Liberal Education, Spring 2012

Current Issue


Diversity and Civic Learning: New Directions, New Research

This issue examines underemphasized dimensions of diversity, new research about the links between student outcomes and campus practices that promote diversity and civic-mindedness, and the historical development of the notion of "civic virtue." Also included are articles on quantitative literacy, on the place of the arts in a liberal education, on how the goals of the LEAP initiative look from the perspective of a for-profit university, and on evidence-based problem solving.

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

By David Tritelli

Featured Topic

By Tori Haring-Smith
We need to celebrate both the visible and the invisible diversity of our campuses so that we can prepare future citizens to engage in productive, respectful civic discourse with those who disagree with them.

By Sylvia Hurtado and Linda DeAngelo
National evidence regarding the impact of intentional diversity and civic-related practices on specific educational outcomes for students can be used to support an institutional commitment to personal and social responsibility and integrative learning, as well as investment in intentional practices that help students achieve these outcomes.

By Sheldon Rothblatt
A summary of the leading features of the history of civic virtue, including newer multidisciplinary approaches, allows us some perspective on where we stand today and what a next step might be.

The PKAL Perspective

By Nathan D. Grawe
We now have materials that can support curricular development in all divisions of the academy, assessment tools that match a range of definitions of quantitative literacy, and a robust community to come alongside institutions that are taking action.


By David W. Oxtoby
We need to articulate the importance of the arts (including performing and fine arts), be clear about the “fit” of arts programs and courses within our missions and our curricula, and affirm the lasting social and community impact of students and graduates whose education values creativity, performance, and art-making.

By Jonathan Miller-Lane
Approached holistically, the student body offers an opportunity to reaffirm the importance of a liberal arts education.

By Peter Smith
The proprietary sector will help drive innovation and improvement because it is able and motivated to respond to the new markets, new learners, and new opportunities generated by the “new ecology” of learning that is now burgeoning throughout our society.

By Richard Riegelman
In recent years, the health professions have moved from “eminence-based” solutions to “evidence-based” problem solving. This evolution provides new opportunities to implement integrative curricula for those preparing for the health professions.

My view

By Andrew S. Yang
Reimagining the intellectual and civic value of the natural sciences, how they are best taught, and the significance of scientific fluency—for artists, designers, scientists, humanists, and social scientists alike—will contribute to reclaiming the fundamental relevance of a liberal education today.

Previous Issues