New Goals for the Liberal Curriculum

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:
New Goals for the Liberal Curriculum

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Steps to reform liberal education over the past century were driven by imaginative responses to big social changes. Some of those reforms simply expanded available inventories of adaptive resources. These new curricula were devised to service vocational specialties, promote civic patriotism, and inculcate more demanding forms of self-discipline. Other reform efforts harked back to old ideals rooted in the classical notion of paideia. Their sponsors intended to deal with the troubling consequences of modern conditions for the development of free human beings and citizens, conditions such as hyperspecialization, privatization, mediocrity, and intellectual anarchy. These reforms aimed to promote well-rounded personal growth; critical, reflexive thinking; adherence to high intellectual standards; ability to grasp the relatedness of different fields; and heightened levels of individuality. Together, they constituted the general education movement. This chapter discusses contested principles for the liberal curriculum and the University of Chicago's contribution to the general education movement.

Keywords: liberal education; liberal learning; general education movement; educational reform

Chapter.  4549 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy and Theory of Education

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