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IP101 Liberal Arts: Principles and Praxis

Bryan Brazeau
Module Leader
Term 1
5 weeks
5 discussions hours
Not available to students outside the School for Cross-Faculty Studies

Moodle Platform ยป

Principal Aims

This set of interactive discussions aims to introduce students to Liberal Arts Education and its history. Students will be introduced to Liberal Arts thinking and how it differs from traditional discipline-based thinking. The lectures are structured around areas of intellectual debate.

Principal Learning Outcomes

By the end of the 5-week period of lectures students will be expected to have learnt:

  1. A brief history of Liberal Arts Education
  2. The key principles that inform a Liberal Education
  3. The key debates that guide Liberal Arts thinking
  4. The theoretical benefits of a Liberal Arts Education
  5. The practical benefits of a Liberal Arts Education
Consider this

Most 18 year-olds "have passed the age when a compulsory external discipline is useful. A well-instructed youth of eighteen can select for himself a better course of study than any college faculty, or any wise man who does not know him and his ancestors and his previous life, can possibly select for him". (Charles Eliot, Harvard University President, 1885).

Liberal Education is timely. Its emphasis on individualism and freedom of choice coincide with the spirit of our time. Let's explore what it means for us, on this degree course, and how it will empower us to choose our own path through education so that it is meaningful, personal and relevant.

Reading List

Emerson, R.W. 1841. "Self-Reliance"

Hunter, Gordon and Feisal Mohamed, eds. 2016. A New Deal for the Humanities: Liberal Arts and the Future of Public Higher Education.

"The Regina Beach Manifesto": A Policy for the Liberal Arts. 1963.

Roche, Mark William. 2010. Why Choose the Liberal Arts?

Schein, Edgar H. 2013. Humble Inquiry

Ulloa Chaves, Christopher A. 2014. Liberal Arts and Sciences: Thinking Critically, Creatively, and Ethically .

Zakaria, Fareed. 2015. In Defense of a Liberal Education

Additional Reading opportunities

Kimball, B.A. 2010. The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Documentary History

Peterson, P.M. 2012. "Liberal Arts Education in the Undergraduate Curriculum" in Confronting Challenges to the Liberal Arts Curriculum.

Schmidt, G.P. 1957. The Liberal Arts College: A chapter in American cultural history.

Sloan, D. "Harmony, Chaos, and Consensus: The American College Curriculum" in Teachers College Record 73 (Dec. 1971): 221-51

Veysey, L. 1973. "Stability and Experiment in American Undergraduate Curriculum" in Content and Context: Essays on College Education, ed. Carl Kaysen.

Visual Materials

Apple, "Think Different" Advertising Campaign (1997)