Inducing students to reflect on perennial concerns of human existence as does the four area UGE curriculum, GEF engages students in dialogues on these issues through the reading of classics. The two compulsory courses: In Dialogue with Humanity and In Dialogue with Nature address the two main domains of human knowledge and human conditions. The dialogues are, therefore, ultimately about what it means to be human, about the core values of being human in the students' own time and place, about the achievements and limits of human understanding.
GEF also engages students in direct dialogues on and with selected classic texts. Classics being texts of lasting significance often are the works that defined lasting believes and values in the course of human civilization. By engaging students in dialogues on and with these texts, GEF thus also engages them in dialogues with their own believes and values.
To facilitate discussion and student-centered learning, the courses are delivered in small classes, with a maximum student number of 25 per class.
Each 3-unit course is delivered in one hour of lecture and two hours of seminar discussion each week. In the lecture, teachers provide a general introduction to the background and main themes of the week’s assigned reading. Students then read the texts on their own and come back to participate in the seminar discussion basing on the focus questions provided.
By providing opportunity for students to confront original texts first hand and to discuss these texts with their teachers and fellow students, GEF empowers students to be independent and critical learners.