Friday, June 7, 2013 | 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Plenary Session: A Defense of Higher Education and its Civic Mission
Presenter: Peter Levine, Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Director of CIRCLE, Tisch College/CIRCLE, Tufts University
The liberal arts and the civic mission of higher education are under attack in this time of economic crisis and political polarization. In several states, policies are pending to raise tuition for majors that do not lead directly to jobs. We should not be offended by this kind of critique. We charge a lot of money for tuition, and citizens are entitled to ask what we produce for it. But we can proudly and forthrightly make the case for the civic mission of the higher education. The purpose of the liberal arts is to prepare people for responsible citizenship, and the best forms of civic engagement are intellectually challenging. They are the liberal arts in action. Research shows that civic education at the college level makes people into better workers. And engaged universities address many serious public problems, including unemployment, that matter to citizens and policymakers.
You’ll find a blog post by Peter on this topic here.
Peter Levine is the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service and Director of CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. He studied philosophy at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, receiving his doctorate in 1992. He has been a research associate at Common Cause and Deputy Director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal. Levine is the author of the forthcoming book We are the Ones We have been Waiting for: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America (Oxford University Press, fall 2013), five other books on philosophy and politics, and a novel. He has served on the boards or steering committees of AmericaSpeaks, Street Law Inc., the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, the Kettering Foundation, the ABA’s Committee for Public Education, Everyday Democracy, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium.
For more information about the 2013 ADP/TDC National Meeting, visit here.