Liberal Learning

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I certainly can join the chorus opposing President Barack Obama’s scheme to make the federal government the dominant partner in making community college free. That much money will be accompanied by a corresponding amount of regulation. Insofar as...
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George Orwell wrote: “The enemies of intellectual liberty always try to present their case as a plea for discipline versus individualism.” Though that may have been the case in 1946, the enemies of intellectual liberty on...
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It is a shocking reality that the vast majority of “teachers” have no idea what it means to be an “educated” human being. If this is true, and indeed it is demonstrable, then it should not...
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So it is characteristic of us professors of political philosophy to neglect what is really going in the “hard” sciences. I remember, for example, being astonished that Allan Bloom, in The Closing of the American Mind,...
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Richard M. Weaver (1910–1963) was one of the leading thinkers of the post–World War II conservative intellectual movement. Best known for his landmark book Ideas Have Consequences, Weaver was a scholar and rhetorician who taught English...

So I just finished reading the most recent contributions to Postmodern Conservative. The quality is high, and the depth and breadth of insight is real. And I wish I could say something to show I am anywhere...

I am honored to be asked to say a few words about the educational project that we all care so deeply about: the education of our citizens in the arts of freedom—the education needed to make our lives...

In Part I, I considered the reasons why competency-based education is incompatible with liberal learning. Now I want to discuss why it hinders students after graduation, and deprives the world of extraordinary individuals.
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In a recent essay, Mark Shiffman notes that in the fiercely competitive but nonetheless gloomy context in which university students find themselves, many opt to “major in fear.” Fear that they will not find work or...

Competency-based education is a popular trend in higher education circles. It also seems to be a trend that could do great damage to liberal learning. What is competency-based education? It has two key elements. First, any...

Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House remains one of the most sobering novels I have encountered in my life. The protagonist, Godfrey St. Peter, a native Kansan who has spent his career teaching history and culture at...

By long custom at St. John’s College, the president invites to Thanksgiving dinner all our international students, as well as any other students and faculty who are spending Thanksgiving away from home and family. After the events...

Everything is Political Just as I began my college teaching career thirty years ago, the whole academy seemed to have accepted as axiomatic the assertion that “Everything is Political.” This self-evident universal truth...

Some rather distressing, though hardly surprising, developments in our public schools were reported recently by our libertarian friends at reason.com. It seems the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) have decided it is time to reduce “the...