Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters

Yale University Press, 6 may 2014 - 228 páginas
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Contentious debates over the benefits—or drawbacks—of a liberal education are as old as America itself. From Benjamin Franklin to the Internet pundits, critics of higher education have attacked its irrelevance and elitism—often calling for more vocational instruction. Thomas Jefferson, by contrast, believed that nurturing a student’s capacity for lifelong learning was useful for science and commerce while also being essential for democracy. In this provocative contribution to the disputes, university president Michael S. Roth focuses on important moments and seminal thinkers in America’s long-running argument over vocational vs. liberal education.
Conflicting streams of thought flow through American intellectual history: W. E. B. DuBois’s humanistic principles of pedagogy for newly emancipated slaves developed in opposition to Booker T. Washington’s educational utilitarianism, for example. Jane Addams’s emphasis on the cultivation of empathy and John Dewey’s calls for education as civic engagement were rejected as impractical by those who aimed to train students for particular economic tasks. Roth explores these arguments (and more), considers the state of higher education today, and concludes with a stirring plea for the kind of education that has, since the founding of the nation, cultivated individual freedom, promulgated civic virtue, and instilled hope for the future.

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LibraryThing Review

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Beyond the university: Why liberal education matters provides a comprehensive, well-documented historical review of philosophical thought about the role of higher education in the United States. Roth ... Leer reseña completa

Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters

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Roth (president, history, Wesleyan Univ.) argues that liberal education is not only necessary for individual development but is essential for the growth of active citizens and for the vitality of a ... Leer reseña completa

Páginas seleccionadas


1 From Taking in the World to Transforming the Self
From Autonomy to Recognition
3 Controversies and Critics
4 Reshaping Ourselves and Our Societies
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Sobre el autor (2014)

Michael S. Roth is president of Wesleyan University and the author of five books of intellectual history, most recently Memory, Trauma and History. A professor in history and the humanities, he teaches at Wesleyan and reaches many thousands more through his open online Coursera course, The Modern and the Post-Modern.

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