The University of Chicago News Office
Feb. 6, 1997 Press Contact: Julia Morse
(773) 702-8359

Scholars from Across the Nation Meet to Discuss Liberal Education

The value and content of a liberal education will be debated by representatives of almost 20 institutions during the University of Chicago Basic Program’s 50th anniversary conference, “Symposium on Lifelong Liberal Education,” Friday, March 7, and Saturday, March 8.

“This is an opportunity for scholars and students to consider the past, present and future of lifelong liberal education in America,” said Adam Rose, Staff Chairman of the Basic Program at the University of Chicago. “We’ll ask questions like: What do we mean by liberal education? In what ways is it relevant to our rapidly changing society? How can it best be delivered in the current educational climate?”

Speakers include Daniel Shannon, Dean of the Center for Continuing Studies at the University of Chicago and noted continuing studies expert, and Jeffrey Wallin, President of the American Academy for Liberal Education. Gerald Graff, the George M. Pullman Professor in English, will give the keynote address, “Teaching with the Enemy, or the Battle of the Books: Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood Classroom.”

Saturday afternoon discussions will examine liberal-education teaching methods, ways of constructing a liberal-education curriculum and new methods of learning, including via the internet. Panelists will include representatives from St. John’s College, the Great Books Foundation and the Aspen Institute.

Exhibits include “Looking into the Canon, Basic Program-Inspired Images by Bill O’Donnell,” which creatively translate the themes of the Great Books into photographs.

The symposium is open to the public. For registration information, call (773) 702-1722.

The Basic Program for Liberal Education for Adults at the University of Chicago,celebrating its 50th anniversary, is one of the oldest adult education programs in the country. Its four-year curriculum centers on the great books of the Western canon–including works by Homer, Plato, Freud, Augustine and others. Its purpose is to encourage adults to explore enduring themes through the use of classic texts.
Last modified at 03:50 PM CST on Wednesday, June 14, 2000.

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