General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment
Reflection and Meaning-Making in Turbulent Times
Today’s higher education atmosphere is undeniably turbulent. Change is occurring at all levels and in all sectors. Many changes are reflective of a deep and abiding belief in the power of education to transform individual lives—like the #endthestigma campaign promoting the role of community colleges in educating our citizens—while others reveal an increased skepticism, if not hostility, toward institutions and systems of higher education. A portion of the disruption to the status quo we are seeing is hopeful and optimistic while other sources of turbulence, from admissions scandals to the defunding of systems, are rooted in cynicism.
It is therefore critical that educators remain passionate about quality and equity in the pursuit of a liberal education for all students and take time for reflection and meaning-making about the work that we do. We must do this to ensure that our approaches to general education, pedagogy, and assessment
- Promote the integration of knowledge and the development of higher-order learning skills and abilities rather than a set of unconnected introductory courses;
- Connect with the learning goals of the major, the work of student affairs, and the goal of preparing students for lifelong learning;
- Serve as the foundation for equity in preparing current and future civically engaged leaders;
- Act as a potentially powerful tool for retention and completion; and
- Provide valuable and enduring professional development for the current and future workforce.
AAC&U’s 2020 Network for Academic Renewal conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment invites colleagues from all areas of the higher education landscape to join us in sharing efforts to create intentional and integrated general education programs, to assess our current practices, and to generate evidence of high-quality learning for all students within our educational experiences.