U. of Tennessee Starts Institute To Encourage Liberal-Arts Study
In an effort to enhance the quality of its applicants and the quality of education in the region it serves, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville is establishing an institute that will advance liberal-arts programs in Appalachian high schools.
The James R. Stokely Institute, supported by a $280,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is a three-year program that will develop summer seminars for high-school teachers and students from 34 counties in East Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Beginning this June, at least 20 high-school teachers from the Appalachian region will be sponsored on campus as fellows of the College of Liberal Arts, according to Lynn Champion, director of the institute.
Fellows will participate in summer seminars that will focus on the traditions and values of liberal-arts education, classroom application of critical-thinking skills, and a variety of approaches to the presentation of the sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.
"Part of the rationale is to create a working arrangement that will enable secondary-school liberal-arts teachers to learn more about college programs and college faculty to learn more about the high schools," Ms. Champion said.
To extend the links established in the summer seminars, faculty members will visit the teachers in their classrooms during the academic year, Ms. Champion says.
The institute will also "attempt to identify the most capable high-school juniors and seniors and provide them with an opportunity to explore the value of a liberal-arts education," according to Ms. Champion.
Seminars for high-school students will be designed to enhance basic skills in writing, speaking, language, computation, computer literacy, logic, ethics, esthetics, and other areas.
Classroom instruction will be enriched by intensive career counseling, academic advising, and extracurricular activities, according to Ms. Champion.
The connection between the university and the schools to promote liberal-arts education is especially important at this time, Ms. Champion noted.
"The economic deprivation of the Appalachian region, in combination with a struggling national economy, is creating a push of career education that is causing schools to place too much emphasis on making a living and not enough on the quality of life."
Seminars for teachers will be held during the summers of 1983, 1984, and 1985, and those for high- school students will be held during the summers of 1984 and 1985.--sr
Vol. 02, Issue 15