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Open Questions Curriculum Learning Goals

Adopted by Faculty April 4, 2018


Question 1: What should matter to me? Learning goals for this question should currently be met by the CIE learning goals. See CIE syllabus template learning goals.


Question 2: How should we live together? Goal 1: Engage diversity and inequality (D)

Courses that meet the “D” requirement should explicitly engage the question How should we live together? with reference to themes of diversity, difference, and social and political equality and inequality. Students should analyze the operation of privilege, merited and unmerited, that reflects the unequal distribution of power in the world, and they should reflect critically on the causes and effects of political and social equality and inequality in the light of racial, ethnic, class, gender, sexuality, disability status, religious and/or other differences. Students taking these courses should develop the habit of giving serious consideration to viewpoints very different from their own, even — or especially — when these may be troubling or unsettling.

Question 2: How should we live together? Goal 2: Examine global interconnections (G)

Courses that meet the “G” requirement should explicitly engage the question How should we live together? with emphasis on how peoples of different cultures, societies, regions, and countries form and transmit the values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that distinguish them. Special attention is given to those cultures whose origins and development lie outside the United States and Western Europe. Courses that meet the “G” criteria offer a global, non-Western perspective and analyze, whether alone or comparatively, the principles and patterns that shape societies and inform the behaviors of the individuals and groups who live in them. Both observable phenomena as well as the underlying assumptions and shared beliefs that influence them are considered.

Question 2: How should we live together? Goal 3: Consider obligations (O)

Courses that meet the “O” requirement should explicitly engage the question How should we live together? with special consideration of our obligations to others. By obligation, we could mean an obligation by individuals, governments and/or other groups to other individuals, governments, other groups, the environment, larger moral principles, and so on. Courses meeting this requirement emphasize the study of ideas and claims—either in the present, the past, or in the abstract—about what individuals or group entities should do in relation to some other(s).


Question 3: How can we understand the world?

Important questions can’t be answered simply and straightforwardly; they are like books in a language we do not yet know how to read. The question How can we understand the world? asks us to reflect on the nature of knowledge and how it is communicated. Academic disciplines and specialized fields of knowledge speak their own languages and see the world through their own lenses. Each asks a different set of questions. By reflecting on the sources of knowledge, we see more clearly what different academic disciplines can teach us. We learn about their limitations as well – and about the limitations of disciplinary expertise itself. The more we understand what the disciplines have to offer, the better we can determine when and how to use them.

Learning goal for this question: Apply different ways of asking

Students will gain an appreciation of how asking different types of questions and using various approaches can provide a more complete and nuanced understanding of the world. Courses that fulfill one or more of the “Ways of Asking” (A, H, Q, R, S, SS, L) should demonstrate and have students practice the types of questions and approaches that those trained in their field use to understand the world. Students also should appreciate the underlying assumptions, advantages, and limitations of this inquiry method. Linked Inquiry experiences provide students with opportunities to contemplate an aspect of the world and to demonstrate how different methods of inquiry work together through study of a topic using the methods of multiple “ways of asking.”


Question 4: What Will I Do? Learning goals for this question will be forthcoming and available by the time core capstone courses are offered.