Liberal Education, Spring 2010

Current Issue


Liberal Education and Military Leadership

Articles by educational leaders at West Point, the Air Force Academy, and the Naval Academy explore how and why these institutions continue to prioritize liberal education even as they reshape their curricula to meet changing demands of military service in the twenty-first century.The issue also presents new research on living-learning programs, strategies for strengthening higher education in tough economic times, and a case for making visual literacy a central component of a contemporary liberal education.

Table of Contents
President's Message

By Carol Geary Schneider

From 1818 R Street NW

By David Tritelli

Featured Topic

By Bruce Keith
Today’s military operates in contexts where uncertainty and ambiguity are commonplace. Human security challenges, when coupled with U.S. interests, demand an officer corps capable of responding promptly and effectively to a diverse set of issues in environments that require innovation, flexibility, and adaptability. The army needs officers who have benefitted from a liberal education.

By Rolf C. Enger, Steven K. Jones, and Dana H. Born
Although the academy’s commitment to liberal education has remained the same since the institution’s founding just over fifty years ago, the approach taken to fulfill that commitment has changed markedly. Over time, campus conversations have begun to focus much more on the achievement of agreed-upon outcomes for cadet learning and development.

By Maochun Miles Yu, Timothy Disher, and Andrew T. Phillips
The United States Naval Academy provides a top liberal arts education to all midshipmen, and one of the central elements of that liberal education is an understanding of global and cross-cultural dynamics.


By Leo I. Higdon Jr.
The past thirty years were a golden age of academic prosperity that was brought to a crashing end by the current recession. Yet, the end of the golden age has created a golden opportunity to implement the management philosophies, strategies, and actions that will shape a strong future for higher education.

By Aaron M. Brower and Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas
Results from the National Study of Living-Learning Programs provide evidence that high-impact educational practices work, and can be programmed into learning environments in productive ways to ensure that students achieve the essential learning outcomes of a liberal education.

By Deandra Little, Peter Felten, and Chad Berry
As meaning is increasingly made through the combination of text and image, visual literacy is essential for understanding academic disciplines as well as local and global cultures. Yet this critical skill continues to be marginalized in the national discourse about education, particularly liberal education.

By Jeremy Haefner and Deborah L. Ford
When connected intentionally to the traditional academic major, the “co-major” provides the second strand of a double helix that represents a purposeful pathway for achieving the essential learning outcomes of a transformational liberal education.

My view

By Bob Blaisdell
When I am true to my students and resist the teacherly impulse to bemoan their deficiencies, I keep this in mind: “It is impossible to write anything bad in completely simple and intelligible language.”

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