If Liberal Education Dies, We Do, Too

This article ran recently on CNBC: The other college debt crisis: Schools are going broke.  It describes how small private colleges are folding. The passage I’d like to draw your attention to is about a liberal arts school that reinvented itself as follows:

“Gone were majors seen as stodgy or less aligned with a career path — including religion, art history and music. In their place are programs in sport management, international studies and crime, law and justice. There is a new emphasis on technology, and all students are required to complete an internship, a study-away trip or a research project in order to graduate.”

Seeking to understand God, our role in the universe and  society, and to express the loftiest ideas in our soul through art — these are now stodgy undertakings. It makes me wonder how people will study justice without being educated in what justice is. It makes me wonder how people will navigate a career path without knowing where the path should end.

Learning how without learning why is not the type of learning that leads to intellectual or spiritual well-being. Nothing is more practical than a study of the humanities. Perhaps people no longer want to be bothered by asking questions that have no sure and measurable answers. There was a time when no pursuit would have been more noble or exciting.

If we don’t work out answers to the “why” of life on our own, someone else will work them out for us. We may not like the result.

(Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons)

2 Replies to “If Liberal Education Dies, We Do, Too”

  1. Brad, I have the same worries. My only consolation is that some school districts are talking about STEAM eduction,, not just STEM education. Hopefully the population at large (parents and employers) will see the advantage of the A(rts). One of the best hires I made in my consulting days was to hire a lady with a library science degree.

  2. That’s encouraging about STEAM. My father encouraged me to learn about things I’d never study later, on the job. He told me I could learn about business as I was working, if I ended up in business. I was lucky to get such good advice.

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