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Studying the United States: Liberal Arts Education

The liberal education system has a flexible curriculum that requires the breadth and depth of the subject, encourages interdisciplinary subjects, and increases student choice. Liberal Arts students are like global citizens who are able to change themselves to suit every working environment.

What is Liberal Arts Education?

          Liberal Arts Education is an educational philosophy throughout the history of Western development, originating in ancient Greece and Rome. The goal of philosophy is academic freedom as well as a comprehensive understanding of the learner. Its priority is not a pool of knowledge or skills to prepare for a certain career, but rather a background in a variety of areas and skills that can be applied in all occupations. , Such as critical thinking skills, analytical thinking, communication skills, and creative abilities. It was the thought of great philosophers such as Rousseau, Kant, Condorcet, and later thinkers, major practitioners such as Montessori, Piaget, Dewey, Freinet. The direction, emphasizing a particular aspect is different, but it emphasizes the spirit of intellectual liberation, which aims to train the model of self-reliance, autonomy and the most comprehensive and optimal development. It breaks, removes all the patterns of the learner to achieve the ultimate creations.

          At the beginning, the subjects of liberal education included only three subjects: grammar, rhetoric and logic. In the Middle Ages, they added four other subjects, including arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. These basic subjects will lay the foundation before the learner studies philosophy and theology. Up to the present time, schools are still training basic humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and the arts, but they are developing more diverse subjects.

         Liberal Arts Education is translated into Vietnamese as "liberal education", "comprehensive education" or "general education". The liberal education system encompasses all schools and educational institutions based on the Liberal Arts Education philosophy, designed to motivate students to increase their expectations and ability to learn and think critically. , Communicating fluently, becoming a socially responsible citizen. It features a flexible training program that requires the breadth and depth of the subject, encourages interdisciplinary subjects, and empowers students. Liberal Arts students are like global citizens who are able to change themselves to suit every working environment.

       Today, the United States is being seen as a leader in building a system of education based on consistent, open, integrated, and constantly evolving education ... Not just Liberal Arts College that this philosophy is also widely applied in both the National Universities.

Liberal education is the dream of any people

          The origins of liberal education are to enable people to actively participate in activities in life. In ancient times, the Greeks desired to be able to participate in public debates, resolve daily disputes, fulfill military obligations, improvise in dangerous situations caused by wars, or Civil war caused. As society advances to the modern stage with developed industries, liberal education is used to study, foster life skills, analyze social issues, express personal views. The perception of a work of art is also oriented towards liberal education, which means that people have the right to have different feelings at every angle and to express that feeling.

          Liberal education requires people to accumulate knowledge in a variety of areas and transferable skills, including skills such as writing, analytical thinking - synthesis, critical thinking, creativity, and application. Variables, etc. This platform makes a person work in many different professions, easily transitioning between careers, which can be used to solve problems without being dependent on or limited by specialized knowledge. Industry is in school.

          Some think that liberal education can train a large number of management and leadership forces. One of the reasons that America became a "promised land" is also the attraction of liberal education. Universities are expected to provide a place for nurturing the spirit of freedom and holistic accumulation - the foundation for future leaders. If every learner perseveres in perseverance in learning, grasps the opportunity to master himself, master his own future.

          "Liberal Arts" has been proven around the world as the model that helps people develop the most comprehensive and optimal. It breaks, removes all patterns, straps in the minds, the perceptions of learners to reach their peak creations. It can be said that liberal education is the dream of any education in the world, not just Europe.

How are US universities applying Liberal Arts Education?

          In the liberal education system of the United States, students are required to complete General Education, which covers certain subjects or credits in a variety of fields, in addition to specialized subjects. Students will have to learn the basics of the areas required to have a background in the field. Basic areas include:

  •  Humanities: Literature, linguistics, history, philosophy
  •  Social Sciences: including anthropology, economics, sociology
  •  Natural Sciences: Math, chemistry, biology, physics
  •  Creative Arts: Art history, drama, music

          Depending on the school, the division of these areas and subject areas may vary. And it also depends on the school that has its own rules about how students complete the General Education.

          In the United States there are many successful universities with liberal education models, such as Rice University and Duke University. The characteristic of this model is the small class size with a small number of lecturers and students. Another notable feature is that Liberal Arts-style schools are often located in a quiet, quiet and less suburban suburb. The subjects of the liberal education model cover a wide range of fields to help students develop a comprehensive personality and intellect such as language, culture, literature, civilizations, history, mathematics. , Economics, management, arts of leadership and communication, mechanics, and chemistry.

          Students who graduate in graduate school at Rice University after graduation can work in marketing, business, communications, graphic design, data analysis, management, programming. Computing and information technology. The curriculum is designed to focus on the connection of a wide range of subjects such as biology, physics, social sciences, humanities and self-study.

          There are over 200 student clubs and organizations at Rice University that cover the fields of performance, media, sports, religion, culture and politics. Students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities, nurture passion and discover new things.

          In Europe, the liberal education model is applied at the primary and secondary levels in order to provide students with a comprehensive education on personality as well as intellectual development. Because students receive comprehensive education at the elementary level, the role of liberal education at the undergraduate level is less than in the United States. Students are encouraged to use the skills learned at primary and secondary levels to further develop their personality and responsibilities such as joining music clubs, theater groups, language clubs, etc.

Why choose liberal education?

          Prof. Ngo Bao Chau highly appreciates the model of liberal education and wishes to apply in Vietnam. It is not natural that the liberal education model is replicated in the United States, and all over the world are eager to successfully build this educational model. The main reason is the benefits of this education:

Prepare a strong foundation for future work: you will gain a solid background in a wider field than your own.

- Getting Started in Career Options: The purpose of this course in the liberal arts education program is to enable students to be introduced to the problems they may face, allowing them to be introduced. Make the right decision when choosing the career path they like.

- Jump for a new career: the knowledge gained in a liberal education can help you to adapt to every work environment.

Employers recognize that graduates of the school use a liberal education model that has the flexibility to adapt to changing needs. Work environment changed.

Provides a foundation for postgraduate research: a graduate student from liberal arts education will be able to study a diverse field of study, with background knowledge to go directly to further studies. University in any subject of their choice.

Provide skills to be a useful citizen: a liberal education beyond school provides graduates with the necessary qualities that can help them adapt and thrive. Teach the world, teach them to communicate and understand the wide open views in society.

          Education from the traditional to the modern education has the task of developing liberal arts courses to fulfill its mission. More and more modern efforts are being made to revitalize liberal education. The foundation for a liberal education is a conscious society of liberation. In order to prepare for liberal education, society needs to nourish the spirit of liberation.

          If you are interested, curious about liberal education, if you want to be trained to become a world citizen with outstanding advantages, then plan to come to America or a European country to study. You will get quite a lot of surprise in the discovery itself.

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