Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Liberal education

Last week, New York Times had a column by the conservative political commentator David Brooks which caught my attention. In it, Brooks disparagingly quoted a recent Harvard faculty report on the purpose of liberal education. However unlike Brookes, I must say that I appreciated reading the report (pdf), despite its occasional post-modern flair.

“[T]he aim of a liberal education is to unsettle presumptions, to defamiliarize the familiar, to reveal what is going on beneath and behind appearances, to disorient young people and to help them to find ways to reorient themselves. A liberal education aims to accomplish these things by questioning assumptions, by inducing self-reflection, by teaching students to think critically and analytically, by exposing them to the sense of alienation produced by encounters with radically different historical moments and cultural formations and with phenomena that exceed their, and even our own, capacity fully to understand”.


Blogger meditations71 said...

Stanley Fish wrote a brief blog entry on the subject in the New York Times, which may be of some interest. I've linked it in my blog here:

12:18 pm  

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