TRENTON STATE COLLEGE
From: "Understanding Humanity: The Interdisciplinary Core at Trenton State College"

To appreciate the design and goals of the interdisciplinary core, it needs to be seen in the context of [Trenton State's] general education program as a whole.

Part I, "Intellectual Skills," includes six semester hours of rhetoric (combining writing, speaking, and critical thinking) and mathematics. . . . is the three-semester (nine semester hours) core sequence of multicultural, interdisciplinary courses entitled "Understanding Humanity" which is taken by all students in their freshman and sophomore years. These courses combine large group lectures or video productions (to take advantage of special faculty expertise) with weekly seminars (to promote active learning and close faculty student interaction).

Part III, "Perspectives on the World," the largest part of the new program (26 semester hours) is intended to familiarize students with the distinctive bodies of knowledge and methodologies of specific disciplines. . . . independent thinking about shared learning experiences. Films, dramatic readings, musical performances, and similar presentations are used to enrich course content. . . .

The title and theme of the core . . . has been chosen because of its breadth, challenge, and importance. Like the Psalmist in the Bible who asked of God, "What is man that thou are mindful of him?" we should still puzzle today over our place in the scheme of things. . .

Although the design of the core takes account of recent debates over the canon, it is not addressed to those debates. The topics and readings in each core course are selected to meet the shared educational needs of our own community of learners at Trenton State College. . . . We need to be familiar with works and ideas that have helped to shape this complex union of native and immigrant peoples. . We need knowledge and appreciation of other cultures and civilizations. . . We need a critical understanding of gender issues. . . We need to study timely as well as timeless works.

IDSC 101: Humanity: Ideas and Ideals. This course introduces students to theories, concepts, and interpretations of humanity and human nature. . . . Among the authors read are Isabel Allende, Shakespeare, Aldous Huxley, Elie Weisel, Aristotle, Bentham, Nietzche, Sartre, Pascal, . . . [and] Woolf.

IDSC 201: Change in Societies. This course is designed to acquaint students with patterns and sources for change in societies throughout human history. . . . Students are asked to examine case studies in world history which reflect upon diversity and common threads of human experience. Among the authors read are: Kevin Reilly, Carlos Fuentes, Leon Portila, Gustave Flaubert, Al-Jabarti, . . . . and Flora.

IDSC 252: Society, Ethics, and Technology. This course introduces students to the nature of technology and to the social and ethical implications of various technological disciplines. . . Among the authors read are: Richard Feynman, Michael LeBoeuf, .. Jane Bosveld, Jacques Ellul, ... Anna Maria Gillis...