Big History, Big Lesson
MetaNexus: Big History, Big Problems, Big Questions
Office of Academic Affairs
What should students learn in their first year of college? Should freshman seminars be foundational—and how do we interpret the term “foundational” in the context of liberal education? Does it denote rudimentary, basic, fundamental, or even highly specialized? While a strong education is built on a mastery of vital skills, educators must also interpret “foundational” to mean preparing students with the knowledge they need to lead fulfilling and productive lives. Students require a program that introduces them to vast bodies of interconnected ideas, meets the needs of our time, invites them to explore their own role in the unfolding story of our planet, and maintains the sense of wonder and possibility with which they came to campus on their first day. This is how we at Dominican University of California arrived at “First Year Experience ‘Big History,’” which offers students more than lessons on how to survive college; it has the potential to mold eager young students into kind, insightful, and creative global citizens.
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