Liberal Education and the Small University in Canada

Liberal Education and the Small University in Canada

EDITED BY CHRISTINE STORM
Copyright Date: 1996
Pages: 248
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt80mbm
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  • Book Info
    Liberal Education and the Small University in Canada
    Book Description:

    Whatever the goal of a liberal education, whether it is acquiring a core body of knowledge, a style of thinking, or the development of character, these essays suggest the importance of the academic community, characteristic of the small university, in the shaping and survival of liberal education. Small classes, a sense of community, and personal dialogue between students and faculty are ingredients that can best be provided by the small university and that make a unique contribution to the intellectual development of students.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6610-1
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    Christine Storm
  4. PART ONE CONCEPTIONS OF A LIBERAL EDUCATION
    • CHAPTER ONE The Purpose and Content of a Liberal Education
      (pp. 3-17)
      J. VANDERLEEST

      But consideration must be given to the question, what constitutes education and what is the proper way to be educated. At present there are differences of options as to the proper tasks to be set; for all peoples do not agree as to the things that the young ought to learn, either with a view to virtue or with a view to the best life, nor is it clear whether their studies should be regulated more with regard to intellect or with regard to character.¹

      Writing in the fourth century BC, Aristotle raised questions about education that have been repeated...

    • CHAPTER TWO Theme and Variations in the Art and Science Curriculum
      (pp. 18-34)
      THOMAS STORM and CHRISTINE STORM

      A thorough review and discussion of the curriculum in institutions of higher education in the United States was published in 1987 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.¹ It covered the full range from two year colleges to major research universities, public and private, and examined student attitudes, and college mission statements as well as degree requirements and course content of the curriculum. In the case of four year liberal arts colleges, where specific professional training is disavowed as part of the educational mission, the report distinguishes three components of the curriculum: general education the mager (and in...

  5. PART TWO STUDENTS AND LIBERAL EDUCATION
    • CHAPTER THREE Perceptions of the Undergraduate Experience: Graduates of a Small University 1960–84
      (pp. 37-55)
      CHRISTINE STORM, THOMAS STORM and MICHELLE STRAIN

      The nature of the undergraduate population has changed considerably over the past thirty-five years. The society into which graduates emerge from the university has also changed in ways that may affect their expectations of a university education and the criteria by which they judge whether those expectations have been met.

      One major change in the student population, clearly, has been in its gender composition. The majority of students in the arts and humanities, and in many science programs, are now women. With the increased accessibility that accompanied the expansion of university education that began in the sixties, a larger proportion...

    • CHAPTER FOUR Access to Excellence? The Social Background of Mount Allison Students as Compared to Four Other Universities in the Maritimes
      (pp. 56-86)
      BRIAN CAMPBELL and BERKELEY FLEMING

      In this paper, we explore the social background of university students at five institutions in the Maritimes. We examine three major social factors: parents’ education, parents’ occupation, and the social-class identity of students. A fourth social factor, gender, is used throughout our analysis. Our interuniversity comparative framework helps us to understand the situation of the individual institution. In addition, we extend our comparison to an analysis of the differences between the background of university students at these five institutions and that of the general population. The focus on Mount Allison is maintained throughout, but we gain an understanding of this...

  6. PART THREE SCIENCE AND CULTURE IN LIBERAL EDUCATION:: HISTORICAL STUDIES
    • CHAPTER FIVE Science within the Liberal Arts: Mount Allison and the Maritime Universities
      (pp. 89-104)
      PAUL A. BOGAARD

      Including science within the curriculum of the liberal arts has long been a challenge that requires some form of accommodation. As the character and demands of science have evolved the challenges have multiplied. A series of challenges and accommodations is evident in the adaptation of the liberal arts within Canadian universities, and this evolution will be elucidated in this paper through the particular case of Mount Allison University within its Maritime setting.

      The colloquial usage of “arts and science” so common in our own day begs the question what place the sciences were thought to have within the liberal arts...

