Posted by Joseph Knippenberg
Jay Mathews has a very nice article in the Washington Post about Ursinus Colleges "Common Intellectual Experience" or freshman core course. My old James Madison College acquaintance Paul Stern is prominently featured, as well he should be.
Ursinus course seems to have evolved in much the same way as the current version of Oglethorpes core curriculum did. I describe the development of Oglethorpes core in this paper.
It sounds very commendable - but, are we really at the point where such a brief introduction to the classics is really an innovative program? It frightens me to think of what is happening at other colleges.
Im a little bit more of a "glass half full" guy; plus, the focus seemed to be on the early common experience, not just "the classics". Get em early, get em excited, I say. None of the foregoing is intended to paint a rosy picture of the contemporary academic scene, of course. But point to candles as well as curse the darkness.
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