Liberalism (Education)

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  • A set of related beliefs emphasizing individual rights and equality of opportunity. The term is derived from the Latin liber, which is broadly associated with liberty and the concept of freedom. The modern ideology of liberalism traces its origins to the Enlightenment and the set of movements intended to promote individual religious, economic, political, and intellectual freedom. The “liberal arts” of classical antiquity were made accessible to everyone to provide the proper education necessary for the cultivation of the intellect as a tool for promoting individual freedom. In this way, liberalism has become synonymous with education as the vehicle for freeing the individual from the “constraints of ignorance, sectarianism, and myopia” (Association of American Colleges and Universities [AACU], 1998). The American philosopher, statesman, and president, ...

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