By: David E. Bloom and Henry Rosovsky
Worth and genius would thus have been sought out from every condition of life, and completely prepared by education for defeating the competition of wealth and birth for public trusts….
(Thomas Jefferson, addressing the benefits to society of a liberal education, in an 1813 letter to John Adams)
Western civilization is home to a long tradition of liberal education, defined as an emphasis on the whole development of an individual apart from (narrower) occupational training. The beginnings of this philosophy can perhaps be traced back as far as ancient Greece and more clearly to the trivium (grammar, rhetoric, and logic) and quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music) of medieval times. That tradition has continued, and today liberal education is an important segment of higher education in all developed countries. Its role in nurturing leaders and informed citizens is recognized in both the public and private sectors. Global statistics are difficult to obtain, but our impression is that interest in liberal education is growing in many parts of the West. Continue reading “Why Developing Countries Should Not Neglect Liberal Education”