Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-x

read more

Foreword: Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century

Bob Kerrey

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xviii

Debates in America have become distressingly binary. Something is either good or it is bad. You are either for it or against it. Anything in the middle is considered a weak alternative unworthy of consideration by principled humans. Complex solutions to complex problems get ignored. ...

read more

Preface

Ben Nelson

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xix-xxiv

The Minerva journey has been both long and short. For an institution born in Silicon Valley, almost everything about Minerva’s timeline appears to be unfolding in slow motion. As Minerva’s founder, I spent eighteen months, beginning in September 2010, working on the idea before the initial funding was secured. ...

read more

Part I: What We Teach and Why

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-4

Minerva can do things that established universities can only dream of doing because we can push the reset button on higher education, start from scratch, and ensure that every decision is aligned with first principles. These advantages are nowhere more evident than in the curriculum. ...

read more

1. Why We Need a New Kind of Higher Education

Stephen M. Kosslyn, Ben Nelson

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 5-18

Minerva was born out of the intersection of two core beliefs. The first is that we are facing a dire, cross-sector, global shortage of effective leaders. The second is that education, and specifically higher education, must play a critical role in solving this problem. It is almost a cliché that education is crucial to the future of humanity. ...

read more

2. Practical Knowledge

Stephen M. Kosslyn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 19-44

Many believe that the primary goal of universities is to produce educated citizens. What does it mean to be an educated person in the twenty-first century?
Minerva’s response to this question is unusual. ...

read more

3. Foundations of the Curriculum

Ben Nelson, Stephen M. Kosslyn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 45-56

Minerva was conceived more than twenty years ago as a curricular reform plan for the University of Pennsylvania, with the goal of bringing Benjamin Franklin’s ideals to the twenty-first century. True to its roots, Minerva is a systematic rethinking of every aspect of the liberal arts curriculum. A healthy debate exists over what a liberal arts curriculum really is ...

read more

4. A New Look at General Education

Joshua Fost

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 57-72

The organization of this book reflects our conception of curriculum and pedagogy as existing in a two-dimensional space: what to teach and how to teach. As described in chapter 2, what we teach in our general education program is a set of habits of mind and foundational concepts—the HCs—that span four core competencies: ...

read more

5. Multimodal Communications and Effective Communication

Judith C. Brown, Kara Gardner, Daniel J. Levitin

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 73-86

One of the four core competencies at the heart of Minerva’s curriculum is the ability to communicate effectively. It is not enough to think critically and creatively. One also must be able to communicate the result of that thinking to others and be able to persuade them of its merit, ...

read more

6. Formal Analyses and Critical Thinking

John Levitt, Richard Holman, Rena Levitt, Eric Bonabeau

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 87-96

As citizens of a highly technological society, we are constantly bombarded with claims, data, and facts that we should analyze and integrate into our decision-making process. There are myriad examples of the need for this process. An illustrative example is climate change, ...

read more

7. Empirical Analyses and Creative Thinking

Megan Gahl, Vicki Chandler

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 97-108

Minerva’s Empirical Analyses cornerstone course focuses on how to apply empirical thinking and analysis creatively by taking methodology that is often implicit in science and making it explicit and broadly applicable across all fields. Class sessions address skills and knowledge that underlie problem solving, the scientific method, bias, ...

read more

8. Complex Systems and Effective Interaction

James Genone, Ian Van Buskirk

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 109-120

It is a platitude to say that in an increasingly complex world, leaders and innovators must interact effectively with others to accomplish their goals. But what does the complexity of the contemporary world really amount to? And how exactly is this complexity relevant to effective social interaction? ...

read more

9. A New Look at Majors and Concentrations

Vicki Chandler, Stephen M. Kosslyn, James Genone

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 121-134

In formulating Minerva’s majors and concentrations, we were faced with both a unique opportunity and an enormous challenge: starting with a blank page, we had to design a curriculum from scratch. This required us to step back and ask a simple question: What will students need to succeed in their chosen fields? We have spent years working on the answer, ...

