Saturday, August 1, 2015

That old college stand-by, liberal arts, continues to founder in a more practical world (OC Reg, from the NYT)
[Interview with economist David W. Breneman:]
Q. What does the trend away from liberal arts tell us about America?
A. I don’t think one should get melodramatic about this, but we are drifting toward turning college into a trade school. And that is ultimately harmful. The original ethos of education was that it prepared people for citizenship, for enlightened leadership, enhanced their creativity. There was a tradition going back to Jefferson, who founded the University of Virginia, that a liberal arts education was the core of our democracy. If we lose an educated populace, we’re open for demagogy. We need broadly educated people.
Q. In 1990, there were thought to be 600 liberal arts colleges. You looked at their curriculums and said there were really about 200. Three years ago, researchers counted 130. Where are things heading?
A. Most of the very fine liberal arts schools are going to survive. But some of them are verging more into professional fields. In 15 years, the number of liberal arts colleges might be down to 120 because of the pressure to add more practical offerings. And the closure of small private colleges that morphed out of liberal arts long ago is going to continue....


Anonymous said...

Good. People don't have to be taught how to be a liberal, let alone earn a degree in it. How about conservative studies and degrees?

Anonymous said...

I hope you are being tongue and cheek. Liberal has a different meaning in this context.

Anonymous said...

No need for any such thing, 4:12. Just channel your inner narcissistic, self centered self, combine that with your hateful attitude, and voila.


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