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items tagged with Steven Bahls

Teaching the Whole Child: Longfellow-Augustana Partnership Brings the Liberal Arts to Primary Education
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2009-07-29 21:13:19

A classroom in the 'new' Longfellow

Students stepping into Longfellow Elementary in Rock Island this school year will notice physical changes: a new media center and library, a new cafeteria, and a renovation that has added four new classrooms. But a more important change will be the school's new formal partnership with Augustana College.

The relationship will bring a liberal-arts-based curriculum to Longfellow - a contrast to the No Child Left Behind-forced shift in primary education that emphasizes reading and math skills to the exclusion of other subjects. Though the content of the curriculum will still conform to district standards, the way that content is presented will change: The focus will move to collaboration among students, small-group and individualized instruction, interdisciplinary learning, thematic teaching that attempts to make the coursework relevant, and the fine arts.

A No Child Left Behind-influenced curriculum "doesn't have anything to do with creative problem-solving, imagination, collaboration - all of these skills we need to survive in the next millennium," said Pat Shea, an assistant professor of education at Augustana who was part of the planning team for Longfellow. "If we don't get those things taught, it doesn't matter how many facts we know. ... We are so off-target about what it means to be an educated person, and I think we as educators have the first line of responsibility to start speaking to that."


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Bursting the Augustana Bubble: Steve Bahls Ushers in an Era of Transparency, Involvement, & Growth
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: News/Features

Category: Feature Stories

2008-04-23 08:34:16

Reader issue #681 Peter Kivisto offers this observation about Augustana College President Steven C. Bahls.

"Somebody'd have a new book, and the next thing you know, you'd have a little letter from him congratulating you," said Kivisto, the Richard Swanson Professor of Social Thought at Augustana and the past chair of the faculty senate. "That's on the cheap, but it meant a lot to us."

It's an admittedly minor thing, but it speaks to Bahls' style, and style counts for a lot in leadership. The Rock Island liberal-arts college is not an autocracy, and the power of its president to create change largely rests with his ability to inspire and guide, particularly the faculty and the board of trustees.


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