Liberal Learning and Diverse Perspectives

Liberal Learning Courses

Liberal Learning courses introduce students to the many ways of thinking and of approaching knowledge that comprise a liberal education. Liberal Learning courses emphasize active student involvement; students are expected to contribute extensively through papers, projects, reports, and class discussion. Liberal Learning courses are flagged in course descriptions with an LILE designation. A list of LILE courses is available on the online course announcement web site under “Curricular Programs.”

Diverse Perspectives Courses

Brown’s open curriculum challenges students to open their perspective on the world by embracing new experiences, new ways of thinking, and new people. One way students can address this expectation is through challenging coursework. Diverse Perspectives in Liberal Learning (DPLL) courses offer students the means not only to understand the complex dynamics of social inequity, exclusion, and difference but also to do something with what they learn.

Through content, methodology, or pedagogy, DPLL courses seek to:

• Expose and critique the diverse historical and cultural forces that shape the construction of knowledge in all disciplines;

• Teach the arts of critical reflection: questioning thoughtfully, listening openly, and speaking cogently about differing points of view;

• Develop responsible citizens by examining the ways that power and privilege affect human lives and providing pathways to meaningful change. 

Some DPLL courses may, through their content, focus on questions of race, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, gender, age, disability, or socio-economic status. Others may employ creative methods to investigate how knowledge is constructed and received in different contexts. Still others may feature community-based activities, encouraging students to become agents of change both locally and globally.