Ripples of Curriculum Ideas through art for Mosaic 2007: developing critical thinking and other graduate outcomes through a large project

Introduction

What is thinking? In one way it can be thought of as ripples that emanate from some
metaphorical stone thrown into the pool of the mind. It is the job of the educator to toss
those metaphorical stones – and then to draw the student’s attention to the ripples, the
ramifications, effects, permutations that they engender. The great challenge facing the
educator is not only to help the student trace the ripple patterns out from the source as
they impact thinking, development, careers and cultures, but also to enable the student
to trace the patterns back from the edges of current changes to the historical sources,
the original thoughts, the great works of art that started the ripples in the first place. For
it is this ability to range across the past and present that marks the truly aware critical
thinker.
Widening horizons, expanding minds, training minds to think critically & eyes to see
critically, these are some of the goals of Mosaic 2007: Ideas Through Art. The Mosaic
event has become a tradition at Sharjah Colleges, and an integrated part of curriculum
delivery. All content areas, all faculty and all students (as well as support staff) spend
months in preparation for an interactive display of artifacts and activities that are usually
on show in the Sharjah Colleges Sports Complex over a period of several days in April
or May. The general public and students from various educational institutions around
the UAE are invited to attend, and feedback in response to the event has consistently
been enthusiastic. Details about Mosaic are on the College website (Mosaic 2007).
Integration of curriculum goals and graduate outcomes necessitates innovation if
students are themselves to become innovators; how else will they recognize innovation
if they do not see it in action in their classrooms, in the actions of their teachers, and
the culture of their college? Mosaic exemplifies this process; it provides everyone who
attends with the opportunity to know their world better and learn more about themselves
in relation to that world.

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