read more

Part II: How We Teach

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 135-138

One of the advantages of starting from scratch in designing Minerva’s curriculum is that we were able to create and use pedagogical techniques that promote learning, without facing resistance from entrenched interests, traditions, or legacy practices. A vast empirical literature indicates that lectures, the most traditional of pedagogical techniques, ...

read more

10. Unlearning to Learn

Stephen M. Kosslyn, Robin B. Goldberg, Teri Cannon

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 139-148

We at Minerva are pressing the reset button on higher education. We are in the unique situation of having no prior stakeholders, no legacy expectations, and no strong established history to bind us. Instead we can take a step back and ask, Given what we know about the science of learning, what students need to know to succeed in the twenty-first century, ...

read more

11. The Science of Learning: Mechanisms and Principles

Stephen M. Kosslyn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 149-164

The science of learning encompasses findings in a wide range of areas, including discoveries about how humans perceive, organize, and store information and then subsequently retrieve that information from memory. We’ve learned a tremendous amount about how humans process and store information, ...

read more

12. Fully Active Learning

Joshua Fost, Rena Levitt, Stephen M. Kosslyn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 165-178

Minerva is faced with a unique challenge because all classes are taught in real time, as synchronous seminars delivered on the computer. We are competing against all the distractions the Internet has to offer: Twitter, Facebook, texting, e-mail, and their electronic cousins. No one is looking over the shoulders of our students, ...

read more

13. A New Team-Teaching Approach to Structured Learning

Joshua Fost, Vicki Chandler, Kara Gardner, Allison Gale

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 179-192

Our commitment to the science of learning—and to class quality—requires a high degree of consistency across different sections of a course. At the same time, there are variables: instructors and students have varied expertise and interests, and no two conversations or class activities ever unfold in exactly the same way. ...

read more

14. Teaching from Lesson Plans

Vicki Chandler, Stephen M. Kosslyn, Richard Holman, James Genone

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 193-202

Lesson plans (LPs) at Minerva are a crucial bridge between the syllabus and the classroom. Because Minerva’s classes are all small seminars, multiple sections are the norm. Following a model that has been used successfully for decades at Harvard Business School and in the Columbia University core program, all faculty who teach the same course use the same lesson plan. ...

read more

15. The Active Learning Forum

Jonathan Katzman, Matt Regan, Ari Bader-Natal

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 203-220

As we began work on the Active Learning Forum (ALF), we not only had to work with Minerva’s academic team to determine how best to teach our students, we also had to design a learning experience that far exceeded what students imagine takes place in a traditional university. ...

read more

16. Building Lesson Plans for Twenty-First-Century Active Learning

Ari Bader-Natal, Joshua Fost, James Genone

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 221-238

During the first three years at Minerva, all courses rely on lesson plans, and all faculty teaching sections of the same course share the same lesson plan (the method for achieving congruence is described in chapter 14). We initially wrote these lesson plans with standard document-editing tools, but as the need to scale up the number of courses became more acute, ...

read more

17. Assessing Student Learning

Rena Levitt, Ari Bader-Natal, Vicki Chandler

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 239-252

In his 2007 article “Counting and Recounting: Assessment and the Quest for Accountability,” Lee Shulman makes the following observation: “The story told by an assessment is thus ultimately a function of the dimensions of measurement that determine the possible directions the narrative might take. ...

read more

Part III: Creating a New Institution

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 253-254

A university education is more than what one learns in classes. Minerva aspires to be more than simply a source of great skills and knowledge; we also want to create the conditions that will nurture the students’ social and emotional lives, that will help them to mature and develop into fine human beings. ...

read more

18. Building a New Brand

Ayo Seligman, Robin B. Goldberg

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 255-264

As the lunch hour approached on January 21, 2013, the office was almost empty and uncharacteristically quiet. Although we were still a small team at that point, lunchtime was typically spent exuberantly discussing the grand vision we were working to realize. The near-emptiness could be attributed to the fact that it was a holiday—the day we celebrate the life ...

