The Future of Liberal Education

Author: Timothy W. Burns
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317689798
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Liberal Education, once the whole of American Higher Education, has been displaced by technical training and career-oriented majors. But it has also suffered from the decline in genuine liberal learning found in humanities disciplines, owing to specialization, politicization, and the adoption of new literary and psychological theories. The social sciences, too, have arguably abandoned the kind of relentless and sometimes disturbing questioning that used to constitute the core of education. In this compelling volume, thirteen college educators describe in sparkling prose what liberal education is, its place in a liberal democracy, the very serious challenges it faces in the 21st century—even from some of its alleged friends—and why it is important to sustain and expand liberal education’s place in American colleges and universities. Proponents and critics of liberal education alike will benefit from these insightful essays. This book was originally published as a special issue of Perspectives on Political Science.

Excellence Without a Soul

Author: Harry Lewis
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1586485016
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A Harvard professor and former Dean of Harvard College offers his provocative analysis of how America's great universities are failing students and the nation

In Defense of a Liberal Education

Author: Fareed Zakaria
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393247694
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CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria argues for a renewed commitment to the world’s most valuable educational tradition. The liberal arts are under attack. The governors of Florida, Texas, and North Carolina have all pledged that they will not spend taxpayer money subsidizing the liberal arts, and they seem to have an unlikely ally in President Obama. While at a General Electric plant in early 2014, Obama remarked, "I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree." These messages are hitting home: majors like English and history, once very popular and highly respected, are in steep decline. "I get it," writes Fareed Zakaria, recalling the atmosphere in India where he grew up, which was even more obsessed with getting a skills-based education. However, the CNN host and best-selling author explains why this widely held view is mistaken and shortsighted. Zakaria eloquently expounds on the virtues of a liberal arts education—how to write clearly, how to express yourself convincingly, and how to think analytically. He turns our leaders' vocational argument on its head. American routine manufacturing jobs continue to get automated or outsourced, and specific vocational knowledge is often outdated within a few years. Engineering is a great profession, but key value-added skills you will also need are creativity, lateral thinking, design, communication, storytelling, and, more than anything, the ability to continually learn and enjoy learning—precisely the gifts of a liberal education. Zakaria argues that technology is transforming education, opening up access to the best courses and classes in a vast variety of subjects for millions around the world. We are at the dawn of the greatest expansion of the idea of a liberal education in human history.

A New Deal for the Humanities

Author: Gordon Hutner
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813573254
Format: PDF, ePub
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Many in higher education fear that the humanities are facing a crisis. But even if the rhetoric about “crisis” is overblown, humanities departments do face increasing pressure from administrators, politicians, parents, and students. In A New Deal for the Humanities, Gordon Hutner and Feisal G. Mohamed bring together twelve prominent scholars who address the history, the present state, and the future direction of the humanities. These scholars keep the focus on public higher education, for it is in our state schools that the liberal arts are taught to the greatest numbers and where their neglect would be most damaging for the nation. The contributors offer spirited and thought-provoking debates on a diverse range of topics. For instance, they deplore the push by administrations to narrow learning into quantifiable outcomes as well as the demands of state governments for more practical, usable training. Indeed, for those who suggest that a college education should be “practical”—that it should lean toward the sciences and engineering, where the high-paying jobs are—this book points out that while a few nations produce as many technicians as the United States does, America is still renowned worldwide for its innovation and creativity, skills taught most effectively in the humanities. Most importantly, the essays in this collection examine ways to make the humanities even more effective, such as offering a broader array of options than the traditional major/minor scheme, options that combine a student’s professional and intellectual interests, like the new medical humanities programs. A democracy can only be as energetic as the minds of its citizens, and the questions fundamental to the humanities are also fundamental to a thoughtful life. A New Deal for the Humanities takes an intrepid step in making the humanities—and our citizens—even stronger in the future.

Class Not Dismissed

Author: Anthony Aveni
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
ISBN: 1492001716
Format: PDF, ePub
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In A Life in Learning, award-winning professor Anthony Aveni tells the personal story of his six decades in college classrooms and some of the 10,000 students who have filled them. Through anecdotes of his own triumphs and tribulations—some amusing, others heartrending—Aveni reveals his teaching story and thoughts on the future of higher education. Although in recent years the lecture has come under fire as a pedagogical method, Aveni ardently defends lecturing to students. He shares his secrets on crafting an engaging lecture and creating productive dialogue in class discussions. He lays out his rules on classroom discipline and tells how he promotes the lost art of listening. He is a passionate proponent of the liberal arts and core course requirements as well as a believer in sound teaching promoted by active scholarship. Aveni is known to his students as a consummate storyteller. In A Life in Learning he shares real stories about everyday college life that shed light on serious educational issues. The result is a humorous, reflective, inviting, and powerful inquiry into higher education that will be of interest to anyone invested in the current and future state of college and university education.

You Can Do Anything

Author: George Anders
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316548855
Format: PDF, ePub
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In a tech-dominated world, the most needed degrees are the most surprising: the liberal arts Did you take the right classes in college? Will your major help you get the right job offers? For more than a decade, the national spotlight has focused on science and engineering as the only reliable choice for finding a successful post-grad career. Our destinies have been reduced to a caricature: learn to write computer code or end up behind a counter, pouring coffee. Quietly, though, a different path to success has been taking shape. In YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, George Anders explains the remarkable power of a liberal arts education - and the ways it can open the door to thousands of cutting-edge jobs every week. The key insight: curiosity, creativity, and empathy aren't unruly traits that must be reined in. You can be yourself, as an English major, and thrive in sales. You can segue from anthropology into the booming new field of user research; from classics into management consulting, and from philosophy into high-stakes investing. At any stage of your career, you can bring a humanist's grace to our rapidly evolving high-tech future. And if you know how to attack the job market, your opportunities will be vast. In this book, you will learn why resume-writing is fading in importance and why "telling your story" is taking its place. You will learn how to create jobs that don't exist yet, and to translate your campus achievements into a new style of expression that will make employers' eyes light up. You will discover why people who start in eccentric first jobs - and then make their own luck - so often race ahead of peers whose post-college hunt focuses only on security and starting pay. You will be ready for anything.

Liberal Arts at the Brink

Author: Victor E. Ferrall
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674049721
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Liberal arts colleges represent a tiny portion of the higher education market, yet produce a stunning percentage of America’s leaders. But the demand for career-related education has pressured them to become vocational, distorting their mission and core values. Liberal Art At the Brink is a wake-up call for everyone who values liberal arts education.

Derrida and the Future of the Liberal Arts

Author: Mary Caputi
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1441121196
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Derrida and the Future of the Liberal Arts highlights the Derridean assertion that the university must exist 'without condition' - as a bastion of intellectual freedom and oppositional activity whose job it is to question mainstream society. Derrida argued that only if the life of the mind is kept free from excessive corporate influence and political control can we be certain that the basic tenets of democracy are being respected within the very societies that claim to defend democratic principles. This collection contains eleven essays drawn from international scholars working in both the humanities and social sciences, and makes a well-grounded and comprehensive case for the importance of Derridean thought within the liberal arts today. Written by specialists in the fields of philosophy, literature, history, sociology, geography, political science, animal studies, and gender studies, each essay traces deconstruction's contribution to their discipline, explaining how it helps keep alive the 'unconditional', contrapuntal mission of the university. The book offers a forceful and persuasive corrective to the current assault on the liberal arts.

Beyond the University

Author: Michael S. Roth
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300175515
Format: PDF, Kindle
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An eloquent defense of liberal education, seen against the backdrop of its contested history in America