[Paleopsych] Chronicle Colloquy: The Crisis in Liberal Education

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The Crisis in Liberal Education
The Chronicle: Colloquy Live Transcript

[I had a question answered.]

    Thursday, March 31, at 1 p.m., U.S. Eastern time

    The topic

    Do research universities relegate undergraduate education to the
    margins? Last year Harvard University made headlines when it announced
    a plan to change its core curriculum. This year the Association of
    American Colleges and Universities has begun trying to spark
    discussion of what a "liberal education" is across different types of
    Can such efforts succeed? Are faculty members at research universities
    ever likely to be superior undergraduate instructors? Given the
    increasing breadth and complexity of disciplinary knowledge, and the
    splintering of disciplines into specialties, should undergraduate
    education emphasize a common knowledge or a way of learning? How can
    administrators, forced by economic realities to prize efficiency in
    undergraduate education, deal with such questions? Do changes in the
    nature of the university preclude substantial change?
      » [43]Liberal Education on the Ropes (4/1/2005)

    The guest

    Stanley N. Katz, director of Princeton University's Center for Arts
    and Cultural Policy Studies and president emeritus of the American
    Council of Learned Societies, offers his views on this topic in an
    essay in this week's Chronicle Review.

                      A transcript of the chat follows.

    Malcolm Scully (Moderator):
         Good Afternoon and welcome to our live discussion about the
    health--or ill health--of liberal education at major research
    universities. I'm Malcolm Scully, The Chronicle's editor at large, and
    I'll be moderating. Our guest is Stanley N. Katz, director of
    Princeton University's Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies and
    president emeritus of the American Council of Learned Societies. In an
    April 1 article in The Chronicle Review, he asked whether liberal
    education can succeed in the modern research university and suggested
    that incremental reforms like the ones proposed in recent years do not
    go far enough to address the changing landscape of higher education.
    Thank you for joining us, Professor Katz.

    Stanley N. Katz:
        I am looking forward to this Colloquy, but I am a little
    apprehensive about it, never having done anything of this sort. So
    please bear with me. Basically, however, I publish in the Chronicle
    because I get such wonderful response from the paper, and this seems a
    great enhancement to the feedback I usually get. The initial response
    to my article on liberal education is that I am too pessimistic. I
    would be delighted to be convinced that is true. I am aware that
    people my age can become nostalgic, and as an historian I know the
    false allure of arguments for golden ages in the past. But I have
    thought a lot about liberal education, and it has been my primary
    concern as an educator since I first began teaching as a graduate
    student in 1957 -- nearly fifty years ago.
    I mention in the article the fantasy of having a golden wand to change
    undergraduate education as I would wish, and several people have asked
    me what I would do. I want to answer that in a way that will frustrate
    many of you, since my response is that what I would do would probably
    be different in every research university (my chosen arena). I feel
    strongly that there are no general institutional solutions to these
    problems. The problems are general, but the solutions are necessarily
    local, dependent upon the nature and place of the institution, its
    history and mission, its particular student body, and so forth. I
    think the challenge is for those of us who care deeply that something
    beyond vocational and disciplinary education be part of undergraduate
    (and especially underclass) experience feel empowered to work within
    our institutions for workable, pragmatic reforms.
    I certainly do not believe that there is a specifiable, limited body
    of knowledge that must form the core of liberal education. But I do
    think that some body of knowledge about Western culture is essential
    in this country, that at least one other culture be attended to, and
    that a small number of intensive explorations into large intellectual
    problems (defined as problems, not disciplines) need to be part of the
    process of underclass education.
    Beyond that, I am very interested in your suggestions.

    Question from Carol Geary Schneider, AAC&U:
        Two questions -
    In one campus study (at a public university widely praised for its
    general education program) over 50% of the faculty said that they
    "frequently" talk to students about liberal education and its
    importance. But only 12% of the first year students and 13% of the
    seniors said that they frequently hear from the faculty about liberal
    education. What advice would you give the faculty of that university?
    Do you think liberal education can ever be a priority for students if
    we discuss it mainly or exclusively in terms of general education?
    Wouldn't it make more sense to tie the aims of liberal education
    (inquiry and analysis, communication, civic and ethical
    responsibility, integrative learning) directly to students' majors?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        Carol, I have a mini-lecture entitled "the department as the enemy
    of education." Disciplinary departments can do an excellent job of
    disciplinary training, but the reason why I am concerned with general
    education is that if we do not empower students to learn generally,
    they will never learn liberally. I think there is a tension between
    general and departmental education. I think we need both. But if the
    department dominates, as it now does, I do not see how we are going to
    provide a significantly general education.

