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In the first blog post, Rewriting The Future of Young India with a Liberal Art Education, from the Liberal Education series, we learnt how liberal Arts has reformed to become one of the most sought after disciplines in the current century. In this post, we will learn more about the new approach of learning the liberal Arts, what the curriculum entails and why interdisciplinary education is the key to making this stream more value-based and engaging.
Liberal Arts, a new approach to learning
There's a shift in the world today, the shift is to liberal Arts. The idea is that if we want people to be creative and innovative in the 21st century, then we need to teach them in a different way.
Most people have a clichéd image of liberal Arts degrees. A Liberal Arts education, however, provides learners with skills that can be applied throughout their lives. Liberal Arts students have more to offer than their counterparts from other disciplines. A liberal Arts education can be a game-changer in today's world, as it teaches learners how to solve problems, think critically, collaborate, think outside the box, and come up with original solutions to complex issues.
Why Liberal Arts Education?
A liberal Arts education is a well-rounded, holistic approach to preparation for life and career. Instead of a sole focus on one specific area or skill, liberal Arts schools teach soft skills like research, critical thinking, leadership, teamwork, writing, and communication in addition to specific majors and concentrations. Liberal Arts students benefit from the interconnection between core classes and major classes. Instead of viewing gen ed classes as a checklist of unrelated subjects to get out of the way before diving into the meat of their major, liberal Arts students build a base of core classes that support their major classes and career goals. Here's why Liberal Arts education is important:
A diverse approach to learning: It provides learners with a broad understanding of the field they choose, a positive mindset, and a fascinating worldview, resulting in a valuable addition to any organization. A liberal Arts education consists of several disciplines, including literature, philosophy, math, sciences, and social sciences.
Become an independent thinker: Students are taught how to think creatively, analytically, and critically. Students learn not to take things at face value and to examine the why, what, or how of whatever they are presented with. This allows them to question preconceptions rather than simply follow the norm.
Wide Scope: Through exposure to diverse subjects, learners may opt for careers in HR, Marketing, Advertising, IT, Healthcare, etc. They have also proven to be excellent business owners, managers, and more.
Developing soft skills: Students of liberal Arts acquire highly sought-after skills required by every industry. They are often skilled communicators.
Flexibility: Graduating candidates no longer hold a job for their entire career in the same company. Liberal Arts education provides them with broader foundational knowledge from which to build their skills.
Socially responsible learners: STEM-based education focuses on a specific field of study, while liberal Arts education does not. Students not only become aware of their civic responsibilities but also develop creative ideas for solving societal problems.
New concepts to learn: Students are exposed to new ideas, concepts, and unique experiences. From community-based learning to peer-reviewed research, this gives them the chance to explore and experiment.
Expanded worldview: Acquiring a wealth of knowledge not only helps learners develop well-rounded skills, but also improves their ability to think. The liberal Arts provide learners with the ability to understand and broaden their horizons in terms of how they view the world around them.
What is included in the Liberal Arts discipline?
The liberal Arts courses have an interdisciplinary approach. Students of History can take classes in Environmental Sciences, while students of Literature and Language can take classes in design or business. The following are the courses offered by RV University's School of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
Students pursuing B.Sc. in liberal Arts can choose to major in Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, or Filmmaking. As minors, students can choose from subjects offered by the School of Liberal Arts under the BA programme or from subjects offered by the School of Design and School of Economics and Finance.
A student pursuing a B.A. in liberal Arts can choose to major in Film Studies, Performing Arts, History, Indology, Philosophy and Ethics, Political Science and International Relations or Literature and languages. To gain a multidisciplinary perspective, students can choose minors from the subjects offered by the School of Liberal Arts under B.Sc. programme or from subjects offered by the School of Design and School of Economics and Finance.
Benefits of an Interdisciplinary curriculum for Liberal Art Studies
The increased emphasis on interdisciplinary studies leads to a richer learning experience by incorporating multiple perspectives and ways of knowing.
A liberal Arts education incorporates courses across the disciplinary spectrum history, literature, math, science, and foreign language so that a well-rounded individual can be developed. It is a system, a methodology that can be applied to any topic or situation, both inside and outside the classroom. A multidisciplinary approach encourages critical thinking by having you consider a subject from a variety of perspectives. This course will enable you to become a creative problem-solver, capable of seeing the big picture and proposing contextually relevant and comprehensive solutions.
In liberal Arts education, you learn how to think, and you learn how to learn. As a student in the liberal Arts, you will develop two core skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
You do not need to be an expert in a subject if you are a liberal Arts thinker. You can learn about a range of topics using a multi-disciplinary approach. In essence, you will learn how to learn. The value of a liberal Arts education lies less in the content itself than in the acquired skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication, that will enable you to become a life-long learner and an integral member of society.
Liberal Arts will also cultivate creativity, empathy, and innovation. Students will be more flexible in switching between fields of study, mastering different ways of thinking, and succeeding in tech-based careers. Liberal Arts education is geared towards creating lifelong learners who are engaged with the world.
If you want to explore more career paths and future prospects in Liberal Arts and Sciences, read our 3rd blogpost in the series: Life-changing career paths in Liberal Arts and Sciences.