Question: Is English 1101 a General Education course?
General Education means, in the simplest sense, education that covers a broad range of topics and approaches. General Education should connect students to the outside world, thus, General Education is real–and really useful–education. General Education is the connective tissue between degree courses. It is also the way that courses share ways of thinking. General Education helps diminish the boundaries that sometimes block one course from another, say a course in biology from a course in architecture. But both such courses share a host of skills and values, such as critical thinking, experimentation, revision, and ethics.
Answer: Yes, English 1101 is a General Education course because we focus on reading, writing, and critical thinking–three skills necessary in nearly all courses at City Tech, and necessary in all professions.
BOOKS: My favorite book on General Education is by CUNY professor Judith Summerfield titled Reclaiming the Public University: Conversations on General and Liberal Education (Peter Lang 2007), Summerfield lays out many ideas on General Education. Especially helpful for me is the first essay: “The Project: Common/Uncommon Ground” (pages 3-30). Summerfield does an admirable job of unfolding the history of Gen Ed at CUNY. Her essay is essential reading for anybody new to CUNY or anybody who wants to learn more about it.
VIDEO: This video by Michael Wesch titled “The Web is us/ing Us,” helps us to reflect on the connections between digital information and how we learn. I think it this work helps students think about digital information and is directly related to General Education. And perhaps we can call digital General Education ” Gen Ed 2.0″