The Essentials: Call for Participation

In an effort to move forward the work done during the faculty retreats in August 2012 and 2013, the Center for Innovative Pedagogy is issuing a Call for Proposals for pilot projects which focus on unique approaches to developing essential liberal arts skills across the curriculum and throughout a student’s experience at Kenyon.  Proposals are due on January 27th, 2014.  The CIP Advisory Board will review proposals shortly thereafter.  In this final round of funding, we are expanding the call to consider liberal arts skills not listed among the original six "Essentials." Please see the announcement below and feel free to contact Joe Murphy,, with any questions.


Background: The 2012 faculty retreat focused on six essential skills identified by working groups in the 2010 retreat. These skills – geography and interpretation of spatial phenomena; languages and cultural engagement; oral expression; quantitative literacy; visual literacy; and writing – should be integrated and developed through the liberal arts curriculum. Reports from each of these six groups are available on the CIP website. Subsequent discussions have included other skills which may be essential for all liberal arts graduates.

In an effort to build on this work and as part of our larger effort to review and re-assess our curriculum, the CIP is seeking proposals to develop and share new pedagogical strategies to increase our students’ mastery of these essential skills OR skills which are not among the six skills considered in 2012.

Essentials Pilot Projects: The CIP invites proposals from interdepartmental teams for unique approaches to developing essential skills across the curriculum and throughout a student’s experience at Kenyon. Grant activities must be finished by December 2014.

Proposals should explicitly address teaching an essential skill in a way which reaches across the curriculum; for this reason preference will be shown to interdepartmental groupsTeams are encouraged to explore skills which are not among the six skills considered in 2012; such proposals must articulate how the skill is applicable across departments and divisions.

Projects might include:

 * Comparing learning outcomes between sections of a course with different levels of emphasis on an essential skill.
 * Developing a “first-year” course which focuses on one or more essential skills.
 * Developing a library of teaching tools and techniques related to an essential skill (such as a set of rubrics, sample lessons, or teaching demonstration videos, or a guide to useful research on teaching the skill).
 * Developing models to increase peer support at all levels of the curriculum for the essential skills.
 * Participating in a “learning community” of faculty members investigating how the skill is taught and brainstorming approaches for their own courses.

The CIP website lists the Essentials Pilot Project grants made in previous rounds of funding, with reports from finished projects.

Expectations: All grantees will provide a report on their project, to be published on the Center for Innovative Pedagogy website. Grantees are encouraged to issue shorter progress reports during the year, rather than wait to issue a single large final report. Each grantee will also present work at a public discussion at least once in the 2013-4 academic year. (The CIP will assist with scheduling.) Proposals must explicitly address campus-wide dissemination plans.

Deadline for Proposals and Notification of Acceptance: The Advisory Board for the Center for Innovative Pedagogy will review proposals. Proposals will be evaluated on their feasibility, clear connection to an essential liberal arts skill, and potential for cross-campus impact. The deadline for consideration is January 27th, 2014. We expect to send notifications of acceptance within about two weeks.

Proposal Format: Proposals should be no more than 3 pages (1500 words). (Proposals suggesting a skill not among the original six skills may take an additional half-page to explain its cross-campus relevance.) A separate proposed budget should also be included; faculty stipends may not exceed $500 per person. Stipends should reflect individual contributions to the project. Clearly indicate the essential skill the proposal will focus on; the participants in the interdepartmental team; the specific activities planned; and the anticipated outcome. Submit the grant cover sheet and proposal narrative electronically to Joe Murphy,

Questions: Please contact Joe Murphy ( or X5120) at the Center for Innovative Pedagogy.