Liberal arts

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The seven liberal arts - Picture from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad von Landsberg (12th century)

The term liberal arts refers to the education derived from the Classical education curriculum.


[edit] History

[edit] Definition

The term liberal arts denotes a curriculum that imparts general knowledge and develops the student’s rational thought and intellectual capabilities[vague], unlike the professional, vocational, technical curricula emphasizing specialization. The contemporary liberal arts comprise studying art, literature, languages, philosophy, politics, history, mathematics, and science. [1] In classical antiquity, the liberal arts denoted the education proper to a free man (Latin: liber, “free”), unlike the education proper to a slave. In the 5th Century AD, Martianus Capella academically defined the seven Liberal Arts as: grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, and music. In the medieval Western university, the seven liberal arts were:

  1. grammar
  2. rhetoric
  3. logic
  1. geometry
  2. arithmetic
  3. music
  4. astronomy

[edit] The liberal arts include the visual arts

Renaissance supporters of the visual arts — architecture, painting, sculpture, classed as mechanical and manual arts — argued their inclusion to the liberal arts, among said advocates were Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo da Vinci, and Giorgio Vasari. In Italy, and among Renaissance humanists, the academic matter was decided around 1500, [2] yet it required another century in Spain and England.

[edit] Liberal arts colleges

Liberal arts colleges are schools emphasising undergraduate study in the liberal arts. A full-time, four-year course of study earns the student either a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree; on completing undergraduate study, students might progress to either a graduate school or a professional school (public administration, business, law, medicine, theology). The teaching is Socratic, to small classes, and at a greater teacher-to-student ratio than at universities; full-time teachers give classes, rather than graduate student teaching assistants. Despite the European origin of the liberal arts college, [3] the term liberal arts college usually denotes liberal arts colleges in the United States.

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Liberal Arts: Encyclopedia Britannica Concise". Encyclopedia Britannica. 
  2. ^ Blunt, Anthony, Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450-1660,p. 49, 1940 (refs to 1985 edn), OUP, ISBN0198810504
  3. ^ Harriman, Philip (1935). "Antecedents of the Liberal Arts College". The Journal of Higher Education, Vol. 6, No. 2 (1935), pp. 63-71. 

[edit] Further reading

  • Blaich, Charles, Anne Bost, Ed Chan, and Richard Lynch. Defining Liberal Arts Education. Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, 2004.
  • Blanshard, Brand. The Uses of a Liberal Education: And Other Talks to Students. (Open Court, 1973. ISBN 0-8126-9429-5)
  • Friedlander, Jack. Measuring the Benefits of Liberal Arts Education in Washington's Community Colleges. Los Angeles: Center for the Study of Community Colleges, 1982a. (ED 217 918)
  • Joseph, Sister Miriam. The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric. Paul Dry Books Inc, 2002.
  • Pfnister, Allen O. "The Role of the Liberal Arts College." The Journal of Higher Education. Vol. 55, No. 2 (March/April 1984): 145-170.
  • Reeves, Floyd W. "The Liberal-Arts College." The Journal of Higher Education. Vol. 1, No. 7 (1930): 373-380.
  • Seidel, George. "Saving the Small College." The Journal of Higher Education. Vol. 39, No. 6 (1968): 339-342.
  • Winterer, Caroline.The Culture of Classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780-1910. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002.
  • Wriston, Henry M. The Nature of a Liberal College. Lawrence University Press, 1937.
  • T. Kaori Kitao, William R. Kenan, Jr."The Usefulness Of Uselessness" [1] Keynote Address, The 1999 Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth's Odyssey at Swarthmore College, 27 March 1999

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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