Liberal Education, Summer 2010

Current Issue


2010 Annual Meeting

This issue presents highlights of the 2010 annual meeting. Also included are articles on the hidden costs of low four-year graduation rates, interfaith dialogue, the pedagogy of the debate over evolution and intelligent design, teaching for ethical reasoning, and California’s Master Plan.

Table of Contents
President's Message
From 1818 R Street NW

By David Tritelli

Featured Topic

By Edward L. Ayers
“Experience” is a healthy-sounding word, but what do we really mean by it? And how do we persuade people that higher education fosters important forms of experience, that “experience” is an integral part of any vital liberal learning?

By William M. Sullivan
Liberal education requires going beyond an exclusive concern with “knowing that” to include developing students’ capacity to “know how” as well. But for real liberal education, “knowing that” and “knowing how,” even taken together, are not enough; “knowing why” and “knowing when” are also required.

By Peter N. Stearns
It is both possible and desirable to define liberal education in “global” terms. But no effort to provide such an education can possibly succeed without a solid curricular base, which must be the focus of any discussion of the relationship between global and liberal education.


By Daniel F. Sullivan
The single most important step colleges and universities—especially public colleges and universities—can take to lower the student and family cost of college attendance is to improve retention, thereby increasing the four-year graduation rate.

By Robert J. Sternberg
An eight-step model of ethical reasoning is presented to illustrate how, within the context of a liberal education, ethical reasoning can be taught across the curriculum.

By S. Alan Ray
Given how other social movements have significantly affected curricula, student programming, and institutional priorities, what is the highest aspiration we can set for colleges and universities with regard to interfaith cooperation?

By Kenneth L. Carter and Jeni Welsh
The ongoing controversy over evolution can be used pedagogically to examine how scientific predictions are made, how evidence is applied, and how it is determined whether unexpected findings threaten the overall theory or merely require revisions to it.

By Arthur W. Chickering
Recognition of the importance of outcomes related to moral and ethical development, other dimensions of personal development, and civic engagement is a result of decades of educational reform. But have colleges and universities succeeded in helping students achieve these outcomes?

My View

By Paul J. Zingg
A strong liberal education is key both to answering the most vociferous critics of the purpose and performance of public higher education, and to fulfilling our obligations to the society in which our students will take their place.

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