    • CHAPTER SIX Art at Mount Allison: A History
      (pp. 105-113)
      VIRGIL HAMMOCK

      The teaching of art at Mount Allison can be traced back to the opening of the Ladies’ Academy in I854.¹ Since then, art has been an important and continuous part of the curriculum. By 1869 the university had named its first professor of painting and drawing, John Warren Grey. Of Grey’s appointment President Allison, the university’s namesake, said: “Nor would we forget to express our satisfaction that not only can the young ladies pursue, as usual, their studies in drawing and painting, but that classes are also opened in those branches of Art, as well as in architecture, for such...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN Drama, the Campus, and the Curriculam at Mount Allison: “This green plot shall be our stage ...”
      (pp. 114-128)
      MARK BLAGRAVE

      Theatre history is fairly new as a discipline in Canada, and the study of our own country’s historical past is even newer. In the twenty years or so since the formation of such groups as the Association for Canadian Theatre History, however, the discipline has been subject to a compressed version of the evolution and devolution experienced by other, much older, historiographically-based disciplines. Twenty years ago, the prevailing belief was that the highest priority should be placed on feats of quantitative scholarship – the collection of raw data, the making of calendars of performance, the “facts.” More recently, in tune with...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT Religion at the Small University: A Comparison of Three Maritime Universities
      (pp. 129-152)
      MARK PARENT

      The twin themes of change and continuity characterize the religious life of Mount Allison University from its inception to the present day. While much has changed, much has remained the same. It is important for scholars and interested participants who wish to discuss the role of religion in contemporary Canadian universities to take note of both the continuities and the changes.

      In order to highlight the similarities and differences between past and present, I will compare the roles of religion at Mount Allison, St Francis Xavier University (a Roman Catholic institution), and Acadia University (a Maritime Baptist institution). While observations...

  7. PART FOUR CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN LIBERAL EDUCATION
    • CHAPTER NINE The Financial Problems Facing Canadian Universities: Some Unpleasant Economic Principles
      (pp. 155-180)
      J. FRANK STRAIN

      The liberal arts university is organized around a curriculum designed to help a student develop “character,” discover and build upon intellectual heritage, and nurture an inquiring mind (see vanderLeest and Storm and Storm in this volume). But a liberal arts education involves more than a particular curriculum. A student’s intellect and moral character mature as a direct consequence of presenting ideas that draw feedback from faculty. Moreover, formal and informal guidance from faculty is required if the student is to build on the thinking of other intellectuals. Thus, human contact between professor and student is an essential part of a...

    • CHAPTER TEN Unbalanced Productivity Growth and the Financial History of Mount Allison University
      (pp. 181-200)
      J. FRANK STRAIN

      A theoretical model of economic growth with sectoral differences in productivity advance was outlined in chapter 9 to show why universities providing a traditional liberal arts education can face continuing financial difficulties. In this paper, a modified version of the model is applied in a detailed case study of the experience of a single Canadian liberal arts university: Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

      The theoretical model advanced in chapter 9 predicts growing financial difficulties for universities providing a liberal arts education. The argument is extremely simple. First, wages and salaries throughout the economy tend to go up and...

    • CHAPTER ELEVEN Helping the Student to Learn: Special Assistance to Undergraduates
      (pp. 201-217)
      JANE DROVER, BRIAN MCMILLAN and ALEXANDAR M. WILSON

      At Mount Allison, the “special” qualities of all students are recognized and fostered. However, for the purpose of this chapter, the term “special populations” will refer to two groups of students who, in the university setting, are at risk and need help to meet the demands of studies at this level: those with a learning disability, and those inadequately prepared for the transition from secondary to post-secondary education. It was largely in an effort to meet the needs of these special populations that Mount Allison established a centre to serve as a focal point for the activities of both students...

    • CHAPTER TWELVE Technical Innovation and Liberal Education
      (pp. 218-230)
      PAUL CANT, ROBERT HAWKES and NANCY VOGAN

      It is commonly agreed that formal and informal interaction between students from different disciplines is one key advantage of the small liberal arts university. In this paper we will argue that microcomputer-enhanced learning can play a major role in fostering cross-disciplinary interactions among undergraduate teachers and students, as well as lead to more effective communication between teachers and students. We will start with an account of a typical day in the Macintosh learning laboratory at Mount Allison. A description of the nature of the laboratory setting and the networking will show how these interactions can be promoted. At the same...

  8. Contributors
    (pp. 231-233)