Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Core Curiculum - CrossFit for the Brain

It's a hoary old argument in academia about the value of a core curriculum that all students must take. This causes some friction between teachers and students.

I loved the analogy below which was part of an article called Cross-Training for the Brain by Rob Jenkins.

The core curriculum is really a lot more like cross-training than like weight-lifting. Yes, to be mentally fit, we have to push against resistance. But we also must encounter different types of resistance and respond to them with different parts of our brain. That’s why math majors need to study literature and English majors have to sit through math classes and all of them need to take history and science and fine arts and so on.

What we have traditionally referred to as the “core curriculum” in reality is nothing less than cross-training for the brain.

In my academic training I have studied medical science, business and the humanities at postgraduate level. I can say from experience that the 3 different approaches taken in science, business and humanities cause different resistance in differing parts of the brain. This has been beneficial for my intellectual flexibility and problem solving.


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