Is Everything Old New Again?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    To all who are participants, inquirers, watchers, and Lifelong Learners:

    There is a "new kid in town!"

    This is a new type of college and grad school on the horizon. It follows the Harvard College model in its beginning. It is based on the old classical model of the trivium which includes logic and rhetoric (which interests me very much as you can imagine!). I have here some links and information concerning them.

    I would appreciate feedback and some help doing more research on the "movement." Before you send those "cards and letters," ugly emails, and PM posts; it is not primarily Baptist. But it is bound to catch on amongst the Baptists in due course of time.

    Please help me to research or to supply some first hand knowledge. I have spoken to them at length at the New College Franklin. I hope to be able to teach for them in the future if possible. I attach links here for your perusal and consideration:

    http://www.kingsmeadow.com/new-college-franklin

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Saint_Andrews_College

    http://www.nsa.edu/mission/accreditation.html

    It is TRACS accredited so we do not need to have that discussion. What I would like to know is: is this a larger movement? are these two schools the only ones out there? why are they having such a hard time being accepted in their respective states? share other information with me and readers of the BB? and any other pertinent insights or information?

    I would like, IF POSSIBLE, to keep the discussions germane to my topic and not let it run a muck with "I thinks" and such. That is if it is at all possible. Thank you very much ahead of time for the disciplined comeback from all who read with interest this post!!!!:smilewinkgrin:

    "That is all!"
     
  2. mjohnson7

    mjohnson7
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    Great Books

    from WikiPedia:
    Saint Mary's College of California also offers a Great Books curriculum as well as Harrison Middleton University. Harrison Middleton is a for-profit, online university that is accredited through the Distance Education and Training Council which, I believe, is recognized by the department of education.

    I wish I had known about these schools when I was an undergrad....however, all is not lost! I can still read these books! Many of the above mentioned schools have the required reading lists posted on their websites.

    Classical education is HUGE now in the Christian home school movement, or rather, REFORMED Christian home schoolers.

    Susan Wise Bauer has written a couple of great books: The Well-Trained Mind for those desiring to educate their children at home using a more classical approach, and The Well-Educated Mind, for those of us who would like to have our OWN classical education utilizing a Great Books approach.
     
  3. gb93433

    gb93433
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    One of my friends is the head of an English department at a major university. My daughter had been thinking about majoring in English. He told her that they are no longer hiring the typical English nerd. They are hiring professors who have experiences in other fields outside of English.

    In the program I teach at the university, our advisory committee wants us to prepare the students professionally for the particular field in the program the students wants to enter into for a career. The students only have four hours of electives to pick from. The rest are taken in general education and professional classes. Universities are compelled more and more to provide an education that prepares students for jobs.

    The greatest need in America is in the sciences, engineering and mathematics. Currently we are bringing professors to this country from other countries to teach in those areas of study. We are also bringing engineers from other countries because we are unable to fill the need from Americans. I hear talk at the university that there is little need for English professors. However there is a huge need for those who teach in technological and scientific areas of study. The area I am in has almost 100% placement. Most of the students who will graduate in May will have secured employment by March. The majority will have 2 to 3 offers or more from prospective employers.

    My professor friends who teach at theological schools tell me that there is a glut on the market among those wanting to be professors in theological schools and seminaries.

    The starting salaries for a recent B.S. graduate in my field is near the highest at the university. They are paid about the same as an engineer who has been in the field for 20 years. After ten years in the field there is hardly a major that would come close to them in terms of salary. Those in English are paid considerably less.

    In many universities there is a push by some professors for each student to have a liberal arts degree. However there is a push by the professionals for a professional degree such as lawyers and pharmacists have. Due to a push for research money by universities, those who receive that money are those who are awarded the grants. Those who receive the most money are those in practical fields. A lot of money for the program I teach in comes from grants and professionals in the field.

