Resolving Liberal Arts’ Needs for a Muslim Majority Setting: Some Organizational Issues for Research

By Mark J. Olson.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Contingency models of liberal arts education focus on goals, mission and measurable components such as productivity or efficiency. Successful implementation of liberal arts in Muslim majority countries must address the following: a shared vision of liberal arts, student engagement, curriculum and program development and broader accountability structures. A shared vision of liberal arts presupposes that underlying tensions regarding knowledge aims, identity construction and technology’s role in society are resolved at the educational institution level. Critics warn that the absence of resolution to these tensions will result in the proliferation of scientism and knowledge factories in the name of liberal arts in the Gulf.

Keywords: Liberal Arts, Organizational Learning, Rentier…

Global Studies Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.55-62. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 563.506KB).

Dr. Mark J. Olson

Assistant Professor, General Education, Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait City, Kuwait

The presenter has lived 4 years in Kuwait where he has taught sociology at a private university and more recently, on a U.S. military base. He is interested in the growth of private-for-profit higher education institutions and their impact on quality and kind of education. The impacts of the introduction of Western cultural values, educational technology and the organizational structure of education in an Islamic setting are central research interests. His observations draw upon his earlier professional experiences in social service settings and interest in contingency theories. Previous work has examined the impacts of wasta, (influence, favoritism) on liberal education in the Gulf.


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