ERIC Number: ED029562
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Jul-11
Reference Count: 0
The Liberal Arts: A Modern Concept?
Shoben, Jr., Edward Joseph
The traditional role of liberal arts has been to transmit cultural heritage to undergraduate students. This function should be changed to involve the development of understandings that leave students free to make informed and uncoerced individual judgments in a world that deals with constantly increasing bodies of knowledge. The old concept of liberal arts has been made inadequate by the tempo and extent of technological and social change in the US, and the rapid growth of college enrollments by students of higher intellectual quality. Today, institutions of higher education must not only cope with more young people but with a more diverse student body. Modern undergraduate students are searching for generous human relationships, educational relevance, and are trying to make articulate in contemporary terms the very values that have been most cherished in the history of liberal education. Close observation reveals that the attitudes of these students reflect the forces at work in the larger US society. The small activist group is important, because it is composed of students who are among the highest in academic achievement and ability who also influence the tone of their institutions. The college or university that neglects this group in its curriculum and in its instructional effort invites both trouble and a kind of functional extinction. (WM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Council on Education, Washington, DC.
Note: Summary of an address to the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, D.C., November 16, 1966