Without the balance of historic value, practical education gives us that most absurd of standards: "relevance," based upon the suppositional needs of a theoretical future. But liberal education, divorced from practicality, gives something no less absurd: the specialist professor of one or another of the liberal arts, the custodian of an inheritance he has learned much about, but nothing from.”
― Wendell Berry
There are no shortage of writings on the merits of a “liberal education” and the value of studying the liberal arts. It’s even held out as a classical foil to today’s single-minded focus on a “practical” STEM education, an education valued for a bottom-line superiority in the economic marketplace of ideas. But the truth is learning from the past is more than just learning for knowledge’s sake. Today—more than ever—young adults need the perspective and grounding from the past in order to operate effectively in an uncertain future.
Rev. Brian Foos, Head of College at St. Andrew’s College, discusses the past and future value of a liberal arts education in the chaotic times we find ourselves living in.