Liberal Arts

2505 Words Jan 29th, 2013 11 Pages
An education conducted in a spirit of free inquiry undertaken without concern for topical relevance or vocational utility. This kind of learning is not only one of the enrichments of existence; it is one of the achievements of civilization. It heightens students' awareness of the human and natural worlds they inhabit. It makes them more reflective about their beliefs and choices, more self-conscious and criticising, speaking, critical and logical thinking. Law schools report that by the yardsticks of law review and grades, their top students come from math, classics, and literature, with political science, economics, "pre-law “and” legal studies" ranking lower.
In today’s fast evolving world, leaders across the spectrum of vocations and
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Using the interactive resources of computer technology, we follow imaginary voyages of three ships that leave England in 1633. Sites include London's Globe Theatre, Benin, Barbados, Brazil, Mexico." With this kind of course in mind, it seems that the liberal arts could almost have been designed for sophisticated online learning, so far from being stale or fusty are these ways of knowing.
This kind of education has become more and more appealing to students and teachers at universities around the world. Donald Markwell, the warden of Oxford's Rhodes House, recently gave a series of lectures in Canada entitled "The Need for Breadth." He referred to a "surge of interest" in liberal education in "many other countries." He cites a major address in London by Yale's Richard Levin in which Levin noted that "Asian leaders are increasingly attracted to the American model of undergraduate curriculum," specifically because of the two years of breadth and depth in different disciplines provided before a student chooses an area of concentration or embarks on professional training. Levin described liberal-arts honors programs at Peking University, South Korea's Yonsei University, and the National University of Singapore; he also referred to liberal-arts curricula at Fudan University, Nanjing University, and the University of Hong Kong.
Yet, as we know, the trends in the United States are in the opposite direction, and this is not just a recent problem. Menand cites
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