    From what I hear from professionals in the field, the need in our country, and the professors at the university level I do not see much hope for what those colleges are encouraging in terms of employment. While the students may receive a good education but due to the current trends among employers I am unable to think who would hire their graduates.
     
  4. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician
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    gb Response!!

    gb,

    Thanks for bringing this insight to the table. I for one appreciate the perspective. This under girds what I have been hearing for at least the 10 years I have been teaching professionally.

    Do I hear you saying in your comments that we are turning into glorified "Four Year Vo-Tech Schools?" at the college or university levels with the Vo-Tech just being a higher level than it used to be. These could be nursing, allied health, seminary, law school, pharmacy school, and the like?

    Have we moved so much away from the "Classical Liberal Education," ie, the Trivium-Grammar, Logic, & Rhetoric; that the classics like Western Civ, Civics, Shakespear, Greek Mythology, Public Speaking, a general knowledge of the Bible and such have been "dumbed-down" and are not seen as necessary any longer?

    Or, another issue which contributes to the mix may be this: the "professional schools" (however you want to define them?), are becoming so complicated that it takes an extra amount of time just to get through the required curriculum to take the state or national boards. That may be a contributing factor to the slow death of the Liberal Arts or Classical Educational systems once known amongst us. There does not seem to be a level of generalization, only specialization.

    In the school where I teach, a professional medical school type program, I am always hearing: "Religion, why do I have to take a religion course!!! It does not have anything to do with __________ that I am majoring in???!!! I want to study the basics of _______ and all this other stuff is just a waste of my time!!!!????"

    I suppose that much of it goes back or can be attributed to the public schools and the caliber of student they turn out.

    In all this I must quote a trite and quaint cliché: "We are teaching students to make a living but not teaching them how to make a better life!!"

    Go figure!!

    Please advise and clarify!! I want a meaningful dialog to continue.

    "That is all!"
     
  5. gb93433

    gb93433
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    The degrees seem to becoming more and more specialized.

    That has been my complaint about the English professors who want every student to have a liberal arts education. They do not do a very good job of teaching what they should about such things as APA format and English grammar. I end up teaching the students about ho wot write a research paper in APA format and how to use heading in organizing the paper. One of my students is engaged to a young lady who has masters degree in English and he was shocked when I told him that parts of his paper was not correctly formatted. He informed me that she had edited it. I pulled out the APA manual and showed him the proper format for what he was trying to do. I havbe had that same complaint about the English people for several years.

    I agree. However years ago when I took a look at the curriculum from the high schools in Cinncinnati in 1911 I reaized that it was at a much higher level than what we expect of entering freshmen today. Some of the universities have realized that open enrollment does nothing but send a wrong message to incoming students. It brings down the academic level and sends a message to the students that they are prepared for success when they are not.

    I teach in construction management and the problem we find is that it is quite hard toi get faculty with real world experience in the field. We are fortunate int hat each faculty member has at least 25 years in the field before coming to the university. They are not caught up in degrees but in having experience that translates to the classroom experience. When I teach I give real life experiences I have encountered in things such as ethics and other real life experiences. I have my student in one class take a lok at real life experiences in ethical situations that are compromising and have them deal with real issues they will encounter.

    I take the position that students can do more and will do more with higher level of quality if we expect their best and help them along the way to achieve that. I believe that each teacher and professor has a responsibility to their students to teach them all they can and to expect the best of their students. I believe we can make them better employees and better citizens if we expect their best.

    When we expect more it also requires more work from us though.
     
  6. paidagogos

    paidagogos
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    Reformed circles

    Rhett,

    These two schools are the products of Douglas Wilson and George Grant. Check out their writings, Reformed theologies, social ideas, etc. to understand where they're headed. They're prolific writers with lots of articles and material on the web. Both, I think, came out of the Christian Reconstruction movement and were heavily influenced by R. J. Rushdoony. Also, they have deep ties into the Classical school movement. In fact, both Wilson and Grant may be considered progenitors of the Classical school movement.
     

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