A Liberal Education Matters By Michael S. Roth

1067 Words5 Pages
A Liberal Education Matters Liberal education- its relevancy and practicality- is a relevant topic; it is especially relevant in a day and age where college is not a leisure but a necessity. In his book Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters (Yale University Press), Michael S. Roth argues, his pointedly biased opinion, on the importance of a liberal arts education. To Roth, a liberal education is an education that immerses the student in vast knowledge of a variety of humanity subjects. As the president of Wesleyan University, Roth full heartedly believes in a liberal education, and supports his argument by referring to famous thinkers since the establishment of the United States; however, Roth includes drawbacks to…show more content…
Some thinkers, such as W.E.B. Du Bois, argued that some students would not be able to get an in depth liberal education and some pupils should strictly attend vocational schools; colleges and universities do not make the choice between liberal education training and “either or” choice. Rather, by offering a liberal education pathway, colleges are training students to be more appealing in tension-packed work field. In fact, a sizeable portion of the book discusses the pros and cons of a liberal education versus a vocational school. In the 1800s, it was not necessary to have a college education to get a good job; in fact, college graduates were few. By arguing the importance of a liberal arts education through colleges and universities, Roth is presenting a compromise to the “liberal education or vocational school” saga; by attending an university that offers a liberal arts education, pupils are getting the best part of the worlds W.E.B. Du Bois and Frederick Douglass countered. In fact, according to Carol T. Christ, president of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, “graduates of liberal arts colleges earn doctorates in the sciences at nearly twice the rate of graduates of other institutions” (29). While the exact reasoning for this is not obvious, perhaps Roth was correct when he stated that a liberal education works and expands the mind.

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