Emory & Henry College has been awarded a $25,000 planning grant from The Teagle Foundation in support of an effort to produce evidence-based pedagogical curricular innovations to bridge the gap between the sciences and the humanities in undergraduate education.
The funds, which are to be used in 2015, will help in the construction and marketing of The Aristotle Center for Science in the Humanities, an online resource that will include, among other features, an online global forum to enhance professional development and pedagogical strategies for college educators and information about curriculum development grants for professors.
The website also will include sample syllabi; the collection of quantitative and qualitative date about pedagogical strategies; an electronic journal devoted to challenges related to incorporating science into the humanities; and video lectures by eminent scientists explaining scientific developments and the potential impact on humanistic questions.
The Aristotle Center seeks to function as a central, easily accessible repository for educators and institutions looking to incorporate scientific advances into broader humanistic discussions at the undergraduate level.
As a result, we expect to see better connections between the humanities and sciences in undergraduate classrooms, resulting in greater scientific literacy and greater awareness of the ethical, social, religious and philosophical implications of scientific inquiry.Dr. Brynn Welch Professor of Philosophy
According to Wells, recent scientific research on humanistic questions, such as the existence of God and the evolutionary origin of altruism, have created the potential for productive points of contact between science and the humanities. Yet, Wells said, much of that potential has gone unrealized in the context of undergraduate education. “The academic gap between science and the humanities seems to be widening, even as our lived experience demands closer cooperation.”
Welch and Wells also will spend 2015 traveling to other schools to build a consortium of faculty and administrators to help shape the future of the Center. They also will be developing plans for a series of conferences at Emory & Henry.