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Debates about the liberal arts and American higher education continue. Here are some recent significant articles and other online commentary about the topic.
Ramon Torecilha wrote:
Arts - Education - Transition - Student - Women
The classic liberal arts education is as relevant as ever. To make the successful transition from student to professional, women and men need to think critically, problem-solve, persuade others, and “read the room.” These “universal skills” are imperative.
Tulsa’s liberal arts cuts. Disadvantages and dangers of making cuts to the liberal arts.
Ed - Piece - Cracks - Ivory - Tower
Inside Higher Ed had a piece about Cracks in the Ivory Tower.
The AAC&U had an issue of Liberal Education recently that focused attention on how higher education is changing, and how it needs to change. In one article, Leon Botstein wrote:
Structure - Curriculum - Organization - Graduate - Research
The structure of the undergraduate curriculum must be emancipated from the disciplinary organization of the graduate research university curriculum, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, but also in the sciences. There is no justification for structuring an undergraduate liberal arts curriculum along the lines of graduate school academic departments. The result of doing so is that the overwhelming focus in college is on the major, which is defined in graduate school terms. Students entering college ask basic questions about life. They are in search of ways to define their place in the world. They are concerned about their own lives and are curious about large problems in the world—matters of justice, the nature and possibilities of work and employment, the future of the planet, the construction of meaning, the nature of knowledge and belief, and the understanding of nature. These grand, wide-ranging concerns are not mirrored by the professional or disciplinary divisions of a university. The proper response is not old-fashioned survey courses; rather, courses on issues and problems that probe deeply and draw from more than one discipline are needed. So too are curricular...
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