The two-year Erasmus + Strategic Partnership grant, BLASTER (Best Liberal Arts and Sciences Teaching Expanded and Reinforced) has produced a series of important and useful tools for practitioners of the Liberal Arts and Sciences throughout the European Union.  The documents which are available on the following links include:


Guide to Emerging Liberal Arts and Sciences Practices in the EU

This booklet provides an introduction to various aspects of LAS in Europe and is aimed at a wide audience to include policy-makers, educators, HE decision-makers, teachers, students and administrators.  An introductory chapter offers a brief review of the purpose and principle characteristics of a liberal arts education followed by a section of four case studies of currently active and successful LAS models in Europe.  A final chapter provides a step-by-step process for developing an LAS curriculum as well as some preliminary suggestions on how LAS programmes may be assessed.


Learning and Teaching in the Liberal Arts

This highly useful training kit offers an overview of pedagogical methods supporting quality learning and is aimed especially to assist early career teachers in the liberal arts and sciences to design, conduct and reflect on their teaching practices and their students’ learning.  The kit also includes suggestions on how to plan and execute on-campus teaching seminars in order to expand best practices in teaching the liberal arts and sciences.


Companion to Undergraduate Research in the Liberal Arts and Sciences (CURLAS: 2017)

This important contribution to a key aspect of liberal arts and sciences education summarises the current state of undergraduate research in Europe and contains guidelines to support undergraduate students and their academic supervisors. It is a highly practical guide to the importance of research at the undergraduate level and the steps necessary to ensure its success through faculty-student collaboration. Other related outputs, such as case studies and appendices, are listed here.


Each of these documents was the focal point of four special seminars/workshops which introduced the materials produced through the BLASTER grant and demonstrated how the resources can be used in liberal arts colleges and programmes. More than 200 European educators attended the workshops hosted by:  the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts, Slovakia (Teacher Training, 25-26 May); Warwick University, UK (Undergraduate Research in the Liberal Arts, 24-25 September); Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany, 28-29 September) and Leiden University College The Hague, Netherlands, (Liberal Arts and Sciences in the 21st Century, 29 September, 2017).


ECOLAS will be actively encouraging the distribution and employment of these important materials for the advancement of the Liberal Arts and Sciences.  In addition to hosting all of the resources produced by BLASTER on our website, our first initiative is a call for proposals for the Julie Kidd Johnson Travel Research Fellowships in the areas of teacher training, undergraduate research and quality standards (deadline 30 November, 2017, apply here). Additional programmes will be announced after the first of the year.