New York Times Opinion: Higher Education Needs More Socrates and Plato

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- by Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Harun Küçük

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and Dr. Hurun Küçük advocated for a return to traditional liberal arts in an op-ed to the New York Times. The pair note in their piece that American universities are at an all-time low for public trust, and part of winning it back might be restoring what makes higher education institutions special, particularly the broad learning associated with a liberal arts education:

By liberal arts, we mean a broad-based education that aspires to send out into society an educated citizenry prepared to make its way responsibly in an ever-more complex and divided world. We worry that at many schools, students can fulfill all or most of their general education requirements and take any number of electives without having had a single meaningful discussion that is relevant to one’s political life as a citizen.”

They also explore the potential to restore values of free speech and civil discourse through the debate fostered in the study of the Great Books.

Read the full op-ed here:

Emanuel and Küçük are on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where Emanuel is a professor and the vice provost for global initiatives and Küçük is an associate professor of the history and sociology of science. 

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the New College Trustees, faculty or staff. New College of Florida promotes a climate of free expression and tolerant civil discourse according to the principles set forth in the State University System Free Expression Statement and the Board of Governors Civil Discourse Final Report.