Liberal Education, Winter 2010

Current Issue


The Humanities

This issue features the changing role of the humanities in today's academy. It includes articles about the centrality of the arts within the humanities, new data tracking the humanities in both K-12 and higher education, and contemporary challenges faced by those who teach and care about the humanities. Authors present various approaches to making the case for the continued importance of the humanities both for economic success and democratic vitality.

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

By David Tritelli

Featured Topic

By Helen Vendler
The mutual support of art and learning, the mutual delight each ideally takes in each, can be taken as a paradigm of how the humanities might be integrally conceived and educationally conveyed as inextricably linked to the arts.

By Dan Edelstein
By providing students with the best opportunities for learning how to innovate, the humanities play a determining role in producing the entrepreneurs, engineers, and designers that make the American economy so productive.

By Leslie Berlowitz

The Humanities Indicators provide a prototype for collecting data necessary to answer questions about the state of the humanities and how they are faring. For the first time, we have in one place baseline statistics about many areas of concern to the humanities community.

David Barry offers advice on teaching the humanities at a community college; Gerald Graff examines how the traditional organization of universities undermines student learning; and Cary Nelson considers the effects on the humanities of the increasing reliance on contingent faculty.


A Statement from the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges and Universities
AAC&U strongly supports emerging efforts to make college access and completion top priorities for the nation. However, the current focus on college-going dangerously neglects the core issue of educational quality.

By the University of Wisconsin–Madison Convergence Group
To effect institutional change, an informal, self-convened group of administrators and faculty leveraged convergences such as that between the University of Wisconsin System’s ongoing efforts to promote liberal education and AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative.

By Michelle Loris
Sacred Heart University, a comprehensive university whose mission is rooted in both the liberal arts and the Catholic intellectual traditions, has developed a core curriculum to meet the challenge set by AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative.

By Cassia Freedland and Devorah Lieberman
The Civic Innovations program at Wagner College adds strategic depth to the integration of curricular offerings, experiential learning, and community engagement.

My view

By Bill Spellman
Just as we have come to dispute the notion that liberal education is only achieved through studies in the arts and sciences, it is time to enlarge our understanding of the liberal arts college to include the public sector.

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