What is the value of a Liberal Arts Education? Why is it important in learning to be classy?
‘The quickest way to cut across Class lines is through education.’ – Ginie Sayles
Better yet, combine it with an overseas liberal arts education through a scholarship.
There is great respect for education among the high achievers, or the upper classes as one might say. This class trait is more important than having money.
What type of education? Not all ‘types of education’ is created equal. Those possessing finer feathers stress that to be an accomplished lady, a liberal arts education from a private college is preferably pursued.
Why? Why study the liberal arts when it is not a ‘professional’ skill? What is the value of studies that does not offer a professional skill?
A liberal arts education does more than prepare you for work. It is education that focuses on transferrable skills. It is a well rounded’ education that focuses more than just facts. You learn to make sound judgments and think independently.
Your horizons will be expanded, your perspectives challenged, and you’ll acquire ways to defend your point of view.
A liberal arts education is said to be “a moral and historic compass.”
No matter how advanced our society, there is still a need to reflect, ponder, from justice and injustice, the right from wrong, the good, bad and the ugly. We can learn from history and not make repeated mistakes. It can inspire us for the future.
Liberal arts are the skills derived from the Classical education curriculum. From Wikipedia, it best describes this ‘Classical Education Curriculum’.
The term liberal arts denotes a curriculum that imparts general knowledge and develops the student’s rational thought and intellectual capabilities, unlike the professional, vocational, technical curricula emphasizing specialization. The contemporary liberal arts comprise studying literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, and science. In classical antiquity, the liberal arts denoted the education proper to a free man, unlike the education proper to a slave.
What is The Goal of an education of Liberal Arts?
The value of liberal arts education is best summed up in these quotes.
The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.
– Albert Einstein
Chapter One (“The Liberal Arts: What is a Liberal Arts Education and Why is it Important Today”) of Howard Greene and Matthew Greene’s, Hidden Ivies: Thirty Colleges of Excellence, defines the goals of a liberal arts education in the following manner:
In a complex, shifting world, it is essential to develop a high degree of intellectual literacy and critical-thinking skills, a sense of moral and ethical responsibility to one’s community, the ability to reason clearly, to think rationally, to analyze information intelligently, to respond to people in a compassionate and fair way, to continue learning new information and concepts over a lifetime, to appreciate and gain pleasure from the beauty of the arts and literature and to use these as an inspiration and a solace when needed, to revert to our historical past for lessons that will help shape the future intelligently and avoid unnecessary mistakes, to create a sense of self-esteem that comes from personal accomplishments and challenges met with success.
The Benefits of being educated in Liberal Arts
1. A liberal arts education teaches you how to think
The mind is like a muscle. Exercise makes it stronger. It becomes easier to learn and grasps concepts when it is exercised and enlarged by varied study.
It helps us develop an ‘ordered’ mind. Good thinking habits help you in all areas of your life. You will be able to think for yourself, enabling you to develop your own opinions, attitudes, values and beliefs. It helps you employ independent judgment.
2. A liberal arts education teaches you how to learn.
It will not be simply acquiring a ‘giant file of facts’ but focusing on the learning skill itself. The strategies and habits you develop also help you learn more easily.
“People are best taught by using something they are familiar with, something they already understand, to explain something new and unfamiliar. – George Herbert.
Liberal arts education creates an improvement of perception and understanding.
3. A liberal arts education allows you to see things whole
Its goal is to provide a well rounded education.
4. A liberal arts education makes you a better teacher
While you may not be a teacher, but you may one day be a mother, an confidant, someone’s wife and definitely someone’s friend. Being able to explain things in a clear and a rational way enhances your communication skills.
5. A liberal arts education will contribute to your happiness
A cultivated mind enjoys itself and the arts. With an increased knowledge, you will have more abilities to tackle and solve the problems in your life.
Loosely adapted from http://www.virtualsalt.com/libarted.htm
Elements of Liberal Arts Education
Currently, this varies from school. If you pursue a liberal arts education, you’ll be able to pick your subjects, with a focus on humanities.
These subjects range from literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics and science.
The foundation for a liberal arts education is a classical education.
Some useful websites if you are pursuing your own studies:
How To Get This Education Trait of Class
First of all, believe you can. It does not matter what age you are or what you are currently studying.
Secondly, take an interest. Do it slowly, in small parts. You do not have to do it all today! Explore the universities around you and look for a part time class, or even a community college if you feel really intimidated. Sometimes all it takes
is to make a trip to the library and read your first book, ‘Pride and Prejudice’. (It is a great book!)
You may not have many ‘things’, but you can acquire more knowledge. It does wonders to your self esteem and confidence!