Liberal Education and the Idea of the University: Arguments and Reflections on Theory and Practice

Liberal Education and the Idea of the University: Arguments and Reflections on Theory and Practice


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The idea of the university and the idea of liberal education share a family resemblance. However, it is not always explicitly clear what they have in common and what differentiates them. This collection brings together arguments and reflections on the nature of the university and the place of liberal learning in the 21st century. It is divided into two parts. In the first part authors examine the values and ideals that shape our understanding of liberal learning and the university; in the second part authors consider pedagogies informing our practices, asking after what underlying presuppositions, when made explicit, guide our liberal education classrooms in higher education. Unique in its approaches, this volume includes defenses of liberal education’s intrinsic value, the commodification of some of its best ideals, as well as utilitarian defenses that challenge some orthodox conceptions of liberal learning and its justifications. Each in its own right understands liberal learning as essential to the defense of a democratic order. On the pedagogical side, included are essays that defend a view of liberal education from the vantage of STEM subjects, including architecture, as well as those we typically associate with the liberal arts. This volume will aid academics and students seeking to better grasp an understanding of liberal education, but also those seeking to advance their pedagogical ideas about liberal learning. Researchers and students in education, higher education and those interested in the liberal arts and sciences will find this volume a useful addition to their collection.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622736645
Publisher: Vernon Art and Science
Publication date: 03/29/2019
Series: Series in Education
Pages: 290
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

Karim Dharamsi is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of General Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. He has published articles in the philosophy of history, on the philosophy of R.G. Collingwood, Wittgenstein, Frege, the philosophy of education and liberal education.

James Zimmer is the Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Teaching and Learning, at Mount Royal University (MRU). Prior to his current appointment, Jim served as Dean of the Faculty of Teaching and Learning at MRU (2007-2015) and Director of the University Teaching-Learning Centre (1998-2007). In his current role, Jim oversees university-wide teaching, learning and curricular initiatives including liberal education, teaching enhancement and innovation, Internationalization, Indigenization of curriculum, cyclical program review, collaborative degrees and dual credit. Jim's disciplinary background is in nursing. Between 1981 and 1995, he held clinical positions in critical care and taught undergraduate nursing at Fanshawe College, Foothills Hospital School of Nursing and Mount Royal.

Table of Contents



by David J DiMattio

Chapter 1 Introduction

Karim Dharamsi

Mount Royal University

James Zimmer

Mount Royal University

Part I: Liberal Education: Values and Ideals

Chapter 2 Liberal Education and the Challenges of our Time

Ronald Glasberg

University of Calgary

Chapter 3 Why the World Needs More Philosophers: Liberal Education and Public Intellectuals

Kathryn Shailer

Independent Scholar

Chapter 4 Liberal Education and Democracy: Challenging Neoliberal Conceptions of Pedagogy

Navneet Kumar

Medicine Hat College

Chapter 5 In Defence of a Utilitarian University Education

Allison Dube

Mount Royal University

Chapter 6 A Conservative Defense of Liberal Education

James Cunningham

Independent Scholar

Chapter 7 The Civic Benefits of the Trivium

Jeff Shires

Purdue University Northwest

Chapter 8 Is Critical thinking a Part of Liberal Education?

Gary L. Thompson

Saginaw Valley State University

Part II: Liberal Education: Practices and Pedagogy

Chapter 9 On Aesthetic Judgement and Moral Judgement

Hektor K. T. Yan

City University of Hong Kong

Chapter 10 The Influence of Diverse Peer Dialogue on Business Student Moral Reasoning: Why Liberal Education Matters

David Ohreen

Mount Royal University

Chapter 11 Resisting the Ivory Tower: Liberal Education and Social Change

Robert Lexier

Mount Royal University

Chapter 12 Making and Maker Culture in the Liberal Arts and Sciences

Katherine E. Aidala

Mount Holyoke College

Chapter 13 Engaging Wicked Problems with Design Thinking: A Pedagogical Strategy for the Liberal Arts in the 21st Century

Sharon Allan

University of Lethbridge

Deborah Forbes

Medicine Hat College

Chapter 14 Liberal Arts and the Reform Movement in Statistics Education

Brad Quiring

Mount Royal University

Collette Lemieux

Mount Royal University

Chapter 15 The Evolution of Liberal Education at the University of Lethbridge

Heather Mirau

University of Lethbridge

Jan Newberry

University of Lethbridge

Shelly Wismath

University of Lethbridge

Chapter 16 Visualizing Knowledge: The Pivotal Role of Visualizing Abstract Thinking

Karim W.F. Youssef

Mount Royal University

Magid W.F. Youssef

Independent Scholar



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