Liberal Education, Change, and the Humanities
Liberal Education, Change, and the Humanities: Issues in 21st Century U.P. General Education
Every time the GE Program of the University is discussed or debated upon, we return to what we believe is the bedrock of this program: Liberal Education. It is an education whose aim is “broadening a person's general knowledge and experience.” U.P.’s General Education program, usually prescribed in early years of an undergraduate degree program, is supposed to provide students with contexts in which a specialization can be pursued in later years. All our efforts have been geared towards making our program engage with the times and produce students who, as citizens, have a strong sense of moral and intellectual integrity. We believe that we have to be more aggressive in reconciling an inter-/multi-/trans-disciplinary approach to the GE Program with our University’s disciplinal structure. This approach should be characterized by exploring the intersections in the sciences and the humanities. But at present, the courses that should provide such general knowledge have been offered by seemingly still autonomous and discipline-based units. The challenge then, as it has always been, is for U.P. to reconcile the liberal approach of broadening knowledge with its present disciplinal structure. In six years, UP will welcome the first batch of K-12 graduates. For quite a number of people, 2018 seems like a “deadline” foisted on us by local politics and global economics. It is a year some of us dread. But we could take a more positive stance and look at the so-called impending doom as an opportunity to institute changes which some of us have been pushing for over the years. We should look forward to expanding the frontiers of liberal education while championing a greater understanding and renewal of traditions.
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Prof. Robin Daniel Z. Rivera
Department of Art Studies, College of Arts and Letters
GE Committee, College of Arts and Letters
This vodcast is part of the UPD General Education Conference 2012