“Good students must be reflective about what they believe, for their beliefs will shape their learning in profound ways” (Opitz & Melleby 23). This piece of wisdom shared in Learning for the Love of God expresses the importance of the beliefs one has about college, or education in general. Throughout this piece, Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby challenge students to reflect upon the way they look at their education. Many students, as well as parents and other adults, tend to not understand the purposes of college. Similarly, I often question the connections between my life and what my professors teach me; topics seemingly irrelevant cause me to quickly lose focus. As my perspective on higher education shifts, I see more clearly the genuine impact that college plays in my life. As a Christian, I must carry out my duty to glorify God by acquiring knowledge throughout college and to help other people see the significance that college has.
Throughout history, one sees that assumptions held about college constantly change. In today’s society, many see college not as somewhere one goes to learn insight or gain understanding, but a place where one goes simply to learn skills to receive a degree and move into the career of their choice. In his article Commonwealth: The Liberal Arts vs. Neoliberalism, Jackson Lears discusses how certain aspects of college shift, which supports this widely-held view. He shares that “there was a time when the big words of the humanities still carried
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In September of 2015, Harper’s Magazine published William Deresiewicz’s essay The Neoliberal Arts: How colleges have sold their soul to the market. In this essay, Deresiewicz discusses how colleges have changed their mindset over the last century and how the world’s new neoliberal thinking has changed higher education for the worse.
Published in Harper's Magazine’s September 1997 issue, Mark Edmundson’s essay, “On the Uses of Liberal Education: As Lite Entertainment for Bored College Students,” presents a very personal argument for an apparent crisis in liberal education–the lack of passion in students. According to Edmundson, a professor at the University of Virginia, “liberal-arts education is as ineffective as it is now…[because] university culture, like American culture writ large, is, to put it crudely, ever more devoted to consumption and entertainment, to the using and using up of goods and images” (723). He believes that consumer culture is responsible for students’ dispassionate attitude towards his class because they view liberal education as a paid service or product that should cater to their wishes. Further, he writes that universities feed into consumer culture, maintaining a “relationship with students [that] has a solicitous, nearly servile tone” (725). In this way, Edmundson lays out the reasons for why he thinks liberal education is failing.
The essay “A New Liberal Arts,” which was written by Sanford Ungar, first appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education on March 5, 2010. In his essay, Ungar uses many different rhetorical strategies to convince his reader that a degree in the liberal arts is not a lost cause but can actually be very beneficial and lead to success. In Ungar’s opinion, there are many wrong ideas and misunderstandings about the usefulness of a degree in the liberal arts. In the essay there are seven specific misperceptions that he addresses specifically. By listing out these misperceptions, Ungar is addressing them individually in order to give each one proper attention. He offers explanations to why people may think these things and why he believes that they are incorrect. Ungar’s use of style, format, and emotional and logical arguments help him to create a persuasive and influential essay for his audience and convince them to agree with his opinion.
More people than ever before are attending college due to the endless opportunities that it provides. Louis Menand, a college professor and the author of “Live and Learn: Why We Have College,” explains the meaning of college through three theories that have been developed. Theory 1 supports the idea of the sorting-out process that separates the highly intelligent from the less intelligent. Menand’s second theory explains that college provides opportunities for developmental growth, personal growth, and teaches individuals about the world around us. These are valuable lessons that will not be learned anywhere else. Theory three supports the idea of people attending college to specialize in a specific vocation. I
7. Christian college education equips us to play a role in redeeming God’s creation to the way it was supposed to be. By studying the word of God and applying it to every aspect of our lives we are working hard to bring ourselves back to what God intended us to be. Ostrander points out that part of our task as cultural beings is to redeem
What we get out of the college experience, we use in our day to day lives. Even the things we think aren’t important or useful end up becoming helpful. The material we learn in college is fundamental when it comes jobs and life in general. We are taught to make choices. We are taught how the real world works, and how to turn our education into our way of life. “…the really significant education in thinking that we’re supposed to get in a place like this isn’t really about the capacity to think, but rather about the choice of what to think about.” (Wallace 199).
In Freeman Hrabowski’s piece, “Colleges Prepare People for Life,” he mentions the differing opinions between going to college and choosing another path. Many people find college too expensive, and once a student graduates, he or she will face enormous debt and potentially risk still being unprepared for the working world. Hrabowski acknowledges this, and also notices that many students who do attend college occasionally make the wrong decision in terms of choosing a school and major. But while the stakes are high, he argues that college not only provides financial stability, but also allows students to become more virtuous citizens in the long run. He does this by providing information to backup his claims, using a passionate tone to explain his beliefs, and paralleling college attendance with good intentions.
