The Essentials

At the 2010 faculty retreat, we spent a lot of time talking about intellectual capacities which cut across departmental lines. How can we develop those capacities in every Kenyon graduate? How can we coordinate our efforts to do so? And how can we consider progress in those skills over the course of a Kenyon education? The Essentials project was designed to support these conversations.

2012 and 2013 Retreats

Reports from the 2012 Retreat

These reports were written over the summer of 2012 by 51 faculty members, 3 librarians, and 3 administrative staff members who divided into 6 groups, each investigating one of these skills. The groups met face-to-face and over email to create definitions of the topics, concepts of how they might be treated as “basic” and “advanced” skills, and possible approaches to teaching these skills. These are the revised reports, reflecting discussion during the August 2012 faculty retreat.

Course Goals Inventory

One outcome of the 2012 retreat was a request for data showing where in the curriculum these skills are already being taught. In response to this request, the Center for Innovative Pedagogy surveyed the Kenyon faculty about their calendar year 2012 courses. The survey asked whether and how much each course was structured to help students develop in a set of particular abilities. These skills were drawn from the reports of the retreat working groups, and from the official collegiate learning goals. 

2013 Retreat: Approaches to Liberal Education

During the 2012-13 academic year, a committee of faculty considered our curricular goals -- what are the attributes of a liberally educated person in the twenty-first century? -- as well as a discussion of curricular structures appropriate to Kenyon that may achieve those goals. As part of their work, they produced the above three heuristic curricula which look at different possible approaches to the question, organized a faculty retreat in August 2013, and issued the above final report. Further reading from the 2013 faculty retreat is available.

Essentials Pilot Projects

We invite proposals from the faculty for unique approaches to developing the six Essential skills across the curriculum and throughout a student’s experience at Kenyon. Please see the 2013-14 CFP for more details.

Proposals are reviewed by the CIP Advisory Board. In 2012-13, we awarded 9 grants to a total of 50 faculty members:

  • Sarah Blick, Judy Holdener, Timothy Sullivan, Andrew Niemiec, Yan Zhou: 3D printing as Visual Literacy and Geospatial Thinking[Final Report Available]

  • Tom Karako, Marla Kohlman: Constitutional Debates as Oral Expression.

  • David Rowe, Pamela Camerra-Rowe, Ruth Dunnell, Ivonne García, Chris Gillen, Tom Hawks, John Hofferberth, Dane Heuchemer, Kim McMullen, Ted Mason, Pashmina Murthy, Wade Powell, Patricia Richards, Clara Roman-Odio, Reggie Sanders, Paula Turner, Kristen Van Ausdall, Celso Villegas: Building an Analytical Writing Faculty Group.

  • Sarah Murnen, Katie Corker, Dana Krieg: Creating Online Statistical Review Modules with Kenyon Researchers’ Own Data. [Final Report Available]

  • Irene López, Ivonne M. García, Katherine Hedeen, Clara Román-Odio, Karen Snouffer: 2-day seminar in Spring 2014 on Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. [Final Report Available]

  • Harry Itagaki, Sarah Blick, Siobhan Fennessy, Patricia Richards, Greg Spaid, Stephen Volz: First-Year Seminars Using Personal Journeys to Teach Geography. [Final Report Available]

  • Andrea White: Building Quantitative Literacy by Executing, Graphing and Presenting Single-Subject Research Designs. [Final Report Available]

  • Sam Pack and Claudia Esslinger: Ethnofiction as Visual Literacy. [Final Report Available]

  • Carol Schumacher, Nuh Aydin, Shawn Farnell, Brad Hartlaub, Judy Holdener, Brian Jones, Bob Milnikel, Elly Smith, Marie Snipes, Jan Kmetko, Benjamin Schumacher, Paula Turner, Harry Itagaki, Sheryl Hemkin, Irene López: Flipping the classroom to improve quantitative reasoning. 

In 2013-14, we awarded 5 grants to a total of 60 faculty members:
  • Read Baldwin, Jon Chun, Bob Mauck, and Jamie Keller: The Kenyon Initiative for Innovation and Design.
  • Pierre Dairon, Mary Jane Cowles, Katherine Elkins, Mortimer Guiney, Thomas Hawks, Katherine Hedeen, Travis Landry, Theodore Mason, Jesse Matz, Pashmina Murthy, Victor Rodriguez-­Nunez, Marta Sierra, and Chengjuan Sun: Course Design Retreat - Collaborative (Re)creation of Courses for the CWL Concentration and Languages and Culture Engagement. [Final Report Available] [Supporting Materials Available]

  • David Rowe, Pamela Camerra-Rowe, Ruth Dunnell, Ivonne García, Chris Gillen, Tom Hawks, Dane Heuchemer, Kim McMullen, Ted Mason, Pashmina Murthy, Wade Powell, Patricia Richards, Clara Roman-Odio, Reggie Sanders, Karen Snouffer, Paula Turner, Kristen Van Ausdall, and Celso Villegas: Integrating Analytical Writing into the Kenyon Curriculum. [Final Report Available]

  • Drew Kerkhoff, Chris Bickford, Katie Corker, Paul Curran, Abbie Erler, Erika Farfan, Siobhan Fennessy, Simon Garcia, Chris Gillen, PJ Glandon, Brad Hartlaub, Bob Mauck, Jen Smith, and Paula Turner: Using R in the QR: Incorporating professional grade open-source statistical computing tools into the undergraduate curriculum. [Final Report Available]

  • David Suggs, Sylvie Coulibaly, Ennis Edmonds, Bruce Hardy, Chris Kennerly, Marla Kohlman, Irene López, Theodore Mason, Jr., Hewlet G. McFarlane, Glenn McNair, Kimmarie Murphy, Peter Rutkoff, Jené Schoenfeld, Zahida Sherman, Jon Tazewell, Reginald Sanders, Stephen Volz, Ric Sheffield, and Piko Ewoodzie: Teaching African Diaspora Studies Through Visual Media:

    Exploring Pedagogical and Methodological Issues. [Final Report Available]

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