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Liberal Education: Overview

Liberal education comprises a tradition of educational theory and practice that connects the intrinsic value of learning with the aim of living a cultured and flourishing life. First articulated by educators in ancient Greece and Rome, liberal education has been prominent and often dominant in Western schooling through the centuries. It has evolved from a type of education prescribed for male aristocrats to one that is frequently seen as fundamental, even essential, for everyone—and especially for responsible, democratic citizens. Despite its record as a wellspring of intellectual life and culture, both its meaning and its value have frequently been disputed; its history displays competing interpretations, a cluster of rationales, evolving curricula and pedagogy, and a diversity of educational programs mounted by a succession of institutional ...

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