Learning for Life, Vocation and Responsible Citizenship
Education matters. But what does this statement really mean? For the 2014-15 academic year, Bluffton University faculty, staff and students will tackle this important question across the full range of personal, societal and global issues.
Author of summer reading to speak at opening convocation
We are particularly pleased that Ken Bain will be our convocation speaker on Aug. 28. Because of his schedule, convocation is shifted to THURSDAY, Aug. 28. First-year students will be reading Bain's What the Best College Students Do as their summer reading text. Bluffton faculty have been studying Bain's What the Best College Teachers Do over the past year. A faculty workshop with Bain will likely be held on Thursday afternoon.
Civic Engagement Theme
Throughout academic year 2014-15, we will discuss the conditions that best support learning and the obstacles to significant learning. Then we will think together how we can help all people experience the benefits of learning. For instance, what factors currently determine the value of a formal education—and are they the right ones or do we need alternatives? What is the relationship between learning, employment and professional success? Why is public investment in education declining, and what level of investment is required to achieve individual, community and national objectives? Is a college education worth it? What does it mean to be an educated citizen? What is the impact of disparities in access to quality education in the U.S. and around the world on social and economic inequality? We welcome broad participation as we seek to learn for life as well as vocation.
Kate Spike will be our civic engagement theme lecturer this year. Her presentation title is: “Living and Learning in the Contact Zone.” As Kate explains in her proposal, “the term ‘contact zone’ refers to any time two cultures and/or languages come into contact with one another.” In Kate’s presentation she will demonstrate that “it is in this alternating discomfort, excitement, and confusion of the contact zone that we find ourselves stretched and learning.” She will give her presentation at the Presidential Scholarship Competition in January and at the civic engagement forum in March.