Purposes of a Liberal Education

A colleague just shared an article by William Cronon on the purposes of a Liberal Education. It eloquently argued what characteristics a liberally educated person should have (not what classes they should take or standards they should meet). The 10 traits Cronon identifies are:

1.    They listen and they hear.

2.   They read and they understand.

3.   They can talk with anyone.

4.   They can write clearly and persuasively and movingly.

5.   They can solve a wide variety of puzzles and problems.

6.   They respect rigor not so much for its own sake but as a way of seeking truth.

  1. 7.   They practice humility, tolerance, and self-criticism.
  2. 8.   They understand how to get things done in the world.
  3. 9.   They nurture and empower the people around them.
  4. 10.  They see connections in order to make sense of the world and act within it in creative ways.


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