Boyer Activity

One central tension Boyer discusses in this chapter is the idea of a liberal education v. a specific education, and whether one is more beneficial than the other. Boyer writes, “caught in the crossfire of competing interests, many campuses still are torn between careerism and the goals of liberal learning,” (Boyer 220). Boyer agrees that both the liberal arts and careerism are important aspects of learning. However, Boyer also notes that a proverbial pendulum is swinging right now, and emphasis may soon be placed on a liberal arts education. In the past, technological innovations and capitalist ideals put careerism on a pedestal. As such, so many students today go to college to learn one trade and to integrate that same trade into their lives. Recently, though, employers have been looking for individuals who have studied the liberal arts.

Boyer’s “enriched major” idea allows students to choose a major and to learn about the implications of the job they’re going into rather than just how to do the job. As Boyer puts it, enriched major means “encouraging students not only to explore a field in depth, but also to help them put their field of special study in perspective,” (Boyer 223). By implementing the enriched major, Boyer believes the aforementioned tension can be settled. A key benefit of a liberal arts education—as we’ve learned from past readings—is gaining perspective and critical thinking skills. Perhaps employers only desire this education because of these things. As such, the enriched major would allow students to focus in careerism while appealing to employers by providing a certain well-roundedness

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