What comes to your mind when the two words “liberal education“ are said? Liberal means willing to accept and respect behavior or opinions different from one’s own and being open to new ideas. It not only means providing education to all but having a liberal approach towards it. With times changing , or developing as we’d say this is what the society needs. There might be thousands of literate or even educated individuals but very few who actually try and are supported to reach their full potential by truly discovering the arenas their strength lies in.
A liberal education successfully establishes questions in the minds of the students and probes them to find answers, which eventually makes them self-dependent. It helps them to grow an introspective perspective of the world, allowing them to analyse it from the functionalist as well as conflict point of view. It envelops various subjects and teaches students how to correlate between them and inculcate the knowledge in their field of work. As opposed to taking everything in the face esteem, they dive into the very prospect of “why”, “what” and “how” of a particular subject.
Liberal education is the flame that will contribute in keeping the candle of education burning throughout. The present scenario is not such that everyone is taking a few commonly known subjects and going through the age old rat race. It is an era where one not only learns theoretically but also puts it into application to test their knowledge and sharpen it further. It is only when one improvises or tries to do things a little differently, they come to know of their abilities. After knowing where they stand they can introspect better to put greater effort into their activities.
A liberal education is very important for the future and our shared dream of creating a more equal and inclusive world. It enables people to have a justified and holistic, unbiased perception of the world.
Looking from the job perspective, liberal education adds to the demand as well as scope of opportunities of its choosers as they are educated in multidimensional aspects and empowered to make their own future with diverse resources.
Present day employers are not only looking for people with knowledge, but expect graduates to be problem solvers; who can read and reflect effectively; who can write and communicate persuasively; and who can be sensitive and appreciate the complexities of the society and humanity that we live today. Also it is not just the formal or informal learning a person undergoes within a period of time but the bestowing of universal values and eternal lessons that guide them throughout their lifetime. These teachings are not only imparted through text books but through real situations, shared experiences and a positive mentoring.
There has been far too much emphasis on traditional education using conventional streams with a view to focus on specific area of interest and not to challenge the boundaries of knowledge and thought processes. This in the process has created a bottleneck situation in people’s surroundings and in their minds.
The growing inclination towards these saturated fields might be due to the insecurities people have had regarding travelling by the ‘road not taken’. The lack of awareness of diverse arenas Liberal Education opens is a probable reason for such a choice. Over time this might lead to people losing their emotions, creativity and most importantly, the mode of expression.
If we’re being judgmental from beforehand and limiting the avenues that could have led to our betterment, are we really imparting education among future citizens? Why take the conventional and unconventional as rivals fighting for their existence?
We can look at it as complementary fields instead of competitive ones. This would truly help in the overall upliftment of humanism. This imparts a vision to people to view the collective good as well as individual benefits on two sides of the same measuring scale. I think that concerns with the employability of Liberal Art graduates are quite irrelevant and need not be interpreted as an invitation to erode the liberal values underpinning public education.
I feel that Liberal education contributes to personal happiness and also makes better and informed citizens with a sense of social responsibility. A liberal education empowers one to choose any path their heart desires. This is the reason why it should be supported and carried forward. A society develops only when people begin developing individually, and a liberal education is crucial in the process. To sum it up I’d just bring about Einstein who had said that A genius is not one who has answers to all questions but one who has the patience and ability to find answer to those questions. It is about knowing when to stop.Also Read – DOES COLLEGE LIFE OR MATURITY ONLY DEAL WITH FREEDOM?
So there was a time when parental pressure or other circumstances greatly influenced individuals to opt for certain streams or subjects who did so without a second thought, but now things are different. Students put a lot of thinking into this decision that would govern their lives and most of them are making wise choices which is a positive sign. Also taking charge of their own actions makes them accountable to themselves at the end of the day leading to greater self awareness and analysis.
So these young individuals have risen through all preconceived notions and clichéd opinions regarding their personal choices for further education. This shows how a new dawn has arrived and it’d be truly beneficial if this trend continues.
When the mutually conflicting or contradictory choices become collaboratory it strengthens the choosers all the more. So why not do away with all trivial insecurities , fears, and things that don’t matter and embrace education in a liberal sense to realize the true potential within?