    Question from Maura, Public Research Intensive University:
        Is the current fuzziness of the academy's definition of a liberal
    education in someway linked with the increased emphasis on the
    "commercialization" and "privitization" of the public university?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        Yes, I think so. This is something that both David Kirp and Derek
    Bok have written about recently, and I am in general agreement that
    the commercialization of the university has created both values and
    institutional arrangements that run athwart liberal education. On the
    other hand, commercialization does not make it impossible for faculty
    to try to articulate what is going wrong, and to propose solutions to
    revive or enhance liberal education. Jerry Graff always talks about
    "teaching the conflicts," and that is not a bad strategy here. If
    faculty can point out what they think the contradictions and tensions
    created for liberal education by commercialization are, that may be
    one of the ways in which we can begin to address the problem
    meaningfully. I think the burden is on those faculty who care to carry
    the battle for liberal education forward.

    Question from Robert Benedetti:
        In years past the hallmark of a liberal education was sufficient
    breath to appreciate a wide range of possible experiences and to
    treasure learning for its own sake, much as Henry Adams might have
    done. Is the foundation or justification for a liberal education
    undergoing a shift away from definitions which value the development
    of the individual self to definitions which focus on the making of
    democratic citizens? In other words, is the new standard for a liberal
    education closer to one that would satisfy Cicero than Henry Adams? Is
    the liberally educated person today more likely to be engaged in the
    public square than to be swept up by an aesthetic or spiritual
    Robert Benedetti
    Executive Director
    Jacoby Center
    Universtiy of the Pacific
    Stanley N. Katz:
        An interesting question. I don't see the contradiction, though. I
    think that at least from the beginning of the twentieth century U.S.
    higher education has been committed to the creation of a democratic
    citizenry. Certainly the World War I emphasis on general education at
    Columbia and elsewhere was at least partly inspired by explicit
    democratic imperatives. And of course Dewey always insisted upon the
    link between education and democracy (at all levels of education). But
    the sort of values-oriented version of liberal education (call it
    Adamsish if you like) should enhance the democratic version. After
    all, there is no inherent conflict between democracy and meritocratic
    elitism, and I believe that liberal eduation should form the basis for

    Question from Dee Abrahamse, California State University, Long Beach:
        Why does the discussion of liberal education, like so many issues,
    focus on the dichotomy between major research universities and small
    liberal arts colleges? The largest number of students will graduate
    from comprehensive universities, and it is here that the focus of the
    future of the liberal arts will succeed or fail. Will these
    universities adopt research models with over-specialized curriculum,
    or will they become national leaders in championing new models of
    liberal education for undergraduates?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        This is an important question, and a number of respondents have
    asked related questions. My article focuses on research universities
    only because I am a fish that swims in that particular pond. But I
    know that there are other fish and other ponds, and they are equally
    important. But I know a lot less about them, and do not want to
    pretend more than I actually know.
    My strong impression is that liberal education is alive and well in
    the four year liberal arts colleges, although it is clear that they
    have a multiplicity of different approaches. I believe that the most
    selective of the colleges have the easiest time in being
    self-determining as to their curricula, and therefore as to the extent
    to which they can explore different strategies for achieving liberal
    arts education. Wonderful work is being done here.
    But I think the less selective colleges have a big problem with
    vocationalism, since job training is what parents (and students) want,
    and since a diploma from a lesser known college may not be perceived
    as being as intrinsically valuable as one from the best known and most
    selective colleges. Ernie Boyer pointed this out some time ago.
    Ernie was very enthusiastic about the general or comprehensive
    universities. I have done a little work with a couple of networks of
    these institutions, and from that experience I know that many of them
    are seriously committed to liberal education (as well as to vocational
    and disciplinary approaches). I think in some ways they may be doing
    better work than the research universities, in part because faculty
    disciplinary professionalism is a less dominant influence on faculty
    behavior and administration response.
    I think we need a lot more empirical information to be sure.

