Ways of Knowing

Hiram College is committed to a rigorous, creative, and demanding intellectual environment that focuses on methods for acquiring and analyzing knowledge. One course that satisfies each of the relevant sets of goals is required.

Creative Methods (CM)

The expression of human creativity involves the development of practical and evaluative skills. Courses satisfy this requirement by helping students to understand the creative process and by teaching them the intellectual skills necessary for reflection and evaluation of artistic products.

  • Goal: Acquire the vocabulary necessary to talk intelligently about one’s own creative art as well as the creative art of others, and to clearly articulate the aesthetic experience.
  • Goal: Develop the hands-on skills that are necessary for aesthetic expression and reflection, and practical knowledge essential to the implementation of creative techniques and concepts.

Interpretive Methods (IM)

The human experience of meaning involves the application of interpretation to a broad variety of human endeavors, including art, music, literature, and philosophical and religious texts. Courses satisfy the goals for this requirement by teaching the skills necessary to interpret one or more forms of human expression.

  • Goal: Interpret the human experience of meaning as expressed in artistic and intellectual products.
  • Goal: Apply the knowledge and perspective gained from interpretive analysis to a broader understanding of the world or to one’s own life.

Modeling Methods (MM)

Modeling involves the construction of abstractions that capture and simplify physical, social, biological, and other complex phenomena. The models are then analyzed using deduction and logic, statistics, and/or mathematics in order to better understand and interpret the original. Courses satisfy the goals for this requirement by teaching modeling and methods for analyzing models.

  • Goal: Understand the role of models in explaining the world and universe, including techniques for testing the accuracy and limitations of models.
  • Goal: Use this understanding to solve problems: learn to apply models to understand a variety of real world situations.

Experimental Scientific Methods (SM)

The application of reason to the natural world requires the use of the hypothetical-experimental method. Courses satisfy the goals for this requirement by teaching, in a hands-on laboratory environment, the empirical method in practical data-gathering learning experiences, and reflection on the nature and limits of this methodology.

  • Goal: Develop hands-on skill acquiring reproducible data and interpreting them within a theoretical framework.
  • Goal: Understand the application and limitation of experimental data and theoretical frameworks to the natural world.

Social and Cultural Analysis Methods (CA)

Human behavior is organized by complex systems which differ widely across societies and over time. Human knowledge cannot be understood without considering historical, social, and cultural contexts. Courses satisfy this goal by teaching students the conceptual and analytic tools necessary to make sense of these essential dimensions of our existence.

  • Goal: Examine social life as displayed in history, culture, power structures, norms, or customs.
  • Goal: Acquire the analytical skills and critical sensibilities to understand human society and culture.

Ways of Developing Responsible Citizenship

Hiram College is committed to the goal of developing socially responsible, ethical citizens. One course that satisfies each of the relevant sets of goals is required for each student.

Experiencing the World (EW)

Hiram students must prepare to live as citizens of the world. Courses help students to do this by helping them develop capacities for understanding international issues, other peoples and other cultures, and the nature of responsible, engaged global citizenship.

  • Goal: Demonstrate an informed understanding of the values and attitudes of people in another culture, and the ways in which these influence the contemporary world.
  • Goal: Evaluate critically, and on the basis of explicit criteria, the culture of a foreign society.

Understanding Diversity in the United States (UD)

The United States is richly diverse. Encountering and learning the necessary skills for interaction with this diversity is essential to a liberal arts education at Hiram College. Courses satisfy these goals by introducing students to the diversity of our own country and equipping them with the intellectual skills necessary for conversing in this complex environment.

  • Goal: Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of U.S. society and the ways in which different groups have experienced and confronted issues of diversity.
  • Goal: Demonstrate as well an informed awareness and understanding of U.S. commonality – those principles and values that are most central to the experience of the United States.
  • Goal: Address matters of diversity in a variety of contexts, including ethical, social, and personal.

Meaning, Ethics, and Social Responsibility (ES)

The ability to formulate and evaluate claims about meaning and value is essential to the tasks of forming identity and being responsible citizens. Courses satisfy this goal by teaching both conceptual tools and practical skills that permit students to reflectively evaluate their own lives and interact responsibly in the lives of others.

  • Goal: Understand the ways in which claims about values are discovered, articulated, and justified.
  • Goal: Apply this understanding, in conjunction with practical skills, to reflective evaluation about one’s own beliefs and those of others and/or engagement with contemporary social, political, and ethical problems.

“Leapfrogging” Core Curriculum Categories

If a student places out of an introductory-level course and then proceeds to take an advanced level class in the same discipline, he or she might be eligible to receive General Education credit attached to the introductory class upon completion of the advanced-level course. This advanced course must be a logical sequel to the introductory-level class: it should apply and build upon the methodology and content learned in the introductory level class. The student should apply to the associate dean for this consideration. He or she should expect to fill out the appropriate Core Curriculum form to document his or her engagement with the learning outcome goals associated with the relevant Core category.