Powers of the MindThe Reinvention of Liberal Learning in America

Powers of the MindThe Reinvention of Liberal Learning in America

Donald N. Levine

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226475530

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

It is one thing to lament the financial pressures put on universities, quite another to face up to the poverty of resources for thinking about what universities should do when they purport to offer a liberal education. This book enriches those resources by proposing fresh ways to think about liberal learning with ideas more suited to our times. It does so by defining basic values of modernity and then considering curricular principles pertinent to them. The principles the book favors are powers of the mind—disciplines understood as fields of study defined not by subject matter but by their embodiment of distinct intellectual capacities. To illustrate, the book draws on a lifetime of teaching and educational leadership, while providing a summary of exemplary educational thinkers at the University of Chicago who continue to inspire. Out of this vital tradition, the book constructs a paradigm for liberal arts today, inclusive of all perspectives and applicable to all settings in the modern world.