American colleges and universities should be bastions of self-knowledge and self-criticism, simply because they exist to teach people how to think. But in recent years America’s campuses seem to have abandoned this tradition. Worse, the meager course offerings on the topic of liberal education tend to reinforce misunderstandings about its character and content.
Few of the liberal arts and sciences faculty at these schools offer courses that explore the origins, structure, substance and aims of the education that they supposedly deliver. Instead they provide a smattering of classes on hot-button topics in higher education such as multiculturalism, inequality, gender and immigration. This is no trivial oversight, as the quality of American freedom depends on the quality of Americans’ education about freedom.
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