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Reviewing the Achievements of "Research and Innovation Project for General Education and Liberal Arts Courses"

    The situation in the 21st century is so complicated that school training focusing solely on a specific field is not enough for students anymore. NTU emphasizes a general and liberal arts education in order to help students acquire knowledge, inspire their vision and develop their critical thinking skills. Furthermore, by taking general education and liberal arts courses, students can foster their abilities to solve difficult and in-depth problems. Due to these advantages, general education and liberal arts course are viewed as the core education of universities and the global education trend.

    In accordance with this academic trend, the NTU Commission for General Education drew up "Research and Innovation Project for General Education and Liberal Arts Courses." After discussion, NTU decided to use the "Core Curriculum Model." The characteristic of this model is raise the importance and course credits of liberal arts courses. In addition, the coverage of new liberal courses is broader than before, including "Literature and Art", "Thinking about History", "Thinking about Philosophy and Morality", "Civil Consciousness and Social Analysis", "Material Sciences", "Life Sciences", "Analysis and Literacy of Logic, Quantity and Mathematics", and "World Culture".

    The core curriculum reflects the development and integration of courses from different fields. In addition, students learn how to dig deeper by taking multiple courses in related fields. In this way, they broaden their point of view, and cultivate interest in life-long learning.

    In order to implement the "core curriculum" plan more efficiently and enhance the quality of the liberal artseducation, NTU began the "Innovative Plan of Liberal Education". This new plan has established a teaching assistants system. Teaching assistants are responsible for connecting teachers and students. They also lead group discussions and help teachers manage administrative matters. Teaching assistants also help facilitate communication between teachers and students so that the learning process is greatly improved.

    At the end of the semester, distinguished liberal arts courses are selected according to the rate of attendance, the content and intention of the course, the efficiency of teaching assistant, the success of the group discussion, and the website. Five distinguished courses were elected in the spring semester of 2005. They are "Interpretation and Analysis of Chinese and English Poetry", "Turning Points In History", "Physics and Human Civilization", "Evolution and Extinction Of Life Through Time" and "Plants and Food". The mutual characteristic of these courses is that they practically and successfully realize the educational goals for a liberal arts course – they give students knowledge at the same time that they encourage students to think on their own.

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Copyright 2006 NTU Secretariat

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