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Cornerstone Program Learning Outcomes: Social Scientific Inquiry
- Social scientific thinking. Students will develop an initial comprehension of social scientific thought, including the core ideas, concepts, development and purposes of one field of study, and an understanding of the connections between that discipline and other social sciences. They will also demonstrate intellectual curiosity and appreciation of the value of knowledge within the social sciences.
- Theoretical knowledge and thought. Students will develop an expanded ability to think theoretically, and to appreciate the importance of that competence for understanding recurring social patterns. They will comprehend the logic of discipline-specific theories or models, display a capacity to construct logical, informed, and persuasive arguments, and clearly communicate their thinking through written and/or oral expression.
- Research. Students will comprehend the connections between theoretical thinking and empirical research, the development and testing of hypotheses, and exhibit appreciation of the contingent nature of social scientific knowledge. They will become aware of research methods utilized by social scientists, and of quantitative and/or qualitative data sources. They will demonstrate increased capacity to evaluate primary and secondary social scientific sources.
- Critical thinking and application of knowledge. Students will apply social scientific thinking to a critical evaluation and deeper understanding of media portrayals and “common sense” explanations of political, social, and economic trends and events.
- Communication and collaboration. Students will develop their abilities in social scientific writing, and realize the importance of the collegial environment of academic communities, including an appreciation of respectful disagreement, and the value of constructive criticism and collaboration in creating and communicating social scientific knowledge.
- Social responsibility. Students will increase their commitment to meaningful participation in the social and political life of local, national, and global communities, to awareness of cultural and ethnic diversity, and to meaningful responsiveness to social injustice.