What is Educational about the Study of Civilizations?

Donald N. Levine

in Powers of the Mind

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780226475530
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226475783 | DOI:
What is Educational about the Study of Civilizations?

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In December 1985, following two years of deliberation, the College Council at the University of Chicago adopted a new baccalaureate curriculum. This curriculum included a novel requirement, one that was unprecedented at Chicago and not replicated anywhere else: completion of one of the university's three-quarter sequences in civilization. The course catalog described this requirement as “an in-depth examination of the development and accomplishments of one of the world's great civilizations through direct encounter with some of its most significant documents and monuments.” This chapter addresses the following questions: How was it that such a requirement came into being in the first place? What rationale might have justified a requirement for taking a course on one of the world civilizations? What considerations might pertain to such a rationale in the future?

Keywords: University of Chicago; college curriculum; world civilizations

Chapter.  12032 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy and Theory of Education

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