The Global Miami Plan for Liberal Education

Liberal education complements specialized studies in your major and provides a broadened context for exploring social, academic, political and professional choices. Most students, regardless of major, are required to participate in the Global Miami Plan for Liberal Education. Liberal education course work and co-curricular programming emphasize four basic goals:

  • Thinking Critically. Students learn how to develop critical thinking skills that enable them to carefully identify problems worth studying; to examine pros and cons about issues; to develop skills for examining evidence and counter-arguments; to analyze research and other information; to explore underlying assumptions about multiple positions and arguments; and to draw solid conclusions after examining all sides of an issue or problem.
  • Understanding Contexts. Students learn how to understand contexts that inform how we make meaning out of issues and events. They may explore political, social, economic, historical, or other contexts that surround problems or issues confronted. They learn that contextual analysis and understanding opens up new ways of knowing not only about the world in which one lives, but also about oneself.
  • Engaging with Other Learners. The Global Miami Plan is based on the firm belief that we learn from one another, from people different than ourselves, and from a wide variety of others. A healthy exchange of different ideas and viewpoints encourages rethinking of accepted perspectives. Thus, students learn to think critically and to understand contexts through in- and out-of-class activities designed to engage them with other learners: other students, other faculty or staff, and other learners outside of the university. Students learn how to work effectively in group settings, how to listen actively to the ideas of others, and how to negotiate a shared understanding of complex issues and tasks.
  • Reflecting and Acting. Finally, the Global Miami Plan encourages students to both reflect upon and act on the new knowledge, understanding, and commitments made. Students learn how to make decisions about complex intellectual, ethical and personal issues; to think about the meaning of coursework for themselves; and to commit to informed action as global citizens.

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