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Building the Intentional UniversityMinerva and the Future of Higher Education$
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Stephen M. Kosslyn and Ben Nelson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262037150

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262037150.001.0001

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Foundations of the Curriculum

Foundations of the Curriculum

(p.45) 3 Foundations of the Curriculum
Building the Intentional University

Ben Nelson

Stephen M. Kosslyn

The MIT Press

Minerva’s curriculum is rooted in a set of four design principles: Content should not be the focus; the curriculum must be structured; courses should be seminal; and, students need information and guidance to make wise choices. These principles in turn lead us to construct the curriculum to provide a broad context for material and to provide the conditions necessary for “far transfer”—which occurs when people apply what they learn in one context to a situation in a different time and place. In addition, to help students master the material, the curriculum is scaffolded—the courses build on one another systematically while at the same time broaden the context. This chapter concludes with an overview of why we order the courses as we do, and how our curriculum is structured over the four years of undergraduate education

Keywords:   curricular design principles, core curriculum, scaffolded curriculum, far transfer, educational philosophy

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