read more

19. Global Outreach: Communicating a New Vision

Kenn Ross, Robin B. Goldberg

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 265-276

A concerted effort to align outreach and communication is necessary to build awareness and appreciation for something new and different. This is especially true for Minerva, as we try to balance building broad key stakeholder awareness with targeting and engaging those select students who might qualify for the Minerva program. ...

read more

20. An Admissions Process for the Twenty-First Century

Neagheen Homaifar, Ben Nelson, Stephen M. Kosslyn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 277-292

It is a truism that with global markets, climate change, migration, and dozens of other interconnected systems, isolated communities no longer exist in the world. As part of its core mission, Minerva seeks to nurture “critical wisdom” to help our students effectively address global challenges. ...

read more

21. Multifaceted Acculturation: An Immersive, Community-Based Multicultural Education

Norian Caporale-Berkowitz, James Lyda

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 293-304

In contrast to most student bodies at U.S. colleges, Minerva does not have a majority enrollment of white American students who benefit from the inclusion of people of color, international students, and other minority groups. Rather, all students are international students and no one group is a majority. This is very much by design. ...

read more

22. Experiential Learning: The City as a Campus and Human Network

Z. Mike Wang, Robin B. Goldberg

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 305-314

If you had an opportunity to build a new university from scratch today, where would you situate it? In a city or a suburb? In one location or multiple locations? In Palo Alto? New Haven? Cambridge? Shanghai? Washington, D.C? Why? In a world becoming increasingly flat (Friedman, 2005) and in which employers clamor for global experiences ...

read more

23. A Global Community by Design

Z. Mike Wang, Sultanna Krispil

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 315-326

It is 10:01 p.m. on a crisp Sunday night, September 28, 2014. The kitchen in “851” (the nickname given to the founding year residence hall) smells of a classic American breakfast. Fresh buttermilk biscuits, creamy cheddar scrambled eggs, hothouse tomatoes and avocados from the Ferry Building farmer’s market, and thick-cut bacon—lots of bacon. ...

read more

24. Mental Health Services in a Diverse, Twenty-First-Century University

James Lyda, Norian Caporale-Berkowitz

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 327-336

As an institution focused on reinventing higher education with an emphasis on the science of learning, Minerva views student mental health as integral to the educational process. Regardless of their intellectual ability, many university students can and will experience mental health challenges that may inhibit their ability to function effectively. ...

read more

25. The Minerva Professional Development Agency

Robin B. Goldberg, Anne Kauth

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 337-348

One of the promises we make to our students is that we will prepare them to go out and make a difference in the world. We want them to be successful when they graduate, and we are committed to putting them on a trajectory better than if they had spent four years doing anything else. ...

read more

26. Accreditation: Official Recognition of a New Vision of Higher Education

Teri Cannon

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 349-362

During the past twenty years, higher education has faced both dramatic changes and challenges to its value and efficacy. This context created the conditions under which Minerva was created and sought recognition by accreditors. In this chapter we first consider the challenges that must be addressed by any new program and then address the general constraints imposed by the accreditation agencies. ...

read more

27. A Novel Business and Operating Model

Ben Nelson

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 363-376

Educating students is an expensive proposition. Minerva operates within numerous constraints that must be satisfied, and most of them require funding. Such funding is often structural, insofar as a Minerva education takes place over four years of study, two semesters per year, and requires 120 Carnegie Units to graduate. ...

read more

Afterword: For the Sake of the World

Ben Nelson, Stephen M. Kosslyn, Jonathan Katzman, Robin B. Goldberg, Teri Cannon

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 377-378

We have a confession to make: this book is meant to recruit you.
Even if Minerva exists for a thousand years, graduates some of the most influential leaders, thinkers, innovators, and transformational figures of the future, and becomes the most desirable university program in the world, ...

Appendix A: Habits of Mind and Foundational Concepts

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 379-388

Appendix B: Mission, Principles, and Practices

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 389-392

Editors and Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 393-404

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 405-431