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Challenging and Confronting: The Role of Humanities in Fostering Critical Thinking, Cultural Competency and an Evolution of Worldview in Enabling Education

Abstract

Humanities discourse forms part of several Australian academic enabling programs, either embedded within the broader curriculum, or as part of a standalone unit. Within Edith Cowan University’s UniPrep course, an introductory Humanities unit is offered to students as one of two electives alongside three other core units. The unit introduces students to key concepts within the Humanities, exploring disciplines such as ethics, philosophy, language, history, religion, politics, law, Indigenous studies and fine arts. In addition to offering students an understanding of these disciplines, studying Humanities within the context of an academic enabling program can provide students with several other benefits. Feedback from students enrolled in the UniPrep Humanities unit indicates that students experience an increased level of cultural competency, an evolution of worldview, and an enhanced level of critical thinking upon completion of the unit. Importantly, these areas align with research conducted into broader academic enabling principles. This article will explore these connections to suggest that the inclusion of Humanities within an academic enabling program can enhance students’ preparedness for undergraduate study and life beyond university on several levels.

Published: 2022-02-28
Pages:10 to 20
Section:Articles
How to Cite
Edwards, L., & Ritchie , B. (2022). Challenging and Confronting: The Role of Humanities in Fostering Critical Thinking, Cultural Competency and an Evolution of Worldview in Enabling Education . Student Success, 13(1), 10-20. https://doi.org/10.5204/ssj.2011

Author Biographies

Edith Cowan University
Australia Australia

Dr Lydia Edwards is a fashion historian and academic, author of the bestselling How to Read a Dress (2017 and 2021) and How to Read a Suit (2020), published by Bloomsbury. In 2010 she was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Bristol and has held academic teaching positions at the University of St Andrews, Dundee, and the University of Western Australia. She is currently a lead academic in the UniPrep program at Edith Cowan University, and teaches into the costume design program at WAAPA.

Edith Cowan University
Australia Australia

Dr Brendan Ritchie is a novelist and academic with postgraduate qualifications in the fields of creative writing and screenwriting. In 2016 Brendan was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy within an Excellence Scholarship at Edith Cowan University. His debut young–adult novel Carousel was published by Fremantle Press in 2015. Carousel has been critically acclaimed and was longlisted for the 2016 Gold Inky Awards. Brendan has subsequently published a sequel, Beyond Carousel, alongside academic articles and chapters in various notable publications. He currently works as the lead academic within ECU’s South West enabling program.

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2205-0795