- Editor's Notes
Welcome to the Journal of General Education, Volume 54, Issue 1. We begin this volume by viewing general education through several different lenses that can illuminate and focus our understanding. This issue contains articles that range from seeing general education as part and parcel of organizational culture to seeing how students in a specific general education course construct identities in relation to course texts.
In her article titled "General Education Reform as Organizational Change: The Importance of Integrating Cultural and Structural Change," Susan Awbry provides a lens for us to think about general education reform as organizational change. She highlights the social and cultural elements that can enhance or impede change efforts and describes different models that can help change agents in their quest for sustained and sustainable reform. Melanie Parker, in her article titled "Placement, Retention, and Success: A Longitudinal Study of Mathematics and Retention," focuses her lens on general education mathematics requirements. She explores the links between knowledge of mathematics and retention in college. In "History, Self-Awareness, and the Core Curriculum," Thomas Rodgers focuses on survey courses in a single discipline: history. In particular, he looks at professorial goals in developing the content for these courses. He argues that core courses should be a meeting of student and scholar; the medium should not be, according to Rodgers, the message. Ann Dalke, in "The Grace of Revision, the Profit of 'Unconscious Cerebration,' or What Happened When Teaching the Canon Became Child's Play," brings the perspective of looking at teaching and learning in an American literature course. She describes what occurs during a "Big Books" course that is co-created and student directed, as student engage in an ongoing, and sometime electronic, dialogue.
I hope you will enjoy this special issue and that in reading these important works, you will be inspired to make your own contributions to the Journal of General Education!