A Faculty Review Committee may also consider the broader role of a major in the project of liberal education. A “good major”
- develops a cognitive “home” from which to begin to interpret the rest of the world – a base of experiences and knowledge, and fluency with an effective vocabulary and methods of interpreting evidence, in relation to which unfamiliar subjects may become meaningful.
- develops the capacity for recognizing and interpreting connections, or “for applying learning from one context to another.”
- develops the capacity for analyzing evidence and arguments, and interpreting experiences.
- develops an understanding of contingencies that condition knowledge, of the origins and histories of ideas and methods.
- includes “reflexivity” – the experience of returning to something learned in the past to reexamine it in light of further learning.
- includes learning in community, both by situating new knowledge with respect to the expertise of others, and by promoting the role of conversation in the learning process.
- cultivates “the capacity for relating academic learning to the wider world, to public issues and personal experience.”
- includes a culminating opportunity to synthesize a student’s various experiences in the major.