THE PRINCIPLES guiding our actions are: A Learning Organization committed to Currency and Relevancy and the Contribution to Knowledge, Empowered Professional Faculty, Socratic and Adult Learning Methods, Training for Certainty and Educating for Uncertainty with a Multi-disciplinary Curricula, and Creating a Learning Environment that supports understanding of Joint Interdependence and the implications of the Strategic, Operational, and Tactical levels of war:
A Learning Organization Committed to Currency and Relevancy and the Contribution to Knowledge: Our current reality is a transforming Army at war that demands that our graduates be prepared to assume war fighting duties immediately upon graduation. Our graduates must be confident, competent leaders, and creative problem solvers who understand the complexities of the contemporary operating environment. Learning is our most important contribution to the nation; therefore, our challenge is the mastery of a diverse, broad, and ever-changing professional body of knowledge. Collaboration (developing, publishing, and subscribing) in the professional body of knowledge is essential to maintain currency and make relevant contributions to furthering professional understanding or creating new professional knowledge. This demands that USACGSC be a learning organization committed to a continuous effort to improve student learning, teaching, and the learning environment. We must be an analytic, thinking, and learning institution, seeking new knowledge, but circumspect enough to discern the difference between contemporary innovation and enduring principles.
Empowered Professional Faculty: USACGSC best accomplishes its educational goals by a vital professional faculty drawn from the entire range of relevant academic and military disciplines. The faculty embodies the scholarship of teaching, learning, and warfighting. Our faculty must master both content and process. Our faculty are decisive because they are expert in their field of study, talented facilitators of learning, and empowered with the flexibility to determine how best to achieve program learning objectives in their classrooms.
Socratic and Adult Learning Methods: The institution employs the most appropriate techniques and methods in an academic setting conducive to the most advanced understanding of the demands that will be made of those who pass through its courses of instruction. This includes methodologies that are learning-centered, experiential, and effective. We enhance the competence of our students through a learning-centered educational methodology. This methodology relies on collaborative learning, reflective practice, critical reasoning, creative thinking, and the practical application of adult learning theory. The CGSC classroom is an active learner environment. Our faculty members are subject matter experts and facilitators in a collaborative learning environment where student and faculty experience stimulates thought, discussion, and knowledge construction. Socratic method and discussion teaching where “all teach and learn” challenge critical reasoning and creative thinking skills.1 This methodology is expressed through our curriculum—one that is adaptive, responsive, integrative, experiential, and transformational.
Training for Certainty and Educating for Uncertainty with a Multi-disciplinary Curriculum: USACGSC serves as the US Army’s most important professional school, combining theoretical education and practical training to produce leaders who are proficient in the understanding and conduct of modern warfare. We must train for certainty and educate for uncertainty; both training and education are vital to our students’ learning needs. We must train our graduates on enduring doctrinal principles, emerging lessons, and the skills they will require in their next assignment. Moreover, we must educate our graduates for the uncertainty they will surely encounter; they must know how to think and apply critical reasoning and creative thinking in complex ambiguous situations. USACGSC’s academic policies and curricular designs educate and train professional officers of all the military services in the nature and conduct of land warfare within the complex national security environment, as well as advance the state of contemporary military knowledge through original research and experimentation.
Creating a Learning Environment that supports understanding of Joint Interdependence and the implications of the Strategic, Operational, and Tactical levels of war: Students and Faculty must understand joint interdependence implications of Strategic, Operational, and Tactical levels regardless of their next duty assignments. The environment we wish to create will provide rigorous academic challenges and relevant experiences, connecting learning to application and performance. The environment will include practical exercises that draw out high-order, multidisciplinary thinking and require students to integrate knowing and doing. To create this environment, we align College resources with the needs of students and faculty. We must harness global reach technology and state-of-the-art instructional facilities to enhance lifelong learning experiences. Our deliberate student assessment strategies and program evaluations will identify successes and challenges and will support informed decision-making for the way ahead.
1. Christensen C., Roland. “Every Student Teaches and Every Teacher Learns: The Reciprocal Gift of Discussion Teaching,” In C. Roland Christensen, David A. Garvin, and Ann Sweet (eds.), Education for Judgment. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press, 1991, page 99.