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ERIC Number: EJ1095081
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
O Taste and See: A Commemorative History of the Wye Seminars
Holyer, Robert
Liberal Education, v100 n3 Sum 2014
Each summer, faculty and academic deans from institutions across the country make their way to the Wye River campus of the Aspen Institute on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for a weeklong seminar. Described as professional development, it often turns out to be much more. The Wye Seminars have at their core a collection of classic texts--from Plato to the present, from both East and West--that are distributed to the participants in advance and serve as the basis for the morning seminar discussions. Though prompted by the texts, the discussions range widely, from issues of liberal education and its role in American society to questions of fundamental social and political values. The afternoons and evenings are devoted to recreation in the best sense--reading, thinking, small-group discussion, the arts, exploring the countryside, or engaging in athletic activities. For most participants, the result is a powerful experience of liberal education and intellectual community, which often translates into new perspectives on teaching and learning, new curricula, and new connections with colleagues at home campuses. The seminar was developed some thirty years ago and was patterned on the Aspen Institute's Executive Seminar. The founding fathers were Douglass Cater, at that time president of Washington College, and Josiah Bunting III, then president of Hampden-Sydney College. The seminar was first offered in a pilot version in the summer of 1983. Because of its overwhelming success, in 1984, it became, in Cater's words, "a permanent institution." From the beginning, the appeal of the seminars has been the experience of reading important texts, taking extended time for reflection, and engaging colleagues in thoughtful and rigorous discussion. Participation offers a powerful renewal in the deeper meaning of liberal education and intellectual community. This article presents a brief history of the Wye Seminars.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Maryland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A