Currently Browsing: Arts and Sciences – general

Two problems with academic specialisation

One theme of this blog is the relative importance of specialising over staying broader in your education while at university – particularly at undergraduate level. Elsewhere I’ve made the case for a broader higher education on a number of grounds. But let’s say you want to go on to become...

Rigour in interdisciplinary education

What is rigour in education? A rigorous education must be intellectually demanding. It must require students to present work which is accurate, well-written, well-researched and, where appropriate, contains interesting detail. None of these qualities is the sole property of a particular academic discipline...

Education for ‘specialisation’ in the knowledge economy

There are many reasons to believe that a liberal and interdisciplinary education in arts and sciences is the best to prepare you for work in a knowledge economy. In this world, service jobs overwhelmingly dominate and workers are required to show flexibility, creativity, empathy, team-working skills and so...

The Knowledge Economy and end of the inherent vs instrumental value conflict in education

‘The Knowledge Economy is the future of the world economy,’ professional services firm Deloitte announced in their report of February last year. What is a ‘knowledge economy’? Safe to say we do not yet understand it very well. The Wikipedia page needs a lot of work. However, it seems that many of the...

Very short blog about generalists and specialists

Greeks – generalists Romans – specialists (notable exceptions: Varro, Cicero and a few others) Scholastics – specialists Renaissance – generalists Enlightenment – generalists Industrial period – specialists Post-industrial period – generalists (?)   Image...

Liberal Education for a Complex World

Here is the talk I gave as one of the keynotes at the ‘Arts and Sciences for Global Leaders’ event at Hitotsubashi University in Japan in November, 2014. An eminent British colleague said to me that although he enjoyed the piece, there was nothing really in it to disagree with and therefore he...

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