Oxford-trained liberal theorist and practicing teacher, Meira Levinson, offers a well-articulated argument for her vision of the ideal liberal education in The Demands of Liberal Education. Particularly helpful for those of us who struggle to convey the aims of liberal education to our children and students, she provides an eloquent explanation as she describes her ideal school and the steps necessary for its realization:
The aim of liberal education is to teach children the skills, habits, knowledge, and dispositions for them to be thoughtful, mature, self-assured individuals who map their path in the world with care and confidence, take responsibility for their actions, fulfill their duties as citizens, question themselves and others when appropriate, listen to and learn from others, and ultimately lead their lives with dignity, integrity, and self-respect—i.e. to be autonomous in the fullest sense of the word (1999, p. 164).
As her words paint a portrait of an educated individual, we can see that it is colored by autonomy, a central tenet throughout her work.
Arizona State University
McGough, Sarah M. Review of Levinson, Meira. (1999) The Demands of Liberal Education, Oxford University Press. Education Review, (2003)