Three rockets representing new, old and quit options

February 5, 2018, by Michael Timmins

Leading, Learning and Exchange – Liberal Arts core module

Three rockets representing new, old and quit options

Change is constant – learning how to shape it is vital

Over the course of our lifetimes we will be required to develop new skills, share innovative ideas with others and lead on developing original concepts and practices in a range of different scenarios. With the pace of technological change, the alterations in the global economy and the drive to develop new markets, we may be faced with several career changes.

Liberal Arts is key to this shift in employment as students encounter new ideas and methods as part of their degree programme which creates independent and innovative thinkers who can respond to new challenges and acquire new skills. However, too often when this ‘brave new world’ of work is considered we think in terms of the individual opportunities rather than what is needed for wider society. Just as much as we need to be flexible ourselves in our careers, we need to think about how we can lead change for others.

The degree in Liberal Arts will also play a vital role in this process as we develop courses which enable students to think about how they lead, learn and communicate, as a means of transforming how we live and work in contemporary society. These skills are vital in an ever-changing world as it means that we can adapt to challenging situations but that we can also provide colleagues and communities with the support they need to encounter changes in their world.

Mentor and mentee meeting

Mentoring is never a one way knowledge exchange

This provides new insight into what ‘change’ means. The acceptance and use of scientific, technological, social, economic and political advances does not take place organically. As humans, we have to learn how to incorporate these changes into everyday life and live with it. Therefore, we need instructors, teachers and mentors as well as guides, programmes and manuals. Leading, learning and exchange is about how we share knowledge but also how we impact and alter our world. In short, we need Liberal Arts!

‘Leading, Learning and Exchange’ is a core module for Liberal Arts students at Nottingham and it will provide insights into how we acquire knowledge as individuals but also how we can share this information with others. We all learn and acquire new skills and our experience of this process is a valuable tool to engage with individuals and communities. As leaders, we have to be aware of how those around us may learn and develop new skills in ways that we must understand and support. To create the future, we have to lead, learn and exchange.

Ross Wilson
Director of Liberal Arts, University of Nottingham

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