Questions
A Report and Reflections on a Recent Meeting
William David Burns
In the SENCER January e-newsletter (, David Burns reflects on the Task Force meeting at Wabash College in January 2005 on "What does it mean to be liberally educated in the 21st century."
Bowdoin General Studies
Craig A. McEwen
This is the description of Bowdoin College's new general studies curriculum.
Criticism and the consensus of "truth"
Dean Fraga
This 1997-1998 PKAL F21 statement discusses how the objectivity of science and the ability to criticize are essential to not only scientists, but also reporters, lawyers, politicians, and other non-scientists.
Deconstructing "Narratives of Decline" about the Liberal Arts
W. Robert Connor
Reflecting on a comment by the former president of Williams College, Frank Oakley, this essay explores liberal education as a "narrative" in addressing the changes that have occurred in the last decade.
How to waste $3.1 billion
W. Robert Connor
In response to an article in the New York Times, Connor explains how institutions in liberal education have to get serious about teaching for the real world.
Liberal Arts and an International Campus Environment: 'Jihad vs. McWorld' Revisited
Gregory Mahler
An international or a "global" perspective is central to a contemporary liberal arts education, but integrating internationalism into the curriculum and the college community involves more than simply requiring some specific courses, or sending students overseas. This presentation discusses ways in which the benefits of study abroad experiences can be re-integrated into the broader campus setting to provide a global perspective that is necessary for the liberal arts experience to reach its potential. (A paper presented at the "Intellectual Leadership in the Liberal Arts" Conference in 2003.)
Liberal education and capstone experiences
David Burrows
Liberal education at Beloit College is considered "liberating" education, which promotes the development of the intellect, reflective thinking, and effective action.
Making science a core liberal art in the 21st century
Milo Schield
Given the ongoing success of the sciences in building cumulative knowledge about the natures and causes of things, it is argued that the sciences may have operationally embodied certain epistemic principles that may be helpful in dealing with the human condition. Investments in identifying and justifying these epistemic principles should be an integral part of any effort to make science a core liberal art in the 21st century.
Planning, implementing and assessing an integrated math and science curriculum
Charles Allen, Bruce Callen, Donald G. Deeds, Mark Wood
This essay describes the assessment protocols through which Drury University monitored the impact of a multi-disciplinary curriculum for all students developed collectively by their STEM faculty. The full description of the ten-year development and evolution of their curriculum is presented in an essay in the Journal of College Science Teaching. That reformers need to be in it for the long-haul is one lesson learned from the Drury experience.
Science across the curriculum - The Binghamton University Story
Albert H. Tricomi
In 1996, Binghamton University inaugurated its first General Education Program for all students. The process of discussing and approving requirements for this program had an immediate and a lasting effect on how students on our campus experience learning in mathematics and science.
Science for everybody
Included as a paper in the "Science in the College Curriculum: A Report of a Conference Sponsored by Oakland University and Supported by a Grant from the National Science Foundation, May 24-36, 1962," Warren Weaver's essay, including commentaries, addresses the problem of "what sort and amount of exposure to science" should undergraduate non-science majors receive.
Statistical literacy and liberal education at Augsburg College
Milo Schield
Since statistics are contextual, statistical literacy focuses on what is taken into account. This focus on context is why statistical literacy can be viewed as an essential component of a liberal education.
Tendencies in higher education that might affect classical studies
W. Robert Connor
This discussion on the trends that are likely to affect higher education in the next few years focuses on promoting awareness of "the importance (and vitality) of liberal education."
The Attributes of a General Education in the Sciences
Thomas J. Wenzel
This was a talk Thomas J. Wenzel delivered at a workshop in October of 2004 at Union College on general education in the sciences.
World citizenship
David Burrows
Liberal education develops world citizenship- a combination of the intellectual power of the mind and effective action.

Books & Publications

A rationale for the improvement of the college science experience
From Science for Non-Specialists: The College Years (National Academy Press 1982), this chapter discusses how to bring the facts and wisdom of science to undergraduate non-majors.

Other Resources

Nivaldo J. Tro
Then, Now and in the Next Decade, 1999
A Commentary on Strengthening Undergraduate Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education
Frank G. Rothman
Our point of departure (then) is the mid-1980s, when education in these fields was not perceived to be serving national needs. We contrast the circumstances of that time with those of today (now) and identify steps that need to be taken in the coming decade to address urgent needs of students, science and technology, and society.