Nov 6, 2019 in Research

Liberal Arts Education

Many researchers lay the stress on the fact that such phenomena as liberal arts and liberal arts education pertain to the most effective and beneficial types of pedagogies, purposes, and accomplishments in a sphere of higher education. Around the world, the proponents of liberal arts education reject educational formats as well as educational curriculums of other programs. At the same time, advocates of liberal arts emphasize, liberal arts education develops analytical and critical language skills. On the contrary, the opponents of liberal education lay the stress on the fact, that liberal education is characterized by the lack of funding for research materials and outfitting. As a result, taking into consideration the benefits and disadvantages of liberal education, the paper aims to estimate if liberal arts education influences the process of studying in a positive way. 

According to the assumptions of scholars in the sphere of education, the term liberal arts should be referred to medieval concepts. At that time, seven liberal arts were used for economic purposes. In addition, they included vocational and practical types of arts being widely applied in order to teach young people to develop the practices and skills of professional farmers, doctors, soldiers, etc. Three major arts have been aimed to develop various types of language skills that, as a rule, involved grammar, oratory, and logic. Four out of seven liberal arts have been named quadrivium. Seven liberal arts did not intend to teach students to obtain a livelihood. On the contrary, those arts had to motivate students to continue the study of various forms of arts and sciences.

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At present, modern liberal arts education is based on the study of vast scope of various disciplines. In other words, liberal education centers on studying a more extensive number of subjects. Supporters of liberal arts education claim that the more broadly educated students are the better they are able to correspond to innovative and highly specialized knowledge within a framework of a larger mosaic. Furthermore, liberal arts education provides a unique opportunity to students to ask extraordinary and creative questions within various disciplines. It is usually assumed that liberal education has a goal to educate and develop the whole individual, not just a part of him or her. The concept of liberal arts faces the oldest ideas and principles of a learning process. Socrates made successful attempts to put into practice the liberal arts in ancient Greece. It should be stated that Socrates supported an idea of active learning. Socrates believed that every person should actively participate in a process of learning. Furthermore, each individual has to ask questions as well as to answer them. Socrates was convinced that knowledge cannot simply be filled up like substance. Liberal arts subconsciously motivate people to participate in so-called meaningful discussions concerning the most significant issues in life. For instance, liberal arts teach individuals to speculate on the topic about the essence of life, love, friendship, bravery, etc. Besides, with help of liberal arts, students have opportunities to defend personal points of view and arguments. Research results prove that liberal arts students are considered to be active participants of discussions, meetings, seminars, and conversations.

McPherson supports the following idea. Liberal arts education is considered to be the most practical form of education. Furthermore, it provides tremendous advantages to the economy of every state. Liberal arts education ensures students with everything they need to meet unstable changes and realities of the new economy. The author of the article emphasizes that young people have to opt for liberal education even to earn a living after college. Liberal education contributes to a stable and reliable economic side of life. Nowadays, variable economic trends increase the importance of liberal education. According to the point of view of McPherson, the fixed individual with fixed duties is considered to be the extreme danger to the entire society. On the contrary, liberal arts education provides an opportunity to students to become flexible. In addition, such education turns ordinary students into critical thinkers. As a result, the author makes the following conclusion. Despite several disadvantages, liberal education ensures a safe and stable economic situation to students in the nearest future.

Wintrol promotes such an idea that education and diverse types of trainings should focus on a process of getting a job. Liberal arts education gives more chances to students for their successful post-graduate employment. In other words, the author assumes that liberal education is extremely beneficial for pupils. It ensures financial stability. Only this type of education is able to adapt the majority of students to the technology-driven world. According to the results of scientific data provided by the author, more than 45 % of students that have not chosen liberal arts education, demonstrate minimal improvements in their critical thinking, discussions, and writing skills. One of disadvantages of liberal arts education, according to the points of view of the researcher, is directly connected with disagreements and misunderstandings on the following issue. One should discuss the view on exactly what subjects have to be included to the curriculum. 

Liberal arts education is considered to influence the study of students beneficially. In other words, liberal education should be treated as a specialized approach to learning motivating individuals and empowering them to overcome changes, difficulties, and unawareness. In addition, liberal arts education provides students with a unique opportunity to broaden their knowledge and skills in the spheres of science and culture. Besides, liberal education stimulates the development of a social responsibility’s feeling. Communicative skills, problem-solving practices, and experiences are developed with help of liberal arts education as well.

Researchers express the general idea that the role of liberal education has altered over the years. At present, liberal arts education is, as a rule, based on the general curriculum. At the same time, liberal education prepares students to answer an enormous number of complicated questions about personal values and difficult choices. Liberal education is assumed to be the largest and most hopeful of establishments and enterprises of the entire nation. According to the thoughts of scholars in a different field of study, liberal education of the twenty-first century is different from the same type of education in the previous century. Liberal education of the 21st century is treated as a necessity for all students. On the contrary, education of the 20th century was understood as a unique option for the lucky people. Besides, liberal arts education is irreplaceable for success in the global economy. As a result, the majority of researchers recommend implementing liberal education at schools, colleges, and universities with a purpose to prepare them to changes and complexities of life. Liberal arts education is considered to be a single and indivisible method. By it, people discover the truth about the most complicated peculiarities of human life. Liberal education is a huge advantage to each individual and to the whole society. The reason is that it increases the intellectual tone of individuals. Moreover, it has enough power in order to purify the mood of the nation and increase popular enthusiasm.

The value of liberal education should be appreciated by persons in order to force students learning the core concepts and principles. Liberal arts curriculum and environment usually meet the interests and needs of students. Liberal arts education, as the author stresses, is stimulating the development of a high degree of intellectual productivity. Besides, this approach to education helps individuals to obtain an ability to express thoughts clearly, think rationally, evaluate, and discuss the information objectively. Furthermore, a liberal approach to education encourages individuals to acquire new information in a period of lifetime. With the help of liberal arts education, people have an opportunity to gain pleasure from the beauty of various forms of art. Janeksela makes an attempt in his work to determine and evaluate the advantages of liberal arts education for students. First of all, the author states as follows. This approach to education helps people to think and solve complicated problems in a creative, extraordinary, and risky manner. Secondly, pupils manifest their ideas and emotions in a structural, organized, and descriptive manner. Thirdly, they are given a unique chance to evaluate and analyze information for meaningful decisions. To put it shortly, literal arts education motivates students how to think, present ideas and thoughts, and how to make coherent arguments in order to persuade the public. Besides, liberal arts education inspires individuals to become good specialists in at least one definite area. This approach gives an opportunity to people to draw closer to the scholarly world.

The researcher Janeksela states that liberal education makes people think again as well as try harder. Bowen, the professional in the sphere of higher education convinces that college-educated people receive a large scope of benefits from liberal arts. This approach to education gives a chance to students to confront new questions and challenges. Besides, these pupils become less prejudiced and even less authoritarian. On the contrary, they quickly become more independent, confident in their personal strengths, and more autonomous. One more benefit, according to the point of view of Howard Bowen, involves the following idea. This approach to education results in the appearance of a vast number of well-educated leaders in the field of politics, economics, and social sciences.

As a result, liberal arts education is based on the idea of wholeness of human activities. This approach is referred to as liberal because it recognizes no boundaries or limits. According to the opinions of scholars and researchers, liberal arts education succeeds students in numerous ways. Firstly, it promotes the idea of critical thinking. Secondly, people become motivated to apply various scientific methods and strategies. Thirdly, this approach to education helps to perform and expand creative forms of art. Finally, liberal arts education is beneficial for exploring and understanding of historical and contemporary cultures.

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