To Unify the Liberal-Arts Curriculum

Wooster, Harvey A.
October 1932
Journal of Higher Education;Oct1932, Vol. 3 Issue 7, p373
Academic Journal
The article discusses the principle of evolution as a unifying concept for the college curriculum. Curriculum reform has been under way for so long in the liberal-arts colleges that it is possible now to examine the results with some degree of hopefulness, though it is not yet possible to appraise their value. It was possible in a college of this type to present a unified curriculum. Unification indeed took care of itself. Content, purpose, and method were in more or less complete harmony; this is no longer true. If liberal-arts education is to be reintegrated, more will be required of the college than merely a change in curriculum, but curricular changes aimed directly at the need for reintegration should accomplish much and are a sine qua non to that end. The general acceptance of a great scientific concept has bent the thinking into scientific lines and has at the same time supplied the necessary bond for integrating the present with both the past and the future. If the undergraduate learning process is to be articulated and integrated the ideal of specialization that produced the present departmental system must be qualified by the introduction--the reintroduction in realty-- of the principle of integration as between subjects and departments. An ideal approach would probably begin with a freshman integration course especially constructed for the purpose co-operatively by skillful teachers in sympathy with the plan.


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