Education has long been held up as the key to upward mobility in America, but last month saw the release of two reports suggesting that while college has become crucial for economic success, it may be harder than ever for Americans who are living in poverty to gain the kind of education that will help them improve their circumstances.
Wired magazine, the monthly publication of emerging technology and futurist culture, has acquired a reputation as a venue where ideas become “big ideas.” Historically, to be featured in Wired is to gain widespread attention and populist appeal. If that pattern holds true, perhaps we are coming to the era of discovery-based learning in higher education.
Steve Jobs’s comments about the importance of the liberal arts for his personal development and the success of Apple Inc. are now quite familiar in higher education circles, and for good reason. Jobs’s story of how a calligraphy class at Reed College inspired his approach to creating computer fonts, which helped set Apple apart from its competitors early on, is a perfect example of the unexpected ways that a liberal education can foster interests and skills that learners will use throughout their lives.
As part of the LEAP Challenge, AAC&U’s initiative to make students’ Signature Work the expected standard of quality learning in college, AAC&U has a launched a new blog. The LEAP Challenge Blog features updates on AAC&U’s second century of work and highlights new developments in policy, campus practice, and research affecting our capacity to ensure the quality of student learning and extend the benefits of a liberal education to all students.