Students often enter college searching for a “right” or “wrong” answer in their liberal studies classes. One of the goals of FYS is to force students into the ambiguous space often surrounding complex issues. The concepts we will cover in FYS can be viewed from multiple “lenses” and all of these viewpoints help us more deeply understand the content. To this end, we will invite Visiting Scholars into our classrooms to present their lens on the topic and to be available for student questions. These scholars will help reinforce the concept of a multiplicity of views instead of a dualistic approach to knowledge construction.
The Visiting Scholar model carries the following intentions:
- demonstrate the value of a diverse, Liberal Studies education
- introduce thinkers to faculty on campus, across disciplines
- introduce thinkers to other disciplinary ways of considering course questions
- introduce thinkers to a range of possible fields of study and/or majors
- offer a holistic approach to critical thought surrounding course questions
- engage critically with the Visiting Scholar’s approach to course questions
Criteria for these engagements may include the completion of a text assignment in preparation for meeting with a visiting scholar to contextualize the discussion. Following the visit, Thinkers will engage in collaborative work to synthesize, evaluate and create/present new understandings based on the Visiting Scholar’s presentation and how it relates to the context of the course.