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Robert Connor, president of the Teagle Foundation, on how he started down the slippery slope from, as it were, litotes to learning outcomes:

When I left a research center for the humanities and started work in a philanthropic foundation over five years ago, I wanted to know if a foundation could make a difference to the extent and depth of student learning in the liberal arts. To answer that question, I had to learn as much as I could about how students learn and how we know about their learning. Before long, I was studying reports such as the one produced by the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative (LEAP) that argued that liberal education ought to be understood not as exposing students to certain fields of knowledge, but as helping them to develop long-lasting cognitive and personal capacities. When I started using that phrase, I was on a slippery slope.

The next thing I knew, I was asking whether colleges and universities were translating that understanding of liberal education into clear learning outcomes.

Read the rest of Connor's story here.

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