First, review the one-page summary of the Essential Learning Outcomes rapidly being embraced by educators across America.
In a longer report called “College Learning for the New Global Century,” it says the following:
Therefore, a coordinated effort is needed to ensure that all Americans reach high levels of knowledge and skill—begun in school and advanced in college—in the following areas of twenty-ﬁrst-century learning:
* science, mathematics, and technology—including a solid grasp of the methods by which scientiﬁc knowledge is tested, validated, and revised
* cultural and humanistic literacy—including knowledge of the world’s histories, American history, philosophical traditions, major religions, diverse cultural legacies, and contested questions
* global knowledge and competence—including an understanding of economic forces, other cultures, interdependence, and political dynamics, as well as second-language competence and direct experience with cultural traditions other than one’s own
* civic knowledge and engagement—including a rich understanding of the values and struggles that have established democratic institutions and expanded human freedom and justice, and direct experience in addressing the needs of the larger community
* inquiry- and project-based learning—including multiple opportunities to work, independently and collaboratively, on projects that require the integration of knowledge with skills in analysis, discovery, problem solving, and communication (34)
courtesy of calebcherry at http://www.flickr.com/photos/calebcherry/307449699/sizes/z/in/photostream/
As a Prairie View A&M student, you have taken at least 2 semesters of natural sciences. Can you explain, confidently, how scientific method works? What do people actually do in a lab to test a hypothesis?
Can you explain the major tenets of Islam or Buddhism? Do you know why Mesopotamia is important?
Do you competently speak and write a language besides English?
You have taken two semesters of U.S. history and two of U.S. government. Can you explain why America is not a true democracy? At some point in your college career, have you directly addressed community needs, through participation in a voter-registration drive, tutoring younger students, assisting local families with their tax returns? At Portland State University in Oregon, students help local charities write grant proposals.
Have you worked on complex projects that required you to analyze data, formulate solutions for real-world problems, and compile your findings in an oral, written, or multimedia presentation? For example, here’s what this kind of project entails for computer science majors at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville:
All seniors must complete a capstone that, for computer science majors, consists of a team project that spans two semesters. Ideas for real programming needs are solicited from the university and local community. Students are responsible for all aspects, from establishing initial requirements to implementation and deployment; they need to ﬁgure out how to interact with and design products for non-specialist users.
Rather than simply volunteering as a reading tutor, an education major might research the tutoring needs at a local elementary schools; interview teachers, students, and parents; and start a tutoring program, complete with hiring questionnaires and training manuals.
Would you be on board with this kind of change?