October 7, 2003

Curricular Skills: O-R- 350. Purpose of meeting is to discuss curricular skills that we think students ought to have.

Please note that is represents my best attempt at summarizing the conversation. Many comments were left out and if you feel important parts were indeed left out then please use the web board to post a comment or correction.

MSchneider: Enormous lack of quantitative skills. "First time I've ever been in Ohlin hall. No other science courses other than Physical concepts. I don't ever want to hear a Macalester Student say I don't do math."

MS: Domestic/is diversity quota. Way to make sure to get quota of courses.

What are goals of these dd/ID courses? Should flush out these requirements.

Not something students should take spring of senior year.

DBressoud: Quantittative literacy is a model trying to tie it into existing courses. Love to see the same thing with writing. We have done some survey and learned we made lots of mistakes. Need to take evening piece and make it more cohesive. Packed syllabi -à hard to work into existing courses.

DKaplan: Possible to present these topics into a coherent part.

ALatham: All students should have QL, assume, basic level of num eracy to a basic level of citizenship. What would such a requirement look like?

MS: Writing does not stop after English dept. Culture thing, why we don't do quantitative reasoning.

DK: Numeracy across the curriculum is a bad idea. IF it is to be across curriculum, it clearly has to be dispersed. It just doesn't work for anyone. If across curriculum, then no one owns it.

GHammarberg: there ought to be some sort of standards. "Ws" mean nothing. No one course for teaching this important skill.

MS don't want writing ghetto. One course where its supposed to happen.

TFishel: Hewlett group. Address this issue.

DK: The quantitative literacy program, David and I have set u p is a limited experimental model. Various faculty have their own primary interests, all want someone else to teach it. For all faculty its an overload . If we had some way to get them more interested. We compensated to $1500, but this is not enough.

HAquil: Only student here: In math I learned how to write in math etc….


AL: Can t cram every skill into a course…. There is also residential life…

GH: Could some of this be done divisionally. We have variable credit that we hardly use.

AL: Often done in first year seminars. Often have interdisciplinary first year courses.

MS: DD/IS "Find me a DD that satisfies my DD. It's a check box. Issues of culture/MC distributed across the curriculum.

DK: Different student groups get different things out of the curriculum. Don't necessarily get. Washington university engineering school wont admit a Macalester student with the minumum requirements. Don't count languages as humanities. Want two courses to build. No language requirement, but writing.

GH: Cant learn a language without learning some culture. Want to address language requirement. Do we have any statistics as to how many take upper level language courses?

HHoogenboom: Bryn Mawr requires two languages ot 3 semester level.

DK: Shop around for DD course that is "not mainstream" Hard for them to see what is diverse, when don't take mainstream area to compare it to.

KIngve: Good at creating bicultural kids, but not necessarily international citizens etc…How to become better global citizen?



AL We have international requirement. What are we trying to accomplish with this? What cognitive skills, cultural skills. WE have left a lot to serendipity…

Hard for instructors to know what this is supposed to do.

MS: We don't want students to take narrow courses, we want "model courses" that meet these requirements.


DB: This is what we are trying to do with QR program.


DK: Must take DD in a department where you already have taken a few courses.

HAquil: learned a lot about how to study. I would like some progression, not just one courses. Maybe theory with applied course.

AL: Skills versus knowledge.

DK: In Macalester College catalog it says that students should be responsible for the views they take. I look in curriculum and wonder where is this value? Rather, we see balkanization of the college., I'm looking for this skill in the curriculum, but the only way I can see this is through team teaching. Where students see faculty engage each other, professors who talk to one another. Students cannot do this b/c of power relationship in a classroom.

AL: a lot of good things we could do….


AL: maybe come to realization that there are some elements in the catalog that are unactionable and need to be exorcised.




TFishel: Writing: No standard for teaching students to find information. How to acquire information. They are coming from a place that they never had access to JSTOR etc. How to get information. Informaiton fluency/ includes ethics.

GH: We need more training in how not to access information properly.


AL: Is there a canon that everyone ought to know? Is that something worth exploring?

HH: Columbia has a set of 6 courses. Most faculty must teach at some point. Over its life its had over 150 different works included. My experience could have a wide range a whole vocabulary of ideas. Columbia has a pretty rigid structure. Chicago more fluid. No set syllabus, but set themes.

DK: If want to do something new it has to be something faculty are excited about. Idea that we would put together a core that would tell faculty what to do is a non-starter.

AL: Lots of models, but problems with divisional model/requirements.

MS: some serious problems in curriculum. Leave me alone, b/c we are so departmentally leadership. We need more enforcement from EPAG. QR course is doing great stuff. Should not be a multiple choice question for some departments to not participate in this program.

AL "need buy in…."


DB: Last thing I would want is to have it imposed on the college. That would kill it. If we can get 10 percent of the faculty into it then it would go really far.

HAquil: What do students want when they come here.

MS I want faculty to want what's best for the student. Will this benefit the student.