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Learning Goals Elements

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The Elements are perhaps our deepest connection to the liberal arts tradition, representing the broad learning our students pursue to shape themselves as multifaceted and well-informed critical thinkers. Each Element is just one facet of an interconnected approach to knowing about the world. By learning to view the world from each elemental perspective, students become critically aware and active participants in the evolution of thought and culture. While each Element brings its own perspective to knowledge, the elements combine to lead students to a greater understanding than can be achieved by each in isolation from the others.

Learning Goals for the Elements

1) Communicate in a second language
In our global, multilingual, and international society, individuals with knowledge of more than one language are able to engage dynamically among transnational and local communities. Through their study of language, students will gain cultural insights.

Students who satisfy this Element will be able to:

  • Interpret, interact, and present in the language of study at the novice level or above.
  • Use the language to investigate, explain, and reflect on the practices, products, and perspectives of the culture(s) studied.

2) Analyze social, economic or political aspects of human behavior
The human experience cannot be understood without studying social systems. This Element engages students in the exploration of social organization and structures, the behavior of groups, and/or the behavior of individuals in a social context.

Students who satisfy this Element will be able to:

  • Analyze historical or contemporary patterns of individual or group behaviors and/or the social structures in which these behaviors are embedded.
  • Use recognized disciplinary methodologies to understand human behavior.

3) Critically examine questions of power and inequity
An educated citizenry requires an understanding of the dynamics and consequences of social power and inequalities, and the relationship of these issues to the representation and production of knowledge. Through their immersion in this Element, students will become more conscientious and self-aware.

Students who satisfy this Element will be able to:

  • Recognize and discuss issues of power and inequity in diverse human societies.
  • Articulate ways that specific cultural perspectives and personal experiences shape individual reality.
  • Examine and critique cultural perspectives, including their own.

4) Engage in artistic creation
Artistic expression is universal to human experience, and creativity is essential to imagining and shaping the future. Students will pursue creative expression through the manipulation of an artistic medium - written word, performance, or visual product. Through this experience, students are empowered to develop creative works and become more critically aware makers and consumers of culture.

Students who satisfy this Element will be able to:

  • Engage in the creative process.
  • Evaluate creative works in dialogue with peers and in light of critical and cultural frameworks.
  • Communicate about the artistic process while developing strategies to further one’s creative work.

5) Interpret human experience through text, sound, visual image or performance
This Element acknowledges the value and significance of human creation and culture. Through their engagement with this Element, students will expand their awareness of the human experience.

Students who satisfy this Element will be able to:

  • Articulate questions of ongoing human significance that arise from the study of cultural products.
  • Critically analyze productions of human creativity and thought.
  • Defend their analysis using evidence and interpretation.

6) Conduct scientific inquiry
In the 21st century, responsible citizenship requires understanding the ways in which we learn about the natural world and our place in it. Scientific inquiry is a fundamental way in which we gain such knowledge.

Students who satisfy this Element will be able to:

  • Articulate an understanding of important concepts and theories about the physical or natural world.
  • Formulate and test hypotheses.
  • Analyze and interpret data.

7) Apply quantitative analyses or symbolic reasoning
The ability to use logical reasoning to solve quantitative problems and to understand the meaning of the vast amount of data that is now available is essential.  This Element explores the ways in which problems can be represented, approached, or solved through logical reasoning and the manipulation of symbols - including numeric and mathematical representation.

Students who satisfy this Element will be able to:

  • Form quantitative or symbolic models.
  • Solve problems using quantitative analyses, logical reasoning, or both.
  • Construct arguments to verify their work.
Knox College

Printed on Sunday, October 21, 2018