Houston Baptist University seeks a professor for its Smith College of Liberal Arts and its Honors College. Rank will be commensurate with qualifications. Candidates should be available to begin work in August 2015. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. [Read more…] about Opening: Liberal Arts/Honors College, Full-Time Faculty Position (Houston Baptist University)
Each year, a senior scholar at the University of Chicago is chosen to deliver the Aims of Education address to incoming students. (An archive of the addresses since 1995 can be found online.) In 1981, Leon R. Kass delivered perhaps the best known of the addresses, “The Aims of Liberal Education.” After dismissing several other goals as insufficient as the fundamental aim of liberal education (i.e. as opposed to education for professional training), or as objectives that can be better achieved elsewhere, Kass proposes thoughtfulness:
What, then, could be left for the aim of liberal education if we exclude professional training, research and scholarship, general broadening and culture, the arts of learning, and familiarity with the intellectual tradition? I have already hinted at my answer: Not the adding of new truths to the world, not the transmission of old truths to the young, but the cultivation in each of us of the disposition actively to seek the truth and to make the truth our own. More simply, liberal education is education in and for thoughtfulness. It awakens, encourages, and renders habitual thoughtful reflection about weighty human concerns, in quest of what is simply true and good. (86-87, emphasis added)
Leon R. Kass, “The Aims of Liberal Education,” published in The Aims of Education, edited by John W. Boyer. Copies are pretty hard to come by – I could not find one for sale anywhere, so check your local library.
What do you think? Is thoughtfulness the aim of liberal education?
Photo Credit: U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics, via Wikipedia
Updated 10:12 AM: Fixed typo in title
HT to Arlene Miller, retired nursing faculty at Messiah College (Grantham, PA) and co-author of two InterVarsity Press Books (Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing and Values in Conflict: Christian Nursing in a Changing Profession), who shared with me What Life Asks of Us.
What do I find of interest regarding David Brooks’ NY Times Op-Ed piece?Â The individualism of modern culture reinforced by groups of professors, such as those at Harvard, who define the purpose of liberal education as [Read more…] about What Life and Higher Education Asks of Us
The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s On Hiring blog posted last week about finding a fit at small colleges. Some faculty relish their work at small liberal arts colleges, while others find the atmosphere burdensome. The post and the comments that follow it offer some excellent advice, both to job seekers and to those seeking to hire at small colleges.
At The Well, the excellent website of our fellow InterVarsity ministry Women in the Academy and the Professions, Dorothy Boorse, associate professor of biology at Gordon College, recently wrote about her experiences working at a small college, particularly in making the transition from the large research university where she earned her PhD, and the importance of “Asking the Right Question” in assessing your success in higher education.