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Liberal Education

Making Education Our Cause

Michael Roth | Posted 12.23.2014 | College
Michael Roth

Education can be your cause when you believe in empowerment through learning. Education can be your cause when you believe that inquiry and communication can lead to positive change in the world. Let's make education, a broad and pragmatic liberal education, our cause in 2015.

Promoting Meaningful Education: Phi Beta Kappa Honors the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts

Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D. | Posted 12.08.2014 | Education
Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.

At a time when so many seem to be questioning the value of a college education in general and a focus on the liberal arts in particular, it's ironic t...

The Intrinsic Value of Liberal Education

Grant Cornwell | Posted 11.16.2014 | College
Grant Cornwell

A liberal education is an expansion of consciousness: with every book read, every natural or social system grasped, every theory put to the test and employed, we become persons with greater scope and agency.

Engaged Campuses

Daan Braveman | Posted 10.30.2014 | College
Daan Braveman

Quite often the service aspect exposes students to issues of poverty, class and race -- issues they may not observe firsthand in their lives before college or even in their lives on college campuses.

Colleges Don't Need More Tests or More 'Sheep'

Michael Roth | Posted 11.19.2014 | College
Michael Roth

Our colleges and universities aspire to help students to find what John Dewey called "the large and human significance" in their lives and work. This requires not just teaching to the test and not just parroting critiques. It requires learning to think with contexts and concepts, deploying cooperation and creativity.

Is A (Liberal Arts) College Degree Still Worth It?

Grant Cornwell | Posted 11.17.2014 | College
Grant Cornwell

Practical wisdom is the moral and intellectual wherewithal to live well, to prosper and thrive oneself, and, in so doing, to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of others. In this sense, a Wooster education is the most practical education possible in and for the world today.

College Must Be More Than Just a Classy Trade School

Michael Roth | Posted 10.31.2014 | College
Michael Roth

Sure, we must pay attention to what our graduates will do with their education, and we must give them the skills to translate what they learn in classrooms to their lives after graduation. But we shouldn't reduce our understanding of "their lives after graduation" to their very first job.

Advice to the College-Bound: Everything Important in Life Is Unknown

Christopher B. Nelson | Posted 10.14.2014 | College
Christopher B. Nelson

As a college president, I'm usually saying that our nation's colleges and universities help students come to know the unknown, and to grasp the vital importance of knowing. Yet there is something in "Everything important in life is unknown" that clarifies the proper role of colleges and universities.

Liberal Education, Soft Skills, and Success

Thomas A. Kazee | Posted 09.13.2014 | College
Thomas A. Kazee

In a world that seems increasingly to equate learning and career preparation, many commentators are skeptical that students are acquiring the skills that will translate well into the marketplace.

Declaring Our Independence Through Education

Michael Roth | Posted 09.02.2014 | College
Michael Roth

On this July 4 we should dedicate ourselves to recovering the American promise that education should increase our independence. Since the founding of this country, education has been closely tied to self-reliance, to declaring one's independence through one's ability to think for oneself and creatively contribute to society. In a quickly shifting economic landscape, it is understandable that some parents and pundits are calling for streamlined learning to train people quickly. But gearing education only to meeting current economic conditions is a ticket to conformity -- and also to economic and cultural mediocrity.

Commencement Thoughts for Class of 2014

Michael Roth | Posted 07.29.2014 | College
Michael Roth

You should beware of those pundits today who disparage creating greater access to a college education. Under the guise of practicality, this is old-fashioned, elitist condescension combined with a desire to protect the status quo of inequality.

The Arts and Humanities Are Alive and Well -- Just Watch the Millennials

Christine Henseler | Posted 07.12.2014 | Education
Christine Henseler

Let's stop talking about the death or decline of the arts and humanities. Let's explicitly engage with its rebirth.

Liberal Education's Positive Role in Society

Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D. | Posted 06.28.2014 | Education
Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Every once in a while insight comes from surprising corners and when it does it can be all the more powerful because of its unexpected presence. Two ...

Supreme Court Decision Undermines Education and Opportunity

Michael Roth | Posted 06.24.2014 | College
Michael Roth

University admissions programs are not the place to promote partisan visions of social justice, but they are the place to produce the most dynamic and profound learning environments.

In College, Choose to Thrive

Michael Roth | Posted 06.14.2014 | College
Michael Roth

Your college choice isn't just about "fit" and "comfort"; it isn't just about the prestige of the school or the amenities it offers. Your college choice should reflect your aspirations, where you can imagine yourself discovering more about the world and your capacities to interact with it.

The Obamas' Jeffersonian Moment

Michael Roth | Posted 03.25.2014 | College
Michael Roth

Despite their many differences, we can see in Jefferson and the Obamas a common commitment to a broad, open-ended education as a vehicle for disrupting entrenched elites. When the best educational resources are dominated by the wealthiest, they become an elite bent on cultivating their pleasures rather than on extending knowledge and cultural vitality.

Hopes for an Undergraduate Education That Challenges the Staus Quo

Michael Roth | Posted 02.10.2014 | College
Michael Roth

Earlier this semester I participated in a symposium in honor of the inauguration of Nicholas Dirks as Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley. My task was to speak briefly on undergraduate education. Here's the clip.

The Miracle of Imagination

Christopher B. Nelson | Posted 02.01.2014 | College
Christopher B. Nelson

Both imagination and wonder can be nurtured by stories from our childhood, by fairy tales, by books, dramas, and musical performances -- in short, by exposure to the great and the beautiful in any form.

Investing in a Liberal Education

Christopher B. Nelson | Posted 01.23.2014 | College
Christopher B. Nelson

The separation of knowledge into categories frustrates the human desire for unity. Each of us is a student of the world, a whole individual trying to make integral sense of the world, and striving to make that world our own.

The Value of a Liberal Arts Education in Today's Global Marketplace

Edward J. Ray | Posted 09.23.2013 | College
Edward J. Ray

A good job and top salary out of college, we all agree, would be wonderful. More important by far, is what our college graduates do beyond the starting line to build a rewarding life, create a fulfilling career and serve their communities.

Invest in the Humanities Now

Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D. | Posted 09.14.2013 | College
Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Countries actively crushing free speech are introducing Western-style liberal arts education in their universities. Ironic, yes! More importantly, however, we should ask ourselves why we think the humanities are irrelevant when others are so interested.

The Liberal Arts Are Alive and Well in Washington State

Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D. | Posted 08.19.2013 | College
Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.

Working with educators across the state of Washington, I've helped to create an organization that many might consider an anachronism, a relic from a f...

Conformity Is the Enemy: From Groupthink to Diversity

Michael Roth | Posted 05.31.2013 | College
Michael Roth

Conformity, whether rationalized or simply imposed, undermines our government, our press, and our educational systems. We've had to learn some hard lessons about this in the last 10 years. Surely one of them is that we must defend diversity as a tool for innovation and for responsible decision-making.

Stanford University's Teagle Humanities Courses Promote Collaborative Faculty Graduate Teaching

Ruth Starkman | Posted 05.27.2013 | College
Ruth Starkman

Throughout 2012-2013, Stanford faculty and graduate students have been offering a series of eight team-taught courses that will help prepare grads for careers as liberal arts educators.

A Chain of Memory

Susan Henking | Posted 03.13.2013 | College
Susan Henking

Here, then, is our question: is the idea that we can reach across generations to enable a conversation between those long dead and living thinkers fiction, too? Is it fantasy?