Defending the Liberal Arts Education Model

Seven Liberal Arts by Francesco Pesellino. Now located at Birmingham Museum of Art.

The American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges and Universities issued a joint statement yesterday in defense of the liberal arts.  They write, "we believe that institutions of higher education, if they are truly to serve as institutions of higher education, should provide more than narrow vocational training and should seek to enhance students’ capacities for lifelong learning."

The statement continues, "The disciplines of the liberal arts—and the overall benefit of a liberal education--are exemplary in this regard, for they foster intellectual curiosity about questions that will never be definitively settled—questions about justice, about community, about politics and culture, about difference in every sense of the word. All college students and not solely a privileged few should have opportunities to address such questions as a critical part of their educational experience."

You can read the entire statement here:

How does a Jesuit education align with this statement?  We offer Michael Madrinkian's article "The Very Fabric of our Society: Liberal Arts and the Jesuit University", Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, Vol. 42.  for your consideration.

The Jesuit educational tradition has always emphasized a liberal arts education as a foundation or Core upon which a student can develop their potential before they chose a particular area of inquiry for more advanced study. You can learn more about Fairfield's new Core here.