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ERIC Number: EJ852975
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Dec
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-4852
Narrowness and Liberality
Agresto, John
Academic Questions, v17 n1 p83-86 Dec 2003
John Agresto, whose task has been to rebuild the war-ravaged infrastructure of a Middle-Eastern university system, is discouraged to see that narrow expertise is the only goal of education there, to the utter exclusion of intellectual breadth. He comments that, although it is not that bad in the U.S., he feels that doctoral programs as currently structured increase the narrowness of academic departments and their offerings, especially in the humanities and social sciences. There is no reason, he asserts, why a Ph.D. should not be evidence of a broad knowledge of languages, ancient and modern; mathematics and the sciences; literature; art; and the best works of the human imagination. In other words, there is no reason why the Ph.D. could not be awarded after evidence of an expanded as well as deepened and sharpened education. Ph.D. candidates who aspire to be professors, however, will teach what they know, and Agresto yearns for a Ph.D. that values clear and intelligent writing on core subjects. There is little to be gained, he says, and much lost in focusing on a fringe topic like "homoerotic poetry," which is mainstream for an American dissertation today.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iraq