OP-EDS

  /  

April 12, 2002

Faculty participation is an important part of liberal education

To the Editor:

The closing line of your spirited staff editorial asserts that the Western Civ sequence "embodies the hallowed scholastic tradition of the classic Chicago common education." I have a different take on the matter. As I understand it, what most distinguishes the Chicago tradition of general education has been not any particular course or curricular structure, but a process of faculty inquiry into the currently defensible aims of liberal education and the best available local means of pursuing them. The issue, then, last year, five years ago, fifty years ago, and before, has not been whether to change or not to change. It has been whether changes are driven solely by logistical considerations or also by focused faculty discourse about good educational action.

Donald N. Levine

Peter B. Ritzma Professor and former dean of the College