Experiential Learning and Purpose-Centered Education Meets
Liberal Arts and Science Education:
What Can Each Do for the Other?

Paul Grobstein
Center for Science in Society
Bryn Mawr College

Notes for Discussion at
Metropolitan College of New York
21 June 2005

The Concern:

The exclusive, remote, dusty ivory tower life versus the egalitarian, enaged, practical nitty-gritty life

Finding Common Ground:

"As organisations struggle to be competitive in the global marketplace, employees who 'do as they are told' are no longer sufficient. The times require employees who think for themselves, use their judgment and make self-directed improvements, especially where their responses cannot be anticipated and scripted. Creative individuals who come up with novel and useful ideas for products, services and processes are ... of fundamental importance in the modern workplace, where innovation provides a competitive edge." Sharon Parker, Australian Graduate School of Management

"The scale and complexity of today's biomedical research problems increasingly demands that scientists move beyond the confines of their own discipline and explore new organizational models for team science ... Many scientists will continue to pursue individual research projects; however, they will be encouraged to make changes in the way they approach the scientific enterprise."Roadmap, National Institutes of Health, 2003

Be practical AND thoughtful, recognize the importance of what is around one AND imagine how it might be otherwise, take seriously what others know AND think for yourself Commit yourself to a life of progressive empowerment of yourself and others Learn what others have learned about how to do a job

Look always for things that aren't being done as well as they might Imagine ways to improve them Be willing to test your imagined improvements in practice Share your new observations/understandings with others Repeat