humanities

humanities


6th/Final Ch. Summary: In Defense of A Liberal Education

liberal education January 15th, 2018

Finally, after taking 10,000 words + to summarize and review author and historian Fareed Zakaria’s book, In Defense of A Liberal Education, this is the summary of the final chapter (6). It is entitled “In Defense of Today’s Youth”. It is entitled “In Defense of Today’s Youth”. Much of this impressive book is about critical thinking, the history of liberal education, knowledge (and its benefits). In general, like many before him, Zakaria posits there is a fundamental difference between the teaching and learning of facts such as names, dates, formulae, and vocabulary on the one hand, and the more basic, utilitarian, secular-humanistic, classic, fundamental approach of critical thinking. Indeed, learning to think is a profoundly valuable asset we would do well to inculcate in our children. This last chapter primarily concentrates on how liberal education fits in with the advances and challenges that this new millennium entails specifically, “youth today”. Ipads, “the Me Generation,” and “the rat race” are explored.

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Knowledge and Progress: Liberal Arts Education

knowledge and progress January 12th, 2018

Liberal education is often about individual development and personal growth. In the wonderful, well-researched, short but stout book In Defense of a Liberal Education, noted columnist and historian Fareed Zakaria laments that the humanities are no longer as popular as they were in America’s more prosperous decades. As manufacturing is under severe threat and jobs are increasingly lost to foreign countries or automation, Zakaria maintains that “to succeed today, you need creativity, lateral thinking, communication skills, and, more than anything, the ability to keep learning – precisely the gifts of a liberal education.” In chapter five, entitled “Knowledge and Power”, the author looks at humanity’s progress and connects it to some of the skills that liberal arts education can inculcate in the young. In addition to my summary of the highlights, many quotations relevant to knowledge and progress will be presented. What follows is a summary and review of chapter five of this engaging book.

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