I posted this in Google + (the latest new webby thing) and realised that I’m neglecting my blogs even more now that there are so many places to share links and ideas online, where 100′s or even 1000′s of eyeballs might be. But, this one is quite important…
Yesterday, ACE published Estelle Morris’ paper on how ACE can embrace needs of MLAs. The Museums Association has set up a survey to ask for views about it, and what ACE can do to address the professional needs of the museum sector in particular.
What do you think of Estelle’s report? I think it’s very warm and considerate, but not nearly detailed and comprehensive enough. It’s like an introduction to a meeting, outlining a few principles, but not setting out the practical tasks to be achieved.
There are several omissions. For one example, she addresses museums and libraries, mainly connoting them as community centres, but doesn’t address archives and archiving. In the digital age, museums and libraries are all archives too. I’d be really grateful to know what you think, whether as a comment here, or on Google +.
- As a central guideline teach disciplines rigorously in introductory courses together with a set of parallel seminars devoted to complex real life problems that transcend disciplinary boundaries.
- Teach knowledge in its social, cultural and political contexts. Teach not just the factual subject matter, but highlight the challenges, open questions and uncertainties of each discipline.
- Create awareness of the great problems humanity is facing (hunger, poverty, public health, sustainability, climate change, water resources, security, etc.) and show that no single discipline can adequately address any of them.
- Use these challenges to demonstrate and rigorously practice interdisciplinarity, avoiding the dangers of interdisciplinary dilettantism.
- Treat knowledge historically and examine critically how it is generated, acquired, and used. Emphasize that different cultures have their own traditions and different ways of knowing. Do not treat knowledge as static and embedded in a fixed canon.
- Provide all students with a fundamental understanding of the basics of the natural and the social sciences, as well as the humanities. Emphasize and illustrate the connections between these traditions of knowledge.
- Engage with the world’s complexity and messiness. This applies to the sciences as much as to the social, political and cultural dimensions of the world. Such an engagement will contribute to the education of concerned citizens.
- Emphasize a broad and inclusive evolutionary mode of thinking in all areas of the curriculum.
- Familiarize students with non-linear phenomena in all areas of knowledge.
- Fuse theory and analytic rigor with practice and the application of knowledge to real-world problems.
- Rethink the implications of modern communication and information technologies for education and the architecture of the university.