    Question from Richard Guarasci,President , Wagner College:
        Given the impressive list of curricular innovations, such as
    learning communities experiential and service learning as well as many
    new pedagogical classroom strategies, are large universities
    monitoring the newest and successful practices at the smaller liberal
    arts colleges where curricular effeciency and substantive learning are
    prized? Are the different sectors talking with and learning from each
    Stanley N. Katz:
        I do not really know the answer, but I suspect that to ask this
    question is to suggest that they are not. That would be my guess. I
    think you point to something important in higher education, and that
    is what I take to be an increasing fragmentation of the different
    levels of higher education with a consequent difficulty of
    communicating across the levels -- much less moving across. It would
    be worth a serious study, but my hunch is that we as faculty are now
    even more compartmentalized in particular types of educational
    structures than we were a generation ago. More important, it is
    currently so hard to import new curricular strategies into any large
    institution that even better ideas might not solve the problem. Of
    course, if there are presidents like you who care, that would make a
    decisive difference on their campuses!

    Question from Jack Meacham, University at Buffalo, SUNY:
        Stanley Katz raises the question of whether research universities
    can purport to offer undergraduates a liberal education. I would
    rephrase the question to ask whether ANY college or university can
    purport to offer undergraduates a liberal education. Katz concerns
    himself primarily with how liberal education has been defined. My
    concern is primarily with whether we will be able to find any
    qualified professors to provide the liberal education curriculum,
    regardless of how defined, to today's students. Our nation's research
    universities have largely abandoned their commitment to liberal
    education and now train doctoral students--and the coming generations
    of assistant professors--only narrowly within sub-disciplines. These
    newer, younger generations of professors have had no exposure to a
    liberal education in their own education. They have no conception of
    what a liberal education might entail, of how to construct and
    maintain a liberal education curriculum, or of how to engage their
    students as Thomas Kuhn did so well for Stanley Katz. The transmission
    of the vision and reality of liberal education from professor to
    student, who then becomes a professor, has been broken. How can we
    restart this cycle? If our nation's four-year liberal-arts colleges
    truly wish to offer their students a liberal education, they must join
    together and insist to the research universities that they will no
    longer hire new doctorates who are narrowly trained and poorly
    educated. We must work together to transform the graduate programs at
    our nation's research universities so that those who aspire to teach
    will themselves have been the beneficiaries of a liberal education. My
    question: Is Princeton University graduating any doctorates who are
    truly prepared to provide undergraduates with a liberal education? If
    not, what can Princeton University do to strengthen its doctoral
    training programs?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        A fair question. I said in an earlier response that one of the
    answers has to be revamped doctoral education, one that both includes
    a serious commitment to training for teaching and a commitment to
    taking a generous ("liberal"?) view of graduate disciplinary training.
    One of our problems has been excessively specialized and narrow
    training and dissertation topics. But, as you suggest, it is a vicious
    cycle that we are in. I think that many institutions, especially
    liberal arts colleges (where many research u. PhD students go)are
    insisting more on teaching experience, curricular imagination, and
    breadth of view. We in the research universities need that pressure --
    if faculty know they need to train their students differently to get
    them jobs, I think they will begin to do it. But it is slow. This is
    another issue, but I think we also need educational leaders to lead on
    this subject -- and speak out on the sorts of teachers we need to be
    training in the best universities. Where is Larry Summers when we need

    Question from Raymond Rodrigues, Skidmore:
        Could part of our difficulty in trying to determine how a liberal
    education would be achieved lie in our perceiving "general education"
    or "the core" or any other appropriate term as a foundation, a
    beginning? What if we were to attempt to conceive a liberal education
    as the result of an undergraduate education rather than the foundation
    for one? Then we would assess whether students had acquired a liberal
    education at the end of their four (or six or ten) years. Few faculty
    own general education, but all are committed to their disciplines.
    Wouldn't viewing a liberal education as the sum total of one's
    education do more to involve the disciplines, even granting the focus
    upon research in one's field?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        I understand, and what you are suggesting is enormously important
    if we are to take outcome assessment for undergraduate education
    seriously. In some sense, of course, all four years count. Agreed. But
    I confess that I am focused on the first two years, give or take,
    because I suspect that from the point of view of cognitive development
    what we do early on makes a decisive difference to longer term
    outcomes. But I am sypathetic to efforts to liberalize the last two
    years, especially with capstone seminars and the like. This needs more

