The Case for Liberal Arts Education

In an article on Inside Higher Ed entitled Disappearing Liberal Arts Colleges, Scott Jasik quotes Victor E. Ferrall, Jr., regarding the challenges facing liberal arts colleges and by extension liberal arts education.

“The problem is not that some places that call themselves ‘liberal arts colleges’ really aren’t any more, but rather that the number of Americans who see the great value a liberal arts education provides is dwindling,” he said via e-mail. “Yes, students and their parents still want degrees from  prestigious liberal arts colleges, but fewer and fewer value the liberal arts education the colleges provide. In today’s market, how is anyone going to get a job as an anthropologist or historian, let alone as a philosopher or expert in 19th-century English literature?”

Ferrall questioned whether liberal arts colleges are paying enough attention to these trends. “An increasing number of liberal arts colleges are attempting answer this question by presenting  themselves as vocational, or by arguing that studying anthropology will actually lead to a good job, rather than by showing how the liberal arts curriculum as a whole leads to questioning, analytic, critical thinking that stands recipients in good stead wherever their lives may lead and on whatever career paths they follow,” he said. “The liberal arts wing of the academy needs to get busy making the case for the education they provide, before it is too late.”

I agree with this assessment; it aligns with statements I made near the end of a prior post entitled Online Learning vs Traditional Learning: The Need for Reasonable Reasoning.

About Taylor Halverson

I love learning. I love connecting. I love interdisciplinarity.
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