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Bloomington Faculty Council brainstorms ways to improve IU general education curriculum


Professor Kelly Williams speaks Dec. 3 in a roundtable discussion at the Bloomington Faculty Council meeting in Franklin Hall. Kelly is an assistant professor of special education in the School of Education. Izzy Myszak

Bloomington Faculty Council met Tuesday to discuss ways to change the current general education program at IU.

The council was split into 10tables of seven to eight people. Students and faculty outside the council were invited to join the discussions.

The discussion lasted about 40 minutes. Representatives from each table shared their ideas for the rest of the meeting.

Christi Walton, a Kelley School of Business lecturer, said the general education classes should be more interdisciplinary rather than apply to just one school or program.

“We want to make it easy to switch between majors,” Walton said.

Dan Myers, a graduate student studying geography, said there should be a requirement for students to learn about environmental sustainability and technology such as Excel and Access.

Peter Kloosterman, an IU School of Education professor, said the program should give students opportunities to take courses they might not otherwise take.

Kloosterman also said there should be improvements in the evaluation of general education course content, which was echoed among others at the meeting.

There was also debate over whether there should be an emphasis in the general education program on hard skills such as computing or soft skills such as problem-solving.

Many table representatives said general education classes should have fewer students to better meet individual needs.

The next Bloomington Faculty Council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 21.

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