GenEd is about making connections. GenEd classes draw connections between academic knowledge and current controversies. From global terrorism to global climate change, from digital mapping to the future of television, GenEd classes involve looking at cutting edge issues from multiple perspectives. GenEd draws connections too with the city of Philadelphia, as classroom study is integrated with Temple’s dynamic urban environment.
GenEd facilitates linkages by stressing the development of eight skills and abilities rather than content knowledge. The Program in General Education provides opportunities for students to foster the following competencies.
Within GenEd, students who think critically recognize an object of investigation, frame questions about it, and interrogate assumptions—explicit or implicit. Critical thinking includes the evaluation of evidence, analysis and synthesis of multiple sources, and reflection on varied perspectives. Critical thinking generates a well-developed investigation that incorporates supporting and countering claims. A student engaged in critical thinking produces an informed account, a hypothesis for further study, or the solution to a problem.
Understand historical and contemporary issues in context
Within GenEd, students who contextualize learning understand and integrate historical, contemporary, and cultural phenomena and their underlying principles in two broad applications. First, contextual learners recognize the interaction of complex forces that give rise to specific phenomena. Second, contextual learners understand and analyze related events, artifacts, practices and concepts across geographic, chronological and cultural boundaries.
Understand and apply knowledge in and across disciplines
Within GenEd, students who use interdisciplinary thinking recognize the world presents problems, topics, or issues too complex to be satisfactorily addressed though a single lens. Thus, interdisciplinary thinkers apply multiple perspectives, paradigms, and frameworks to problems, topics, or issues.
Communicate effectively orally and in writing
Within GenEd, students who communicate effectively use spoken and written language to construct a message that demonstrates the communicator has established clear goals and has considered her or his audience. Effective messages are organized and presented in a style appropriate to the context.
Scientific & Quantitative Reasoning
Within GenEd, students who exercise quantitative and scientific reasoning use and apply these reasoning processes to explain phenomena in the context of everyday life. Quantitative reasoning includes statistical and/or logical problem-solving, the relationships between quantities, and the use and misuse of quantitative data. Scientific reasoning introduces students to the evolution and interdependence of science and technology and includes problem identification, hypothesis evaluation, experimentation, interpretation of results and the use and misuse of scientific data.
Function as an engaged citizen in a diverse and globalized world
Within GenEd, students open to civic engagement view themselves as connected to local and global communities where they participate in activities that address issues of public concern. Critically engaged students define issues, pose, probe, and solve problems with an awareness of and an inclusion of the diverse values and interests.
Identify, access and evaluate sources of information
Within GenEd, information literacy encompasses a broad spectrum of abilities, including the ability to recognize and articulate information needs; to locate, critically evaluate, and organize information for a specific purpose; and to recognize and reflect on the ethical use of information.
Promote a lasting curiosity
GenEd cultivates these skills and abilities throughout the required undergraduate curriculum, and students will experience these ways of being though readings, discussions, activities, and classes throughout GenEd.