General Education in Higher Education is Critical for Well-Rounded Learning

General Education in Higher Education is Critical for Well-Rounded Learning

September 18, 20202 min read

As part of Southern Utah University's Integrated General Education initiative, Dr. Kris Phillips, associate professor of philosophy, and Dr. Lindsey Roper, assistant professor of biology, have created a general education course like no other. 

Talkin' 'Bout Hard Times: The Philosophy and Physiology of Sports Entertainment, is a general education course examining professional wrestling through a philosophical and biological lens. Topics will range from class struggle to complicated injuries. The professors are also planning on engaging the class in meaningful field experiences, guest lectures, and an exciting final project that involves creating a wrestling avatar.

This course came to fruition after the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) choose up Dr. Phillips and Dr. Roper’s course proposal and offered them a grant. The pair then attended a CETL workshop to identify best practices, build a tentative syllabus, and work up the curriculum paperwork to build their course. But the real excitement for this course will take place in the classroom, immersed in the content.

Dr Phillips offers two key takeaways from the project: 

First, we want to highlight that the prevailing notion that general education is something to “get out of the way” or is an obstacle in the way of getting to one’s major is mistaken. General education is critical for a well-rounded education, and can be both fun and fascinating if you’re willing to take risks and try new things.

Second, with careful scrutiny, we can learn from the least likely of sources. Professional wrestling has a stigma surrounding it – and it’s not entirely unearned. But despite the shortcomings of some sports athletes, promotions, and so on, there is a surprising opportunity to explore social, biological and generally human topics in-depth."

Dr. Phillips is a co-editor of Arrested Development and Philosophy, and has published on the history of neuroscience; his primary research interests lie in early modern philosophy. He is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit his profile.

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