Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

Here are some excellent sites I’ve come across recently either for those interested in teaching in Georgia or just interested in Georgian politics.







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This article provides an optimistic, yet concurrently realistic view of Georgia’s current status, it’s progress since its independence, and some of the challenges it will have to face in its future. If you haven’t heard much about the country, I would recommend this article as a place to begin, but definitely use some other news sources to form your own opinion.

The Economist: Georgia’s Mental Revolution

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I’ve noticed in many of my conversations that people generally have a vague notion of exactly what liberal education is. To some, it sounds like the enemy of conservatism; to others it’s antiquated and holds itself haughtily aloof. I’d like to dispel some of these misunderstandings and paint a truer picture of liberal education’s style and its impact on the world by providing you with the following websites. First, click here for some very informative definitions and distinctions concerning liberal education: http://www.aacu.org/leap/what_is_liberal_education.cfm

Each one of these websites lists an institution of education or an organization that believes in the power of liberal education. By noting their location and perusing their missions, you can develop a sense of the value of such an education and the wide application it can have to various cultures, countries, and people.

St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland – The third oldest continuous college in the U.S. and one of the founding colleges of the Great Books Program.

Touchstones Discussion Project – Uses the round table discussion style traditionally employed in liberal education to impact people in a variety of settings.

European College of Liberal Arts, Berlin, Germany – “a college without departments, dedicated to the integrated study of values”

Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts, Bratislava, Slovak Republic – “Its core curriculum is based on political science with offerings also in other social science disciplines and the humanities: history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, and theatre and fine arts and literature.”

Ashesi University College, Accra, Ghana – “Ashesi is the first university in Ghana to adopt and blend the Liberal Arts method of education with majors in Computer Science, Management Information Systems and Business Administration.”

The Shalem Center, Jerusalem, Israel – A liberal arts institution developed specifically to educate capable leaders and active citizens of Israel.

LEAF; American Georgian Education Center, Tbilisi, Georgia – An organization striving to bring liberal education style to prepare students for college life. We (OLEG) are planning a meeting with them later this week to collaborate.

Liberal Education, publication of the Association of American Colleges and Universities – Liberal education is sometimes used as a broad term to describe the general education of most American colleges. This journal publishes articles to promote and develop liberal education, defined by them as “an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g., science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest. A liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings.”

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This excellent new article describes New Gelati Academy and OLEG’s initiatives in Georgia. Please read for more information and share it to spread our vision!


Here’s one of the most relevant passages to OLEG and West Chester. One section of the information is a bit dated; in negotiations between West Chester and New Gelati for the exchange program, we decided that WCU will not be visiting New Gelati in spring 2011. But as the paragraph expresses, we look forward to a two-way exchange in the near future. Right now we are developing the itinerary to bring a group of Georgian students from New Gelati to visit WCU in spring 2011 to begin this institutional relationship:

Q. Do you plan to bring students/lecturers from St. John’s College or from any other US based universities?

A. As you know since the establishment of our academy we have brought a number of students from OLEG and they are going to come in the summer of 2010 with another group, we also plan to bring exchange students from West Chester University who hopefully will come in the spring of 2011. In our conversations with officials of West Chester University we have agreed that ultimately we want to create a genuine exchange programme in which Georgian students from New Gelati Academy will be able to spend a semester at West Chester University while an equal number of American students from West Chester University will spend a semester studying at New Gelati Academy. However, since it is likely to take some time to arrange for that sort of programme, we have agreed that for the first year we will aim to arrange a briefer visit — perhaps two or three weeks. We have also agreed that we should start by sending our Georgian students – and some faculty – to the US, and only after that contact has been made would we bring the American students to Georgia. At the same time, our American partners are very interested in having institution-to-institution relationships. They recognize that on both sides our institutions are engaged in an active and possibly very fruitful process of inventing a new future for liberal arts education, and we see big opportunities for benefit on both sides of this equation. Finally, enabling our faculty members to visit our partner institutions in the US is extremely important.

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In my preparations for my trip to Georgia this June, I have been searching every news source to try to find up to date information on Georgia. Believe it or not, most United States publications do not  feature Georgian news very prominently. In my searches, however, I have managed to unearth a few great sites that provide current political and cultural news. I wanted to share them with you. Enjoy:

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty


Go Group

EIN Georgia News

Georgian Daily Independent Voice

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This website: http://rustaveli.tripod.com/, created by Alexander Mikaberidze, is a fantastic resource on the history, language, and art of Georgia.  Not only does it provide comprehensive summaries of information, but it also has referrences and links to other resources. Click on it and surf around.

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This past April, CNN compiled a video series on Georgia. If you are unfamiliar with the country, or would just like to see some excellent footage of Georgian dance, click on this link: http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2010/ilist/.

To find the Georgia videos, scroll down about a quarter of the page to where it says “i-List Videos” and click on “Georgia”.

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