Core Integration Initiative: Building Bridges Faculty Retreat Sturbridge, MA November 3-4, 2006 1/17
Why “Bite into the Core?” • Consider the fruit you seek to harvest • Find where the seeds are • Let the seeds take root elsewhere and grow into new trees 3/17
Building bridges and making connections • between core courses • between core and major • between all courses and Fairfield’s mission Making such connections comprises integrative learning. 5/17
What is integrative learning? • “connecting skills and knowledge from multiple sources and experiences • applying theory to practice in various settings • utilizing diverse and even contradictory points of view • understanding issues and positions contextually.” (Huber and Hutchings) 6/17
What is integrative learning? “Significant knowledge within individual disciplines serves as the foundation, but integrative learning goes beyond academic boundaries. Indeed, integrative experiences often occur as learners address real-world problems, offering multiple solutions and benefiting from multiple perspectives.” (Huber and Hutchings) 7/17
Strategic Plan, Goal IIntegration of the Core Curriculum • Create coherence within the core curriculum, both horizontally across disciplines and vertically in the major, through the mutual effort of the faculty and students “Core integration…not just in every course but in every class.” Vincent Rosivach 8/17
Strategic Plan, Goal IIntegration of the Core Curriculum • Help students understand the impact of the core curriculum on their overall education “When we speak of a moral dimension to education, or of educating ‘women and men for others’, we mean to foster not the particular commitments that students make, but the habit of carefully choosing a way of being in the world that will make it better.” Paul Lakeland Vision of the Core Curriculum 9/17
Strategic Plan, Goal IIntegration of the Core Curriculum • Create specific structures to foster discussion of the spirit and the specifics of the core curriculum among faculty who teach it “In my own career, I found the experience of reflecting on the nature of my discipline in conversation with colleagues from other disciplines…to be the most useful way to think about the connections between and among the disciplines at the ground level.” President von Arx 10/17
Strategic Plan, Goal IIntegration of the Core Curriculum • Develop a system of coordination and regular assessment of the core curriculum “I want to know what my students are taking away from my courses. Assessment done right doesn’t have to be about intrusive monitoring, but about collegial sharing of what our students produce.” Kathy Nantz 11/17
Vision To create a culture that places the ideals of the core curriculum at the heart of all of the programs offered at the institution… …which means that the ideals of the core curriculum need to be rooted in the University’s mission statement 14/17
What can you do? • Reflect on your own teaching and on how to help your students make connections better • Consider what larger questions require integrative thinking in your courses and discipline • Start conversations with colleagues about how to make connections between courses, majors, and programs, both undergraduate and graduate 15/17
Building BridgesThe Core Integration Project Core Advisory Group Beth Boquet Dennis Keenan Jocelyn Boryczka Larry Miners Robbin Crabtree Shelley Phelan Jennifer Goldberg Marice Rose Orin Grossman Vincent Rosivach Paul Lakeland David Schmidt Laura McSweeney Roben Torosyan Kathy Nantz 17/17
CORE METAPHOR • PART I: Please work with your group to construct a metaphor that describes the Fairfield University undergraduate core curriculum. According to Miriam-Webster, a metaphor is, “a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them (as in drowning in money).” (For example, “The Core as foundation.”) Be prepared to share your metaphor with the other groups.
CORE METAPHOR • PART II: Determine a name for your group based on the metaphor that you’ve developed. Design a team billboard that will stand on your table for the rest of the retreat that posts your name and reflects your metaphor in some sort of drawing.
CORE METAPHOR • PART III: Develop an integrative core question that reflects the University mission statement and your metaphor. Think about a broad question that would be appropriate to a variety of courses, something that core courses, major courses, and graduate courses might all address. (One possibility might be “How do we know what’s true?”) Be ready to share your question and work with it tomorrow.