CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria argues for a renewed commitment to the world’s most valuable educational tradition.
The liberal arts are under attack. The governors of Florida, Texas, and North Carolina have all pledged that they will not spend taxpayer money subsidizing the liberal arts, and they seem to have an unlikely ally in President Obama. While at a General Electric plant in early 2014, Obama remarked, “I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree.” These messages are hitting home: majors like English and history, once very popular and highly respected, are in steep decline.
“I get it,” writes Fareed Zakaria, recalling the atmosphere in India where he grew up, which was even more obsessed with getting a skills-based education. However, the CNN host and best-selling author explains why this widely held view is mistaken and shortsighted.
Zakaria eloquently expounds on the virtues of a liberal arts education—how to write clearly, how to express yourself convincingly, and how to think analytically. He turns our leaders’ vocational argument on its head. American routine manufacturing jobs continue to get automated or outsourced, and specific vocational knowledge is often outdated within a few years. Engineering is a great profession, but key value-added skills you will also need are creativity, lateral thinking, design, communication, storytelling, and, more than anything, the ability to continually learn and enjoy learning—precisely the gifts of a liberal education.
Zakaria argues that technology is transforming education, opening up access to the best courses and classes in a vast variety of subjects for millions around the world. We are at the dawn of the greatest expansion of the idea of a liberal education in human history.
Fareed Zakaria Defends Liberal Arts Education
Published on Mar 29, 2015
I promise you. Folks and make a lot more. Potentially. Was Joseph manufacturing. For the troops and Lynn Martin where an art history degree. That I can present Obama represents exactly kind of thing you three to curry trying to counter in his newest book indefensible liberal education for his back with us now to talk about it. And for you make the provocative when the president of having to apologize and that planned by the way do you make of provocative point. That he actually reflects there are bipartisan consensus. In Washington that is both dangerous and un American what did you mean by. Well you know in Europe that’s always been true that education has been much more skills based much more job training by fourteen or sixteen you usually stream. In America we always took the view no it’s important to billboard general skills. Critical thinking. Intellectual curiosity because you know our economy has always move very fast it’s change you you know your first job was never the same as your fifth job.
I think of the wounded to date much more favors that kind of American general liberal education of course science and technology has to be a part of it. But so does English sodas history and you commit three you know him with a foot in both camps she grew up in India very and it is based in science math a lot of wrote. Learning to you really drawn to the idea deliberately education in America yeah I fell in love with the idea of off being able to take physics and portraits. And part of it is I think people don’t understand that. So much of what you do in life is. He is critical thinking it’s you know the good stuff good humor and specifically in a trade is obsolete five years later six years later but the ability to learn. The ability to get passionate about something is not that’s why Jeff days as the they ahead of Amazon the founder of Amazon says.
I won my senior. Executives to write six page single space memos to me. Because if you have if you to write down an argument. They can’t be any logical gaps and the what do you say to parents and students settled this huge debt we will not expensive college can be right now think like got to be sure them training. To get a job. And and they’ve got to have some faith the data shows that while engineering court technically trained students start our with a slight advantage it evens out over time.
And the most important thing they have to remember is that their son or dornin is going to be good. At the things he ocean can be passionate about the Confucian can really work hard at love. That’s you know that’s the most important thing we all of this if you love your work it doesn’t feel like work so push them to be passionate the war card. Obviously you gotta get lucky but that’s true even if you’re an engineer. So any parent should read this book in defense the liberal education for two cars thanks very much welcome back.