Al Akhawayn University, in Ifrane Morocco, attracts undergraduate and masters Moroccan and international students studying predominately applied majors (including business and engineering) in a liberal arts context. The mission? To build citizen-leaders of tomorrow. That aligns with my beliefs. Our world is so incredibly interdependent (not just inter-connected any longer) and so complex (culturally, socio-economically, ecologically, etc), that wherever possible, people benefit from learning how to learn — not just memorize, but intrinsically learning how to reflect, consider, inquire, imagine, grasp, absorb, digest.
That’s easier to say than to learn to “do.” It’s a process. It’s what “liberal arts” is about — increasing people’s capacity to responsibly engage each other (and therefore engage in creating healthy societies).
Learning business, computer science or engineering in a liberal arts environment ideally means that students and faculty are approaching their respective content areas with an intention of breathing history, philosophy, literatures, art, science into their thinking so that their choices — especially in the future — go far beyond recitation of what they’ve been told. Choices become grounded in reflection, analysis, critique, and consideration of the implications from multiple perspectives. It is in these ways that I believe business education can become exponentially beneficial to society, when business education infuses its process and its content with an intention to build high integrity citizen-leaders.
And so I join the young Al Akhawayn faculty to learn more about how to learn, and therefore what and how to teach. In this blog, I’ll share my experiences of that process.