Undergraduate Gen. Ed., Liberal Arts, distribution requirements, whatever you choose to call it, is in bad shape these days, has been for quite a while. We’ve documented this dismal trend in numerous studies over the years, among which our report What Does Bowdoin Teach? is the most recent addition. Spending lots of money, as we’ve seen repeatedly, doesn’t necessarily buy you anything of substance, unless you happen to be looking for the narrow niche courses so heavily preponderant in much of American undergraduate liberal arts programs.
In this vein, there’s an interesting take (“Good Thing I’m Not a History Major”) on contemporary non-education in the liberal arts over at Public Discourse, the Witherspoon Institute’s online journal. The author, Michael Hepner, has a keen sense of what’s wrong and some interesting thoughts on what to do about it.