deans-corner-3.pngWelcome to the College of Arts & Letters Dean's Corner, where acting Dean Elizabeth H. Simmons shares news, thoughts, and views on issues related to the arts and humanities. Here we focus on the present conditions of the liberal arts and the future steps we are taking to successfully create an environment that is innovating and inspiring.

The Good Enough Professor: On Civility 

By Elizabeth H. Simmons, September 30, 2014

While I mostly frequent Facebook in order to share quips, travel adventures and cooking snapshots with friends and family, trading articles about academic topics is also a staple. This blog post caught my eye recently and it resonated with me because it uses very accessible language to summarize so much of what we hope our students will learn in their time at university.

While some of the entries are relevant for students in my physics courses (e.g. that "uncertainty and confusion are starting points for learning"), others seem to bring out the special educational opportunities that the arts, letters, and humanities offer our students. For example, the way that literature enables us to enter another individual's viewpoint, giving a fresh perspective on events we thought we already understood. Or the way that struggling to put into words what one has learned from a piece of art involves turning a web of inchoate associations into a careful marshaling of evidence. 

I hope you'll find the post as thought provoking as I have.

Find the blog post here.