Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Liberal education in crisis

"I fear that undergraduate education in the research university is becoming a project in ruins." So says
Stanley Katz in this Important Article.

There are, he says, lots of problems. The world of knowledge has burgeoned. Faculty are too narrowly specialized and disinclined in any event to teach undergraduates. Students are distracted and/or careerist (for good or bad reasons).

His solution? The dreaded "v-word"--Values:

If we believe that values do have a role in education, then the challenge may be to rehistoricize and rehumanize the underclass curriculum. That does not mean going back to Contemporary Civilization courses [at Columbia] or the Red Book [Harvard’s 1945 report]. It does mean rethinking the content of knowledge appropriate for our contemporary society, and summoning the intellectual courage to embolden students to make qualitative judgments about the materials they are required to engage with in their underclass years.

There’s supposed to be a
"live, on-line discussion" of this Important Article at 1 p.m. this Thursday (3/31). Go add your two cents or eavesdrop on the well- or ill-meaning souls who join the fray. I’ll be here, talking to people who can do more than speak in ringing generalities about undergraduate education. Soon thereafter, I’ll read the transcript of the forum and offer what commentary I can.

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