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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 13, 2014 at 9:04 AM

College education: Expand studies and minds

Columnist David Brooks has been writing on what constitutes a college education, or perhaps more importantly what is the aim of a college education [“How to become a real person through college,” Opinion, Sept. 9]. It seems to me that in earlier days before and immediately after World War II, the aim was to graduate individuals with a full appreciation of life. This consisted of courses that exposed the students to a wide spectrum of knowledge that had no specific relationship to a future career.

While it is foolish to hope that we could ever go back to such a system, I think that there is considerable merit in attempting to incorporate some of that philosophy today. There seems to be too much focus on training students rather than educating them. Students (with parental approval) seem to want to take those courses that will resonate well on their résumés rather than gain knowledge for knowledge’s sake.

A college today could better serve students’ needs and even the needs of future employers by providing students with a cross-section of the liberal arts, giving them opportunities to dabble and explore a variety of subjects before electing a major. The major course of study could be broadly focused so as to infuse them with an understanding of the scope of their study.

By graduating students with a Bachelor of Arts in the truest sense, we would be enriching society, creating more effective employees and probably developing better parents.

David Wigglesworth, Kirkland

Comments | More in Education | Topics: college, David Wigglesworth, education

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