A PRIMER FOR STUDENTS
Once you have learned
basic knowledge and skills in primary and secondary schooling, and you
then choose to attend college, you ought to expect more than just more
of the same.
Of course, you should
expect to grow more expert in an academic discipline of your inclining,
whether literature or physics or philosophy or some other established
“field of learning.”
And, yes, you should
expect to widen your “general education” by sampling at a higher level
the wares of other scholarly studies.
But, most essentially,
you should be guided, encouraged, and exhorted to think discerningly about
the future, about the question of where our human race is headed, about
the frontiers of human inquiry and endeavor—more so now than ever before.
Since our race has
very recently grown so powerful and dangerous that we now threaten the
viability of our planetary ecosystem, we must perforce wise up. We’re
now too smart not to be wise.
The prudence or foresight
of wisdom must now guide humankind to preserve and enhance what sustains
life on Earth at the highest levels of thriving and flourishing, which
implies that we must learn to quell those reckless human tendencies now
urging us toward chaos—the lusts and rages of heedless egoism and self-service,
personified most recently in Bernie Madoff, who has just driven himself
and a herd of hapless lemmings off a cliff.
That same madness,
expressed in numerous other guises, infects much of humanity and must
be cured. Thus the search for sanity stands foremost among the frontiers
we confront as a race: learning how to be healthy, well and
whole (all words from one root—as well as holy)—the essence
For these reasons,
Rollins College is now considering a general education program oriented
to explore the “human frontiers,” the leading edges of learning and research
where breakthroughs into new perspectives and paradigms can lead to new
behaviors and institutions helping us to grow, worldwide, in wellness
Human Frontier Studies
address change and transition: individuality, socially, culturally and
in all other ways that human beings experience shifts from one mode to
another. The “big ideas” underlying this curriculum are evolution
and progress, both of them contentious terms: how does evolution
transpire from one form to another, and what kinds of changes should be
The impetus for developing
this program comes from considering the uniquely rapid rate of change
now propelled by globalized human activities and incited by science and
technology that give us unprecedented transformative powers affecting
all Earth’s organisms, potentially imperiling them—ourselves included.
In general, we now realize that the voyage of Spaceship Earth is
our responsibility to keep on a course of survival and thriving, which
means we need to learn how to govern ourselves and it more consciously
and wisely than ever before.
Frontier studies takes as its mission investigating the leading edges
or frontiers of many subjects vital to the well-being of life on Earth,
most especially to the wholesome development of our own upstart and still
immature species. For us, the chief exploration lies at the frontier
For more information
about the Rollins Plan/Human Frontiers program, please contact its coordinator,
Prof. Alan Nordstrom (email@example.com).