Thursday, February 02, 2012

A pitch for liberal arts education

This one is by an Indian student, Vedika Khemani, who, studied "studied history, economics, linguistics, philosophy and creative writing ... while taking intensive physics and mathematics classes" at Harvey Mudd College. Khemani is doing a PhD in theoretical physics at Princeton.

An excerpt:

The ability to synthesize different perspectives into the big picture is far more powerful than narrow expertise in any single field. The social sciences offer perspectives from vantage points separated by time, place and society. Drawing and painting offer perspectives on what perspective even means. Critical thinking is the logical result of being able to simultaneously synthesize multiple ideas in one’s mind.

Real-world problems rarely ever have textbook solutions. More than anything, the purpose of a college education is to learn how to think critically and what questions to ask. Liberal arts colleges aim to mold their students into well-rounded, well-informed global citizens with a wide skill set [...]


  1. Santosh Sali said...

    Myself engineering graduate , and now pursuing a Doctorate in Social science (in Management). I am realizing that the skills that I have built over the years of working on specialized problems are almost futile in the current study.

    Indian Engineering education Pathetically lacks support in critical reading, critical thinking or even basic academic writing skills. No wonder we have to work double (probably more) to be just successful in Social science. And mind well I am not talking about making mark in the field - That is still a distant goal.

  2. hhh said...

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