Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Welcome and Introduction

At St. Lawrence University, it is part of the faculty culture to talk with each other about the ideals of liberal education. At the end of the academic year, faculty and staff gather for a three-day event called "May Faculty College," to share with each other their newest ideas, their most compelling questions, and their best teaching practices.

I always find May Faculty College inspiring. At the end, I have piles of notes about what I have newly learned about St. Lawrence, about our students, and about teaching. I try out my new ideas in my teaching the following year, and sometimes then report on what I have learned at the next May Faculty College.

This year during a May Faculty College session on academic blogging, I had the idea of starting a blog to share some of my own questions, insights, concerns, and ideas about liberal education. What's nice about the blogging format is that others can comment if they are so inspired. Blogging is a way of sharing ideas that invites further dialogue. And so I would like to invite you to feel free to join the conversations that hopefully will emerge.

A lot of blogs remain relatively unnoticed, hiding in plain view, so to speak, and that may well be the fate of this one as well. But still, I find a journalling format a helpful way to log my own ideas and questions, and I like the idea of sharing in case others may find these thoughts helpful.

The question of the role of liberal education in today's world is an important one. Establishing yet another little corner of the web as a space to talk further about this may have some value.