Liberal Arts in Europe
While liberal arts education has its historical roots in classical antiquity, for much of the nineteenth and twentieth century, this educational concept was primarily associated with higher learning in the United States. However, the period since the 1990s has seen something of a renaissance of liberal arts education in Europe (Zimmerman 2013). Responding to some of the pathologies of postwar mass higher education in Europe, and inspired by the American example, several European universities have created liberal arts programs, and a number of independent liberal arts colleges have been founded. While there are significant differences between these programs, they share something of a common philosophy of education, which includes an emphasis on broad intellectual development, interdisciplinarity of studies, cultivation of general academic skills, and academic community. The following article will sketch the European context from which these programs emerged, present their main...
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