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Purposes and Practices of Liberal Art Colleges - Essay Example

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Purposes and Practices of Liberal Art Colleges

The greatest philosopher, Socrates too believed that the most important knowledge that a person should learn is “how best to live”. Moreover, the goal of education should be to “know what you can; and even more importantly, to know what you do not know.” In other words, the more you gain knowledge, the more you can gain knowledge and this is what a liberal arts education aims to do. This method of education truly follows the philosophy of Socrates. Indeed in today’s modern world, a liberal arts education has become essential as it provides teachings in varied fields that groom individuals to face and handle the intricacy, diversity and transformations of life in the best possible ways. Developing effective academic and practical aptitudes such as communication, logical and crisis management skills, profound feelings of social responsibility, and a demonstrated proficiency to utilize knowledge and skills in realism and thereby, creating a well rounded personality has always been the main purpose of education in liberal arts colleges. In this paper, we shall discuss both the pros and cons of teachings in liberal art colleges simultaneously establishing the fact that “the purpose of a liberal arts college is to provide a student with knowledge, not only of his/her intended profession, but knowledge of many different professions to create a well rounded person.”
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As Socrates, the greatest teacher of all times, had preached that the primary aim of education should be to enhance the understanding of his students rather than merely defining theories since it develops the power of critical thinking in the students. Moreover, such an education leads the students towards knowledge and turns them into a well rounded person (Plato n.pag). By a well rounded person, we mean a person who is an expert not only in his field but varied fields, has the aptitude of thinking critically, solving problems analytically, making independent decisions, and comprehending new ideas. In addition, a person who has understood the art of living, has gained wisdom and developed into a good human being and this is what a liberal arts education aims to do. In The Republic, the Greek philosopher, Plato has emphasized that a well rounded education should include the study of mathematics, poetry, astronomy and poetry. Although our fields of study have broadened vastly since his days, his basic message is still the motivation behind the practice of liberal arts education. Plato always advocated his students to value logic and order, ideals, and beauty. Even though the subjects of science, literature, government, history and societies were added by the teachers in recent times, the main motto of liberal education still remained the same. It was intended to develop the power of critical analysis in an individual, so important for achieving wisdom and virtue (Plato &Biase n.pag). Furthermore, a liberal arts education aims to make students creative thinkers as well as problem solvers by providing them with a background in several fields states Harrer. Students in this type of colleges ...Show more

Summary

“It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education is a liberal arts college is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks” quoted Albert Einstein. …
Author : kaiamorissette
Purposes and Practices of Liberal Art Colleges essay example
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