    Question from Frank Forman, U.S. Department of Education:
        I very much appreciate your making the distinction between content
    and cognitive process. I am very much a process man myself. I have
    asked countless adults to recall the quadratic formula they supposedly
    learned in the ninth grade. Almost no one can. The same forgetting is
    almost as true of other subjects. So why go to school beyond the
    eighth grade? Process is answer: you learn how to think. Alas, this is
    almost impossible to measure, so school reform continues to emphasize
    stuffing more content into kids heads. Let me ask you what a nearly
    pure process education would be like. I'm thinking of an
    eight-semester critical thinking curriculum. You can't get a
    semester's course in medicine, but if you did, students would learn
    about the *process* of diagnosing failure in a complex system. A
    semester's course in law would be about the process of making fine
    distinctions (legal vs. illegal). Economics is about keeping cost and
    choice uppermost in mind. Engineering is about making do with rules of
    thumb. Marxism is about group struggle. Add or substitute your own.
    Archeology uses everything. In fact, life uses everything. How does
    this sequence sound to you as part of a liberal education?
    (Disclaimer: I'm not speaking for the U.S. Dept. of Education.)
    Stanley N. Katz:
        I am a process guy, and I am in substantial agreement. But I think
    there is a nexus between process and content. It is not so obvious
    with the quadratic equation (I think I still remember!), but it is
    certainly true in much or most of science, social science and
    humanities. Process is what helps us learn about content, and we do
    internalize, criticize and reuse content. I think the dialectic
    between process and content is what forms the core of liberal
    education. I take it that this is what Lee Shulman and Howard Gardner
    are talking about when they speak of the importance of content
    knowledge in cognition.

    Question from Naomi F. Collins, Consultant:
        How can the concept and content of liberal education be expanded
    to incorporate a global perspective? That is, how might liberal arts
    fields incorporate a broader vision; and how mightliberal arts methods
    and approaches be "used" to provide a broader perspective on the
    impact of globalization (that that provided by business, market, and
    economic approaches and forces)?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        Well, Naomi, I would not privilege "globalization" anymore than I
    would privilege "diversity," although I would think of diversity as a
    value and globalization as a social process (that needs to be studied
    and understood). I cannot imagine that a rich portfolio of general
    education courses would not contain a great deal of material on
    globalization, starting with approaches to global history, and coming
    up to present developments.

    Question from Karen Winkler:
        If simply reforming the undergraduate curriculum will no longer
    provide quality undergraduate education in the modern research
    university, where would you start to make changes?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        Nasty question, Karen. In my dream world I would of course create
    "Liberal U.," where everything would work according to my principles
    and ideas. But that is not going to happen. I am an incrementalist. I
    think on most campuses it will be the actions of small numbers of
    faculty who create courses or small curricular structures to embody
    the ideas of liberal and general education who will make the
    difference. And I am committed to the notion that we need to reimagine
    graduate doctoral education significantly in order to recruit and
    train the sorts of PhDs who will understand and commit to general
    education in their teaching careers. We have, of course, a chicken and
    egg problem here, but a prestigious university with a few departments
    committed to this sort of program could get away with it -- and they
    could place their students. This is incrementalist, but it would be a
    good place to start.

    Question from Cyrus Veeser, Bentley College:
        Dr. Katz identifies two developments affecting undergraduate
    education--structural changes in research universities, and the
    explosion of knowledge in science, social science, and humanities over
    the past century. His article is pessimistic about the ability of
    universities to "recenter" undergrad education given the "breadth and
    complexity of the intellectual content students now confront." Is that
    endgame? Or does he have some hope that an "essential core of
    knowledge" relevant to students in the early 21st century could be
    Stanley N. Katz:
        It surely is not the endgame. I am not THAT pessimistic! But I do
    think we need some new strategies for breaking out of the current
    dilemma. I think that many of them have already been developed in
    smaller institutions, especially four year colleges. We need to think
    which strategies make sense for particular institutions, and how to
    institutionalize them. We have adopted useful new strategies recently,
    the freshman seminar's recent popularity being a good example -- but
    we have not tied the institutional innovation to pedagogical content
    innovation. I think that is the frontier to which we have to address
    ourselves now.

