Faculty analyzes possible undergrad core philosophy

Shantae Rollins

Kent State faculty members met in the Student Center yesterday to discuss two potential undergraduate core philosophy statements, which will attempt to define what it means to be a Kent State graduate.

Meeting attendees were reminded of the progress already made to enhance the undergraduate learning experience.

“We had quite a few discussions with individuals inside and outside the university about moving from an instructional paradigm to a learning one, and we really believe we’re coming close to a closure point,” said Barbara Hipsman Springer, associate professor of journalism and mass communication.

Faculty members split into groups to discuss the two potential core philosophies and brainstorm suggestions for applying them to the curriculum.

Robert Kairis, library director at Kent State Stark, made suggestions for incorporating four philosophy points from one of the drafts – knowledge, insight, engagement and responsibility – into undergraduate students’ curriculum.

&bull The knowledge point says LERs give students important knowledge about a variety of subjects, while classes taken for a major teach students needed skills for their chosen field.

&bull Insight discusses how students can develop critical thinking skills through problem-solving exercises for their courses.

&bull Engagement focuses on how hands-on education such as service learning, undergraduate research and internships can teach students the real-world benefits of their education.

&bull Responsibility says classes teach ethical reasoning and moral judgment that students can apply after graduation.

Kairis suggested each course taught at Kent State should touch on at least one of the four points. He said graduates can show potential employers a portfolio that shows what they learned from each class they took and how it can help them in the future.

“We want problem-based learning where students are put on real tasks, such as a portfolio-based approach where students accumulate the product of their learning and create a continuity,” Kairis said.

The core philosophy statements will be discussed further at the next town hall meeting, scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday in Room 204 of the Student Center.

Contact student affairs reporter Shantae Rollins at [email protected]