In September 2018, four faculties of TSU (Faculty of Journalism, Faculty of History and Political Sciences, Faculty of Philosophy, and the Institute of Arts and Culture) became pioneers of the project which is focused on enabling students to develop GENERAL (soft) skills within the framework of Bachelor's Core Curriculum.
Bachelor's Core Curriculum serves as the outline to fill in with professional skills. Any university designing its Bachelor’s Core Curriculum aims to form its students’ identity.
Bachelor’s Core Curriculum sets general principles of teaching TSU students of any major.
The Core is a common platform, a system of interrelated disciplines and modules that forms a matrix of skills. The project is supposed to provide the following educational outcomes - skills: critical and systems thinking, teamwork skills, communication skills, understanding of the principles and methods of project activities. Teaching strategies are based on interactive methods and technologies including flipped classroom (blended learning), group work, trainings, lectures focused on analysis and issue solving, brainstorming, games, projects, discussions. These educational outcomes will ensure university graduates to be well-rounded specialists, to go beyond professional areas and pursue interdisciplinary activities.
Four semesters are focused on developping skills within two core tracks: Worldviews (systems thinking) and Critical thinking (conveying one’s idea in written and verbal communication).
During the first semester students of the pionner faculties master the block Navigation on Worldviews. Students are expected to perceive the reality and the worldviews Nature, Digital and Technical World, Man and Society, World of Art and Art Activities. Students are to master intensively languages of description, methods of activity, ideologically significant meanings and values of the corresponding systems of ideas about reality through lectures focused on analysis and issue solving and group activities like brainstorming, games, case study and discussions. At the same time, this content is comprehended in analytical mode at weekly trainings on Critical Thinking and Writing where students develop skills of issue solving, analysis and master basics of applied logics, rhetoric, theory and practice of reasoning, analytical writing and in-depth discussions. This the most comprehensive part of the Core.
The second and third semesters are the very time to test the knowledge acquired in the first semester. After getting the general idea of Worldviews, students can choose the sphere and activity to go in-depth at workshops, practical courses and case study under the guidance of masters – holders of a certain type of knowledge, language and thinking.
Concurrently, students learn to read comprehensive texts within the course extending the track Critical thinking: Philosophy based on great books.
Eight great books (two books for each of the four worldviews) provide the preliminary for full understanding of the contemporary scientific knowledge, artistic and aesthetic activity. Skills of in-depth reading, perceiving of meanings and values, taking into consideration hidden assumptions about reality embedded into worldviews, allow to form the mindeset of a university student who is capable of going beyond the professional area and broaden horizons.
The fourth semester is a final stage of the Core curriculum. Students proceed to the Interdisciplinary Test Site which includes analytical, project and self-identification sessions. Students are to develop interdisciplinary projects in which they include their professional topics and individual academic paths.