Liberal Education, Winter 2008

Current Issue


The Future of Interdisciplinary Studies

This issue considers the role of interdisciplinary studies within the academy, in general, and within the undergraduate curriculum, in particular. Also included are articles on the transformative power of art, a liberal education "scorecard," "inside-out" leadership, international education and Middle East development, general education metaphors, an innovative community-based research course, and Rachel Carson as an exemplar of the liberally educated citizen.

Table of Contents
President's Message

By Carol Geary Schneider

From 1818 R Street NW

By David Tritelli

Featured Topic

By Ethan Kleinberg
Is the very success of interdisciplinary studies leading to their demise, and are they displacing and discrediting the traditional disciplines along the way?

By Robert J. Sternberg
Is it now time to think seriously about alternatives to the traditional undergraduate majors and minors that, in the large majority of cases, are focused on just a single field of inquiry?


By Dana Gioia
There is only one social force in America potentially large and strong enough to counterbalance the profit-driven commercialization of cultural values, and that is our educational system—especially public education. 

By Michael R. Wick and Andrew T. Phillips
The scorecard is a visual tool that supports both intentionality and accountability in the design of student-centered programs of study. It can be used to guide the evolution of disciplinary experts into liberal educators. 

By Larry A. Braskamp and Jon F. Wergin
Until the academy reframes both the definition of academic leaders and the expectations of them, leadership roles will not attract those who are most capable of fulfilling them. 

By Mark S. Ward
Approximately twenty thousand students, representing more than seventy nationalities and most of the world’s confessional groups, are attending classes at the four American universities in the Middle East this year. Among them are the future leaders of their societies and the world. 

By Laurence Musgrove
Defining metaphors present useful ways of conceptualizing general education reform and the collegiality required to sustain it. The trick is to know which ones to live and work by.


By Elizabeth L. Paul
Through their participation in the Trenton Youth Community-Based Research Corps at the College of New Jersey, undergraduate students learn to be partners, citizens, and public scholars. 

My View

By James Guignard
The example set by the biologist, writer, and environmentalist Rachel Carson illustrates what's best about a liberal education put into practice. 

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