Monday, May 16, 2005

College: a four-year vo-tech

One of the things that irks me about higher education in our country today is the generally-pervasive mentality that sees college as a four year vocation school. Most college students (and grads) see college as the place they go to to learn how to do whatever it is that they want to do in life, i.e. to learn their trade. This is essentially the same perspective as a vocational school, but is most definitely not the purpose of the college as it has been understood for centuries.

To vastly oversimplify things, college is intended to form young men and women into broadly-educated, well-rounded thinking adults. At the heart of this is the liberal arts education, which is (allegedly) the point of the generals required for every major at the college level. (It's also the point of the core curriculum idea, which remains somehow controversial in many places.)

Dr. Phil Blosser has a post related to this issue, entitled "On why liberal arts programs are being eroded". I encourage you to read it.

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