By N. Kindelan
Exploring the methods undergraduate theatre courses can play an important position in attaining the goals and studying results of a modern liberal schooling, Kindelan argues that theatre's signature pedagogy is helping all undergraduates turn into actively engaged in constructing severe and value-focused talents.
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55 While some educators 40 ● Artistic Literacy perceived curriculum change to be a local issue, others remembered the Great Books controversy, a national debate on the philosophy and purpose of the college core. To complicate matters further for educators who were interested in curricular reform, many respected educators who wrote about general education added to the confusion by presenting a plethora of illuminating but conflicting ideas. Opinions on general education varied, ranging from disagreements over which courses a student should take before the major to arguments against specialized study.
46 The Evolution of the Liberal Arts ● 37 What Does General Education (GenEd) Mean? Because educators could not agree on the content and meaning of liberal education or on the purpose of the college core, the general education requirement became a way of ensuring that students, regardless of their major, received some connection to a classical liberal education and had some involvement with courses that were outside their major. This strategy was especially true at institutions (not highly selective liberal arts institutions) that had been driven by the curricular needs of specializations since before the turn of the twentieth century.
Friedman emphasizes the importance of becoming a good synthesizer of multiple ideas. This skill depends on how well a student can think horizontally and connect disparate dots, because, according to Friedman, this is where and how innovative ideas occur. While he does not speak of theatre per se, Friedman urges us not to forget the importance of art, music, and literature courses, because those disciplines (which value synthetic thinking, Introduction ● 13 emotional awareness, and context) are as essential to innovation, creativity, and global competitiveness as math and science.
Artistic Literacy: Theatre Studies and a Contemporary Liberal Education by N. Kindelan