Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Gateways:

left and right

Theme-Based Courses

Students take three courses organized around the same theme or problem.

Students choose an interdisciplinary theme to guide their general education program. Each theme includes a range of interconnected courses from across the general education curriculum, and students choose three courses from within their theme to make up their Paideia Cluster. Themes are capacious topics of general interest which adapt themselves well to interdisciplinary inquiry.

The clustered courses enable participating faculty to develop relationships with other faculty, to enrich their understanding of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, and experiment with team-teaching, collaborative teaching, and creative new pedagogies and methodologies. Students similarly benefit from the interdisciplinary focus of the course clusters. Students learn to integrate multiple approaches and perspectives to ask the complex questions that contemporary social and political problems require for their solution. 

Themes