“What Is College For” by Andrew Delbanco, shows the need for both a universal college system; one which caters for all of society, and one which provides a liberal education. Delbanco gives many reasoned thoughts on how, and why the college system has become restricted, to purely those of a higher socio-economic background, rather than being exclusive to people of all backgrounds. The idea of college being a platform for people to learn, advance their skills, and become whatever they want to be has seemingly diminished over time. The ideas in favor of such an educational system are put forward, but they are foreshadowed in my opinion, by the notion that people should have the same educational opportunities in life; regardless of their economic or social background. A universal education system is needed for our society to prosper, especially if it provides a liberal education; this is not just for the individuals that make up a community, but for the community, as a whole.
Charles Murray’s essay proposes that American colleges are being flooded with individuals who are either unprepared for higher education or who are simply forced into attending college and can’t succeed because of the lack of certain innate abilities. Murray’s essay goes on to take issue with the idea that the pursuit of a traditional college education is somehow strategically creating a separation of the American class system. While Murray makes many salient points with regards to America’s obsession with college education as a standard into a class of the intellectual elite, the essay fails to take into consideration the various motivators that can lead to student success, despite
Hunter Rawlings, the author of College is not a Commodity, protests society’s view of the importance of college and argues the necessity of an education instead of the college title. Rawlings boldly exhibits stereotypical views of college as being unaffordable, creating too much debt, and simply not being worth the hassle. He then goes on to explain his contributing factor the the article, “The value of a degree depends more on the student’s input than on the college’s curriculum.” (paragraph 4) Rawlings displays that a college degree is not just handed to the student, however the expertise of that degree is dependent on the level of education that the student sought to receive. The author inevitably argues that college is not a commodity like
College is an opportunity to truly discover who you are. Often enough, you hear people saying “You should really major in this field, I think you would really enjoy this career.” or, “Do you think you really want to study that? Have you thought about what you will be doing ten years from now?” filling your mind with self doubt, uncertainty, and the anxiousness of not knowing what you want to do with the rest of your life. Mark Edmundson wrote an article titled, Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here?, published in Oxford American addressing college students and their families how the most important thing college students should focus on is personal growth. When students take their courses seriously their engagement can help finding out who they really are and which future career will lead not necessarily to great financial success, but to a career and life that is very satisfying. Edmundson wants to inspire his audience and have them take what he is saying seriously. Edmundson uses satirical informal language and hypothetical situations to effectively persuade college students to focus on their personal growth in order to create a life and career that is deeply fulfilling.
Mark Edmundson, the author of “On the Uses of a Liberal Education”, is an English teacher at the University of Virginia who expresses his concerns about the trajectory of the universities and colleges in America. Edmundson depicts how college students today have “little fire, little passion to be found,” towards their classes (4). In an effort to find the source of this lack of passion, Edmundson describes contacting other professors about this issue while refining his own ideas. Ultimately, Edmundson comes to a conclusion. He believes that the consumer mindset of college students has hindered American universities as a whole. My target audience is my professor, Professor Chezik. Looking closely at his wording, formation of sentences, and idea structure, one can see a recurring theme throughout Edmundson’s essay. Edmundson uses fragments, specifically at the beginning of his paragraphs, to start his point, pose counter arguments, and to have a poetic refrain.
To discuss the value of liberal education, there should be a mutual understanding that investing in college means to invest in oneself. Furthermore, while some consider this investment to be a critical stepping stone to success, others dismiss it, explaining that school simply cannot prepare someone for the “real world.” Sanford J. Ungar and Robert Reich explore both of these subjective values in their essays “The New Liberal Arts” and “College is a Ludicrous Waste of Money.” Ungar, the president of Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, discusses why a liberal education should be sought after; he does so by introducing common misconceptions about liberal arts and, using argumentative persuasion, proves their insignificance. On the other hand, Reich, the former secretary of labor, argues against the conventional belief of college being the only road to financial wellbeing; rather, he explains why a two-year education may better accommodate many college students, especially those in need of immediate work or those that simply cannot afford a four-year education. In all, although both Reich and Ungar generally discuss liberal education, their perspectives differ when it comes to its practicality in the current economy. Also, to express their different views about liberal arts, the authors use contrasting tones to present their ideas to different intended audiences.
College, a universal, fundamental concept that the globe utilizes. Through a wide array of variations, countries across the world have developed their own meaning of what higher education is. However, the underlying tone of it all is the same, furthering one’s knowledge. With a vast number of schools from a broad range of locations trying to pull the population in, colleges compete with different tactics ranging from education relevance to evaluation. Consequently, problems have arisen from these approaches, addressed along the lines in an article called “A New Course” by Magdalena Kay, an associate professor of English at the University of Victoria and an educational film, “Ivory Tower” by Andrew Rossi, a graduate of Harvard and Yale University and a filmmaker. Furthermore, these problems change the meaning of college itself, no longer seen as an education, but as a commodity.
The word college means different things to different people. For parents it might mean freedom from their pesky teenagers or sleepless nights full of worry. For students it might mean new experiences, independence, or learning about themselves and their passions. For society it might mean carrying on a legacy or doing one’s duty as a good citizen. It is neither society's place nor the parent’s choice to decide what a young adult does with his or her life.