General education is widely touted as an enduring distinctive of higher education, but what do we actually mean by general education? Differing perspectives not only make it challenging to consider its significance, but also open it up to a wide range of determinations regarding its effectiveness. This volume aims to sharpen understanding of the complex picture of general education by:
describing how various conceptions of general education evolved historically,
identifying various functions expected of general education in the contemporary context, and
pointing out the educational practices that fulfill general education’s aims in the current context.
The conceptions of, and aspirations for, general education are consequential. This volume disentangles the divergent conceptions that hinder its renewal and considers the range of avenues for realizing its effectiveness. This is the second issue of the 42nd volume of the Jossey-Bass series ASHE Higher Education Report. Each monograph is the definitive analysis of a tough higher education issue, based on thorough research of pertinent literature and institutional experiences. Topics are identified by a national survey. Noted practitioners and scholars are then commissioned to write the reports, with experts providing critical reviews of each manuscript before publication.