ERIC Number: ED216573
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Three Dialogues on Liberal Education.
Darkey, William A., Ed.
Transcripts of three conversations on liberal education, recorded at a 1977 conference at St. John's College, Santa Fe, are presented. The idea that great books are the best instruments for liberal education is addressed, and it is suggested that great books demonstrate to the student what is possible in the way of inquiry and expression, and that a great book is one that proposes a possible truth. Opinions are voiced regarding whether a book that raises important questions should be included in a curricula, and generally the criteria that are used in determining great books. Attention is directed to the kind of ordering principle that is possible and appropriate for a curriculum of liberal studies, and the question of art and method is raised. The broader issue of the relation of the undergraduate college of liberal arts to the modern university is also addressed, and it is suggested that the student should be taught the habit of inquiring into the foundations of the special disciplines. One view is that each discipline has its own proper methods and that a liberally educated person possesses the methods of the primary disciplines. Another topic of discussion is the purpose of studying works that represent the human figure acting and suffering. It is suggested by the editor that two main educational principles seem to underlie the conversations: the purpose of undergraduate study and the nature of learning. Participants took the position that the proper activity of undergraduate study is liberal education, or general education, and that learning is an activity of the student in which the teacher may be helpful. Liberal education is concerned with the whole range of human knowledge and experience. (SW)
Descriptors: Books, Church Related Colleges, College Curriculum, Educational Objectives, General Education, Higher Education, Inquiry, Liberal Arts, Literature, Undergraduate Study
St. John's College Press, Annapolis, MD 21401.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Saint John's College, Annapolis, MD.
Identifiers: Great Books Curriculum
Note: Conversations recorded at a conference on liberal education (St. John's College, Sante Fe, NM, April 1977).