Temple changes ‘Mosaics’ course name

The IH Department hopes the name change will help students gain a better understanding of the course.

The Intellectual Heritage Department is housed on the second floor of Anderson Hall. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In an effort to rebrand its required General Education Program courses, the Intellectual Heritage Department has renamed the “Mosaics” courses to “Intellectual Heritage I: The Good Life” and “Intellectual Heritage 2: The Common Good.”

Together both courses comprise what is a two-part Gen-Ed requirement for all undergraduate students.

“The name ‘mosaic’ itself evoked the interdisciplinary nature of the Gen-Ed courses, a ‘mosaic’ of ideas,” said Douglas Greenfield, the senior associate director of the Intellectual Heritage Program. “However, we often hear from students that they have no idea what the course is.”

He felt as though the name “Mosaics” did not accurately represent the mission of the IH Program, calling the former name a “conversation stopper.”

Greenfield and other faculty members proposed the name change in April, and it was met with overwhelming positivity by the staff. The results of an anonymous survey conducted within the IH department showed that most faculty members found the name change to be a valuable adjustment for helping students understand what the course entails.

“The courses are two distinct but complementary intellectual experiences,” Greenfield added.

The IH Gen-Ed courses are a tradition in Temple’s undergraduate curriculum, Greenfield said. The courses aim to persuade students to think about age-old questions, like the purpose of humanity and the future of the human race, he said. The IH curriculum analyzes important works of religion, literature and philosophy and how they relate to human life today.

The course number and course content itself will not undergo a change, but will be renamed to better represent what students will learn.

“The name changes don’t reflect changes to the requirements for Mosaics,” he said. “We just finally found a course name that shows the distinct message of the IH Program.”

Greenfield said the two IH courses are not sequential and can be taken in any order.

Greenfield added his department hopes the name change will intrigue students and help them see it as more than just a required course.

Dustin Kidd, the director of the IH Program, said the program has been an important element to the Temple core curriculum for years.

Though he began his director position in early August, he said he believes the name change will be beneficial to students and faculty alike.

“The name change reflects the fact that even as we look forward to Temple’s future, we are deeply invested in the multiple traditions that make up the heritage of this university and its diverse students and faculty,” he added. 

Sophomore international business major Emily Rowe took Mosaics I last semester and thinks the name change will help students get a better idea of the what to expect.

“It was the type of class where I expected the unexpected, which wasn’t too helpful,” she said. “The course is all over the place, so I hope this helps pull everything together a little, but I do believe students will have a better idea of what to anticipate.”

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