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233

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On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Robert Bates Graber

121

Abstract

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Robert Bates Graber

197

Abstract

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Robert Bates Graber

This paper's purpose is to account for liberal education's characteristic incoherence.

318

Abstract

Purpose

This paper's purpose is to account for liberal education's characteristic incoherence.

Design/methodology/approach

Its approach is to sketch a dilemma created by cultures being inherently conservative, while nations, in order to be internationally competitive, need to be innovative. The definitional and systemic bases of culture's conservatism offer no point of attack; but a third base is enculturation, which does.

Findings

Shortly after puberty, society's more promising young people are strongly urged to leave home for an extended period, and be exposed to ways of acting and thinking that often clash with how they have been brought up. They are encouraged to explore new subjects and indulge their curiosity; they are encouraged to “think outside the box” of their own enculturation. The incoherence of liberal education leaves them not with a sense of closure, but in a state of constructive confusion conducive to innovation in all aspects of life. Liberal education thus serves the social function of countering the anti-innovative tendency of culture.

Practical implications

Attempts to impose coherence on undergraduate educational experience by “tying things all together” for students are ill-advised.

Originality/value

Seeing incoherence as a desirable rather than deplorable feature of undergraduate liberal education can help us facilitate rather than inadvertently inhibit innovative thought and action in the rising generation.

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Tom P. Abeles

Since the creation of the trivium and quadrivium as the core for a post- secondary education, education itself has undergone substantive change, particularly since the end of the

601

Abstract

Purpose

Since the creation of the trivium and quadrivium as the core for a post- secondary education, education itself has undergone substantive change, particularly since the end of the eighteenth century. Unspoken is the change in the population seeking such advanced knowledge, as well as the idea that the original elements might be recast as liberal studies and STEM (science/technology/engineering/mathematics); unspoken, too, are the ramifications. This paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The increased emphasis on STEM and its applications has reduced funding for liberal studies, leading to the potential for seriously reducing the perceived importance of the humanities and related liberal studies. This creates a feedback loop, as the increasing cost of education shifts the focus towards “practical” knowledge.

Findings

As with the trivium and quadrivium, where it was expected that the latter was focused on work-related skills, there may be an increasing split in society between those who have the fiscal resources and obtain a liberal education, and the balance who enter the applied professions, amplifying the increasing socioeconomic gap in today's society. It also becomes problematic for members of society to effectively participate in the political process.

Originality/value

An innovative look at the need for liberal education in the modern world.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Marcus Bussey

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the assumption that liberal education as we understand it today, is alive and well in our institutions of higher education.

309

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the assumption that liberal education as we understand it today, is alive and well in our institutions of higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is a reflective essay

Findings

The spirit of liberal education is alive and well but has largely fled the university and taken up residence in less formal, more flexible educational contexts.

Originality/value

This article plays the devil's advocate and argues that we need to rethink how we approach and signify “liberal education.”

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Robert A. Scott

The purpose of this essay is to comment on the philosophy of liberal education and its structure; the goal of general education and how it fulfills the goals of liberal education;

4947

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this essay is to comment on the philosophy of liberal education and its structure; the goal of general education and how it fulfills the goals of liberal education; and the four key elements of liberal education, including the “liberating” aspects of general education, the need for an emphasis on questions more than on answers, the meaning of a global perspective, and the connections of each of the above to extracurricular experiences and engaged citizenship.

Design/methodology/approach

This essay is a review of the topics of liberal and general education, their components, and their importance.

Findings

Using the design and methodology mentioned above as a way to explore the purpose, the essay reveals selected universal truths about a liberal or “liberating” undergraduate education.

Research limitations/implications

The approach that is detailed can be assessed in comparison to other formulations of liberal and general education.

Practical implications

The framework described above suggests possibilities for redesigning liberal and general education programs so as to have a greater impact on undergraduate student learning and to foster experiential and interdisciplinary learning.

Originality/value

While this is a personal perspective based on many decades of senior positions in higher education, it is based not only on the author's own analysis and thinking, but also on a broad understanding of the literature about these topics.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Victor R. Delclos and Randall P. Donaldson

This essay seeks to argue that contemporary liberal arts education can be viewed from the perspective of contemporary psychological understandings of human cognition combined with

391

Abstract

Purpose

This essay seeks to argue that contemporary liberal arts education can be viewed from the perspective of contemporary psychological understandings of human cognition combined with the classical pedagogy developed in the foundational concepts of Jesuit education. Through a description of the human cognitive system as discussed in the writing of Daniel Kahneman and the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, the concepts of “slow thinking” and “discernment” are offered as important models that can inform development of a liberal education in an information-saturated society.

Design/methodology/approach

The essay presents an interpretation of the essentially “liberating” nature of liberal education in light of the psychological literature that demonstrates how one's culture contributes to the formation of cognitive structures that allow largely automatic processing of information in a non-reflective, fast process that leads to understanding that is constrained and somewhat closed to alternative understanding. This interpretation is then discussed in light of a process of discernment that allows the individual to open up to new ideas.

Findings

The essay thus derives the conclusion that a focus on pedagogy of discernment is the essential feature of a modern liberal education and leads to creative expression of new ideas in new ways.

Originality/value

The essay presents an alternative view of contemporary liberal education that is based on a well-developed historical approach (Ignatian discernment) and supported by current psychological research.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Troy D. Paino

This paper seeks to discuss the role of a public liberal-arts university in education.

601

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to discuss the role of a public liberal-arts university in education.

Design/methodology/approach

The author first defines the principles and definitions of liberal education, then analyses these ideas in relation to public liberal-arts universities.

Findings

Liberal education holds enduring value in a world where state support for higher education is steadily decreasing and the author concludes that society needs public liberal-arts universities in order to maintain freedom of thought and democracies.

Originality/value

This piece presents a view of public liberal-arts universities in the wider context of liberal education, recession and worldwide threats to democracy and personal freedoms.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Wayne B. Jennings

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness and outcomes of liberal arts in preparing people for adult roles.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness and outcomes of liberal arts in preparing people for adult roles.

Design/methodology/approach

Review of research and opinions about the liberal arts.

Findings

Liberal-arts outcomes results have fallen short of expectations though this may be a short coming of higher education generally. A new era of the knowledge society will shrink liberal-arts departments in humanities, literature and philosophy.

Research limitations/implications

Liberal arts need definition and clarity of expected outcomes.

Practical implications

Jobs in liberal arts colleges will decrease given its weak effectiveness. Online education for liberal-arts areas will grow explosively.

Originality/value

Liberal-arts critics have been active for decades. What is different today is world wide access to all information 24/7 and massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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