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A Study on Current American Research Universities’ General Education Curriculum

Author: KongLingShuai
Tutor: XuHui
School: Southwestern University
Course: Comparative Education
Keywords: American research universities general education general education curriculum
CLC: G649.712
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2006
Downloads: 982
Quote: 9
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Abstract


With the development of technology and society, it is vital for world universities, especially research universities, to cultivate the talented person who possesses morals and social responsibility, not only the technician in the modern society. The American universities had developed general education early, until now already has more than 100 years history and obtained many experiences. In its developing process, American research universities played huge role and had profound influence. Now and in the future USA research universities will continue to lead the American universities’ general education. General education curriculum, the main way of general education, should get our enough attention. American research universities’ general education curriculum achieved the mature stage through the unceasing reform and development. Therefore, this research explores and analyzes the current American research universities’ general education curriculum in order to provide the model and enlightenments for our research universities’ general education curriculum reforms.This thesis has six parts:The first part explains the reasons for doing the research and introduces the present domestic and foreign research situation as well as the main concepts.The second analyzes the background of current American research universities’ general education curriculum reform. The paper holds that with the development of American 80’s economies and technology, the changing of politics and culture guiding ideology and the reform of 90’s American research universities’ undergraduate course, research universities promoted general education curriculum reform.The third mainly elaborates some implementing types and contents of several current American representative research universities’ general education curriculum. The paper holds that "core curriculum" can manifest the spirit and idea of general education mostly, but it is used limitedly because of difficult designs and implementing. Although " distribution requirements "has some flaws, it is one main kind practice form of general education because of its easily doing at present. "Free electives" has enormous risk for general universities, so it may not be implemented widely.The fourth analyzes some innovations and questions that existed in general education curriculum implementation of current American research universities. The paper holds that although American research universities’ general education curriculum obtained some changes and the innovation, research universities had to face these problems: the market and the employment’s influence, general curriculum own argument, general education curriculum teachers’ low level as well as students’ low interest if they wanted to implement general education better.The fifth forecasts some development tendencies of current American research universities’ general education curriculum. The paper proposes seven tendencies of current American research universities’ general education curriculum, believes that these tendencies will produce new general education curriculum and affect USA general education curriculum reforms.The sixth analyzes the consultation and enlightenment that our country’s research universities can draw from current American research universities’ general education curriculum. The paper holds that in the process of setting up characteristic general education curriculum system, our research universities are able to benefit from American research universities’ general education curriculum mature experience and simultaneously should think highly of questions that exist in the implementation.

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