Allan Blooms’ book, The Closing of the American Mind, reopened the debate on the value of a classic learning curriculum. In recent years the Classic Learning Core and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Texas have sponsored national conferences on the core and the curriculum. The articles which appear here are among the papers presented to those conferences.
The Classic Learning Core is a distinguished curriculum for integrating the humanities requirements into a coherent sequence, a program which has been cited by the former Secretary of Education as one of four programs in the country leading to renewal in general education. It emphasizes the underlying units of knowledge, the study of class and classical books and documents, critical and creative thinking, and a thorough mastery of reading, writing, and speaking skills. This curriculum forms a coherent background in the greatest traditions of Western civilization.
Topics covered include the history and development of the liberal arts, pros and cons of the core curriculum, advantages and disadvantages of teaching the great books, the role of the liberal arts in a pluralist society, the contents of the core curriculum and pedagogy.
"The University of North Texas distinguished itself by attempting to integrate the humanities requirements into a coherent program. The essays in this book represent a continuing discussion on what should be taught in the schools and universities."—The Pilot, North Carolina