    Question from Michael Davis, Illinois Institute of Technology:
        There is justified concern that undergraduate education tends to
    be too narrow, too dominated by "the major". The way to resolve that
    problem is simply to limit the number of courses that can be taken in
    any one department or that a department can require of its majors (or
    both). Why assume that, in addition, there is a need for a set
    curriculum for all students? "Liberal education" seems to be a sort of
    non-major major. What evidence is there that such requirements
    actually achieve anything, much less that they achieve what they
    purportedly aim at? Should not the burden of proof lie with those who
    claim the right to direct the lives of others?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        A straightforward answer would be that we have for a century or
    more experimented with non-structured education. Charles Eliot's
    elective system paved the way, after all. More recently Brown
    University and many colleges have versions of low-structure
    approaches. I would guess (but do not know) that this is effective for
    some students. But on the whole I think there is a lot to be said for
    a combination of reasonably deep knowledge (the major)and broad
    knowledge/process (general education) in preparing a liberally
    educated young person. That is the balance that American higher
    education had arrived at by the 1960s, in my judgement, and I think
    there was a lot to be said for it. But, like everything else, it needs
    to be reinvented to be suitable to current challenges. The answer
    cannot simply be to go back.

    Question from W. Jones,Texas A&M:
        Should diversity education be a part of the new Core curriculm?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        At the risk of being thought a curmudgeon, I don't think so. At
    least not in the sense I suspect you intend. "Diversity" is surely a
    value in any approach to general education. But diversity as a
    contemporary social value does not need to be singled out from other
    values, in my view. Insofar as institutions want structural approaches
    to promoting diversity (and I favor this), it can and should be done
    through various kinds of modeling and institutional arrangements.

    Malcolm Scully (Moderator):
        We have about 20 minutes left. Keep your questions coming. Malcolm

    Question from Michael G. Hall, U. of Texas at Austin:
        Could we not raise large issues by insisting on the world history
    context of the usual history topics? For example, Jamestown could
    serve as an entryway for discussion of Europe's ongoing encounter with
    primitive people, the onset and demise of African slavery, comparative
    New World colonization, the world capitalist system, changes in
    poliical assumptions from James I to George III, and change from
    Renaissance to Enlightenment. All these are conexts of Virgina's
    colonial history.
    Stanley N. Katz:
        Hi, Michael. Of course! I think that World History is an excellent
    example of new/old approaches to the revivification of liberal
    education. World history uses new techniques and traditional
    historical techniques, but it reveals things that traditional
    national/chronological history cannot. There are, I feel sure,
    comparable opportunities in most fields. My own passion at the moment
    is for comparison -- an old and difficult technique, but one that
    helps both teachers and students see old configurations in new ways. I
    am sure you would agree. Like you, I started out in early American
    history. I now study transitions to democracy in the contemporary
    world, but having studied Jamestown has given me an enornmous
    intellectual leg-up in what I am now trying to do.

    Question from Roger W. Bowen, AAUP:
        In your CHE article, you suggest that it will be difficult to make
    "qualitative judgments" about curriculum reform "unless we are safely
    beyond the conflicts of the culture wars..." and add that this "seems
    problematic at the current moment in American history." Why do the
    culture wars continue to plague higher education; and what should
    educators be doing to put an end to the "wars"?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        I wish I knew, Roger. Universities are, as you know, part of
    society, and we live in a very conflicted society. At the moment I am
    very concerned with the sort of identity politics that is disrupting
    so many universities in different ways. Take three examples --
    Harvard, Columbia and Colorado. We will work these problems out, but
    they are deep and difficult. That is one side of the problem. The
    other is the extent to which so many university faculty distance
    themselves from anything other than their own disciplinary (or, more
    likely, subdisciplinary) world. They cannot engage the problems most
    likely to be urgent for undergraduate students -- and they are not
    likely to be much interested in addressing larger educational
    problems. So we are caught between overly-intense involvement, and
    overly-distanced non-involvement. But in the end the universities are
    here to train people to maintain the democracy, and we have to keep
    reminding ourselves of that fact.

    Question from Neal Gill and Russell Brickey, Purdue University:
        Does the proliferation of cyber-culture, particularly at research
    institutions, make it even more difficult to pursue liberal arts
    instruction? In other words, how might we encourage a more
    deliberative, reflective process in our students while they are being
    constantly bombarded by the immediate and sensational nature of the
    online experience?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        Well, I would say just the opposite. We need to speak to students
    in the languages to which they respond. I am experimenting myself with
    teaching on the web and using technology (though I am a novice), and I
    think there are many exciting possiblities. The digital humanities
    offer tremendous opportunities to teachers, and the same is true in
    other fields. The problem is frequently that institutions do not
    provide the equipment, technical support or reward for faculty to
    learn and use such approaches. I think we need to incorporate
    cyber-learning into the mix of liberal education, and I think we can
    improve liberal education as we do.

