On April 15, 2016, I was part of the organizing committee and presenter at Medicine Hat College's Liberal Education Symposium: Tensions and Possibilities in Liberal Education. Here are the slides with lecture notes from this 20 minute talk. The highlight for me was that much of my talk reinforced and jumped off from Dr. Jim Zimmer's keynote. Another highlight was Dr. Karim's Dharamsi's question about whether or not high impact practices represent a better approach to doing a bad thing. I've thought a lot about his question since then, and I am reminded of Nietzsche's observation that humanity has no goal. What kind of citizen are we hoping leaves our doors? The citizen who donates to the food bank? The citizen who understands the complexities of food security and works within the existing power structures for a more equitable state? Or the revolutionary who suggests that poverty and hunger are issues of justice and morality and that this unjust state of affairs should no longer exist, that what is needed is structural transformation?
I'm not sure, but one thing does seem certain: traditional democratic values seem to getting lost, and along with them, the idea that education's ultimate objective is to support democracy by the cultivation of citizenship.