ERIC Number: ED264778
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Oct
Reference Count: 0
The Future of the Liberal Arts.
O'Neill, Joseph P.
Views concerning study of the liberal arts and its future are offered. It is suggested that a liberal arts education has a public purpose: it develops skills needed by citizens to be active in the community. Studying the humanities (literature, philosophy, religion, music, and the fine arts) for self-expression, self-fulfillment, and self-development is for private, rather than public, purposes. In each society, the education that the citizen requires to be active in the community depends on its type of constitution. A liberal arts education may not be identified with particular subject matters, but rather with skills in communication, problem-solving, and leadership. From the Renaissance through the middle of the 19th century a liberal arts education was synonymous with the mastery of the Latin and Greek classics. Today colleges debate the relative merits of the humanities and the sciences, and most recently the focus has shifted to the advantages of career education. Since many individuals currently function within corporate or bureaucratic systems, it is proposed that the following skills are needed: persuasive skills, mastering of statistics, the ability to convey information graphically, an understanding of economics, and command of the written and spoken word. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College Entrance Examination Board (New York, NY, October 30, 1985).