    Question from Scott Mattoon, Choate Rosemary Hall:
        How influential is the current Advanced Placement program in high
    schools in the shaping (or limiting) of liberal education at the
    university level? Despite the dependence of high schools on university
    admissions requirements, do universities feel bound in any way to the
    kind of curriculum and enterprise espoused by the AP program?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        Well, I think one of the places the system of higher education is
    failing us is in building transitions between high school and college.
    The College Board was originally built to address that problem in a
    thoughtful and systematic way, but it is not clear to me that it is
    capable of doing that anymore. This, I think, is both the fault of the
    CB itself and of the dramatic changes in student population and
    institutional proliferation. The AP exam and AP courses were meant to
    enhance the relationship between school and college, but I worry that
    they are now simply upping the pressure in school without doing much
    to enhance student experience in college. To the extent that AP course
    provide elite challenges in the schools (and provide teachers with
    breathing room intellectually), they can be a very good thing. But to
    the extent that they are simply an expensive hurdle, and tie students
    into very traditional disciplinary approaches, they are not
    necessarily a good thing for liberal education at the tertiary level.

    Question from robin.v.catmur at dartmouth.edu:
         In the face of burgeoning research priorities held by "Colleges"
    (Universities), it is tempting to sacrifice general education to the
    lure of faculty generated research dollars, scientific PR coups, and
    reams of peer-reviewed published articles. My first question is
    institution-specific: if Professor Katz is familiar with Dartmouth
    College, would he agree or disagree that we manage to walk this
    tightrope fairly well, compared to others, and to what does he
    attribute our successes (or, our lack of success, if he disagrees)?
    Second, what would he propose as the alternative to allowing and even
    encouraging certain specializations ("majors or concentrations, by any
    other name) when the undergraduates themselves place a high value on
    the exposures and opportunities afforded within a liberal arts College
    "surrounded" by a significant research institution? "The content of
    knowledge appropriate to our...society", as Professor Katz says, is in
    fact determined in no small part by what the students want and need,
    in order to succeed post-graduation in a significantly different
    world, is it not?
    Thank you -
    Robin Catmur
    Dartmouth College
    Stanley N. Katz:
        I am a great admirer of Dartmouth, Robin. In fact the original
    draft of this article was prepared for a conference on liberal
    education hosted by Prof. Jonathan Crewe at your humanities center
    last fall. I think that Dartmouth has an enormous advantage, one that
    it has seized, in its size. It is simply easier with a moderately
    sized student body and faculty, to keep things in perspective and
    under control. It also requires enlightened leadership, which you have
    had in your presidents for some time. Dartmouth is a great liberal
    arts college, and has used its resources well.
    But it is a different question about specialization. Majors serve many
    students well, but in the ideal I would rather see the option of
    special created specializations to suit the interests/needs of
    particular students. A start on that is the current programs focused
    on problems, not disciplines -- Afro-Am, Women's Studies and the like.
    But we could also encourage more free-form problem clusters for
    students interested in poverty, and other discrete issues. This is
    harder to administer than the current set of majors, and would require
    new faculty arrangments. But it is not beyond our capacities to be
    much more flexible in the last two years of college.

    Question from ME Madigan, grad student, Univ Neb Lincoln:
        Is the effort to continue to serve the public good creating a push
    for all of us to become more vocational?
    Stanley N. Katz:
        I don't think it has to. The "public good" is served by the
    creation of independent, critically thinking and creative people. The
    historical aim of liberal education is to prepare students for
    democratic citizenship, and Dewey and others believed that general
    education was the best way to do that. So do I. This is not to say
    that someone who majors in a vocational subject cannot be a good
    citizen, but it is to say that if that person is also liberally
    educated (no contradiction), she will be an even better citizen. I
    really believe that.

    Malcolm Scully (Moderator):
        We've come to the end of our allotted time. Many thanks to
    Professor Katz and to all those who submitted questions. I'm sorry we
    couldn't get to all of them. Clearly Professor Katz has raised a
    crucial issue, and we appreciate the thoughtfulness of the questions
    and the answers.


   43. http://chronicle.com/free/v51/i30/30b00601.htm

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