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ERIC Number: EJ1081659
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0151
The Intrinsic Value of the Liberal Arts: Cicero's Example
Wintrol, Kate
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, v15 n1 p129-134 Spr-Sum 2014
The liberal arts, first described in Republican Rome, have been a component of higher education since the advent of the medieval university in the eleventh century. Despite such historical lineage, the value of a liberal arts education is continuously and publicly called into question, and this is a special problem for honors programs, most of which are rooted in the liberal arts. The current discussion takes place in this context of long-running historical debate concerning not only the ideal curriculum but also the purpose and usefulness of a liberal arts education. The Roman writer Cicero, who wrote extensively about education, discussed the worth of specific training versus a general education in his enormously influential dialogue "de Oratore." Cicero's extensive education and training provided the framework for his solace, and surely honors educators want to provide such frameworks for their students. This article discusses why education and training need to focus on more than getting a job; they need to prepare students for their future and for the suffering that they, like Cicero, will inevitably experience in their lives. In providing a liberal arts education, honors programs enable their students to grow beyond childhood into a full sense of their worth as individuals and as citizens.
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A