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Learning Outcomes – Broad Areas of Human Inquiry

Literary, Visual, or Performing Arts:

Students should cultivate a love of human expression in the arts.

  • Students will be able to understand how the literary, visual, and performing arts reflect and inspire the richness of human expression, and how language and other forms of expression convey meaning and story.
  • Students will be able to analyze how forms of expression are used to reflect, exalt, or challenge the values of a culture.
  • Students will be able to explain the many purposes for which art is created and the multiple contexts in which it acquires meaning and value.
  • Students should acquire perceptual habits and conceptual lenses conducive to the appreciation of specific media, genres, and styles.

Worldviews and Ways of Knowing:

Students should think critically about what it means to be human, and to explore and interpret the human place in the universe.

  • Students will be able to think critically about how human beings are able to gain knowledge beyond the limits of their own personal experiences.
  • Students will be able to identify and explain how theories are challenged and defended in different areas of human inquiry.
  • Students should be able to formulate a point of view on the intersection of science, religion, politics, and other forms of culture.
  • Students should develop imaginative and conceptual skills needed to compare and evaluate alternative worldviews.

Behavioral, Social, or Cultural Perspectives:

Students should understand the social context within which they live, and understand how the social dynamics of human behavior and the structures of social institutions influence beliefs and actions.

  • Students should be able to understand the dynamics of human behavior in social interactions.  They should recognize the fundamental factors that shape themselves in relationship to others.
  • Students should understand the nature of human social relationships.  They should know how people construct relationships within family, schools, work, and communities.
  • Students should be able to understand how major social institutions organize and regulate social life, and allocate resources according to prevailing and alternate cultural values. They should be able to examine the balance of collective and individual interests and examine how social systems and cultural values are used to perpetuate patterns of privilege and inequality.
  • Students should be able to analyze the impact of major social institutions such as the family, economy, education, government, and religion.
  • Students should be able to gather information, analyze data, and draw conclusions in selected areas of the social sciences.

Social Change in Historical Perspective:

Students should understand how social contexts change over time and how human events have been, and continue to be, shaped by social and historical forces.

  • Students should acquire an informed and critical understanding of change in societies. They should understand broad patterns of social development in pre-modern and modern societies.
  • Students should appreciate the wide range of actors; women and men, elites and ordinary people, classes and ethnic groups; and their role in social change.
  • Students should understand how historical information is acquired and relevant hypotheses confirmed or disconfirmed. They should gain skills in comprehending both secondary works and primary sources, and develop a fluid and effective style of writing and speaking about social change.

Natural Science:

Students should understand the process of scientific investigation and the major features of scientific reasoning as they develop a selected, substantive knowledge of basic natural science content.

  • Students should be able to understand distinctive ways in which information is acquired in the natural sciences. They will be able to appreciate differences between basic and applied research in natural science.
  • Students will be able to understand the concept of “theory” and the use of models in natural science.  They will be able to gain familiarity with the process of hypothesis testing as applied to investigations conducted by natural scientists.
  • Students will be able to explain how the basic natural sciences interface with one another.
  • Students will be able to understand how modern societies are constructed on an infrastructure of technological and scientific advances and be familiar with landmark discoveries that shaped at least one natural science discipline.  They will understand how natural scientists evaluate social problems and formulate ethical solutions that incorporate scientific reasoning and the application of appropriate scientific principles.
  • Students should acquire a substantive body of factual natural science knowledge, principles, and concepts, including proper use of scientific terminology and vocabulary.

Quantitative Reasoning:

Students should understand quantitative reasoning so they can respond effectively to claims deriving from quantitative arguments.

  • Students will understand how real-world problems and social issues can be analyzed using the power and rigor of quantitative methods while also learning to recognize and articulate the limitations of these methods.
  • Students will be able to do all of the following: evaluate, interpret, and draw inferences from mathematical models such as algorithms, formulas, graphs, and tables.
  • Students will be able to use quantitative methods (such as algebra, geometry, statistics and computation) to solve problems.
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