Liberal arts education has been for a long time used to describe the form of college studies that embodies a student with general knowledge and helps one to develop an intelligence capability that is applicable in most workplaces today (VanHecke, Brown, & Lindsay, 2007). Liberal arts education can refer to educational subjects including literature, philosophy, mathematics, physical and social sciences etc. or the overall study of liberal arts degree (Krislov, 2013). Liberal arts education has been embraced due to its various benefits. First, it aims at developing a whole individual by meeting a students social, physical, emotional and spiritual needs (VanHecke, Brown, & Lindsay, 2007). This form of education also attempts to provide a path for self-motivated growth and fulfilment. Apart from what is mentioned above, a liberal arts educations also encourages a serious evaluation of a range of ethics and values (Krislov, 2013).
Liberal arts education is the best preparation that a young man can receive so as to be successful in life. This belief is due to the fact that it prepares the whole person rather than training graduates to succeed at specific jobs that employers are seeking at a point in time (Berg, 1983). Critics of this line of thought however argue that this study is too costly and that students ought to concentrate on a much narrower line of studies. In todays world, there are a lot of instances where liberal arts education is applied in day to day living (Ramaley & Leakes, 2002). There is a great increase in the number of free thinkers who want to study not just for the benefit of securing a job. The internet for instance provides a vast platform for students who are interested in the above studies (Krislov, 2013). At the click of a button, a student is able to obtain online tutorials on the subjects like literature, poetry, philosophy, social sciences and humanities. The tutorials on any topic under liberal studies can be obtained popularly from you tube. This is usually free and only requires the availability of a stable internet connection. This route is, however, an informal way of acquiring knowledge (Krislov, 2013). After the tutorials, one can attempt the questions under the given topic and submit them for marking and answers are instantly provided with possible explanations.
A more formal way of liberal studies in when one applies for the online course that are available in the various colleges offering online degrees (Ramaley & Leakes, 2002). This requires payment, but it is not necessary for the student and the tutor to meet face to face. The tutorials can be delivered via webcam, Skype or video conferencing. At the end of each scheduled study period, an exam is issued to test on whether the students have obtained requisite skills (Krislov, 2013). The online platform for liberal studies is quite favorable for a variety of reasons. First, it is easily accessible by millions of scholars who intend to take the liberal studies. Secondly, it offers a less cheap means of study since the student and tutor do not have to meet physically every time a study session is ongoing (Ramaley & Leakes, 2002). Consequently, the internet is a rich source of study materials that are easily accessible to the studying population
In any American college, every student already knows what they want to study. It is, however, crucial for the respective tutors to assist the students in being intentional about the accomplishments that specific degree will achieve (Ramaley & Leakes, 2002). The LEAP national leadership council advocates for a curriculum that has learning outcomes geared at solving complexities in the ever evolving world.it is quite agreeable that this kind of curriculum is what a student requires in school through college (Ramaley & Leakes, 2002). The reason behind this is because the curriculum enables students to be free thinkers, a virtue that is greatly admired in the corporate world. In other professions that require maximum time allocation, concentration on the specific line of study is encouraged (Ramaley & Leakes, 2002). This is unlike other specialties, specific skills and levels of expertise are require. The national curriculum should thus make an exception for such courses
The learning outcomes of liberal college studies cannot be ignored (Ramaley & Leakes, 2002). It is worthwhile to note that the 21st scholars needs to equip themselves diverse with knowledge on the present state of affairs, emerging issues and past occurrences , a study on emerging issues is obtained from the intellectual and practical studies which will equip one with skills including inquiry, analysis, creative thinking, written and oral communication, team work and problem solving skills.to understand past occurrences, a study on the human cultures, the physical and natural world will be of great help (Ramaley & Leakes, 2002). On day to day applications a scholar needs to be familiar with personal and social responsibility including ethical reasoning and action, foundations for lifelong learning, intercultural knowledge and competence and civic knowledge and engagements both local and global (Ramaley & Leakes, 2002). Integrative learning is also an integral part of enabling an individual to apply skills learnt in solving complex problems and in new settings.
From the various instances of liberal education listed above, one can thus come up with its definition and the whole purpose why it is continuously being advocated for (VanHecke, Brown, & Lindsay, 2007). It is eminent that every student in this century needs a high level of knowledge and multi skills that will enable them adapt to new environments and solve difficult problems (VanHecke, Brown, & Lindsay, 2007). The present society needs a population that is not restricted to one discipline as a means of obtaining a job. A free thinking scholar is best placed in any job market as they can easily blend in and offer real time solutions to current and emerging situations. Despite the few demerits listed in the above text, liberal arts education is a very essential element of the 21st century and cannot be done away with.
Berg, T. G. (1983). Student development and liberal arts education. NASPA journal, 21(1), 9-16.
Krislov, M. (2013, 5 December). The enduring relevance of a liberal arts education. Retrieved from http://hechingerreport.org/the-enduring-relevance-of-a-liberal-arts-education/
M., Brown, M. K., Lindsay, N. K., & VanHecke, J. R. (2007). Liberal arts student learning outcomes: An integrated approach. About Campus, 12(4), 2-9.
Ramaley, J. A., & Leakes, A. (2002). Greater expectations: A new vision for learning as a nation goes to college. Association of American Colleges and Universities. King, P.
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