'Liberal Arts: A Universal Education Model' - Martha Nussbaum - WISE Voices



I think in schools it's essential for children to have a broad-based education because schools are preparing people not just for a job but to be citizens and to be people who have whole lives now I actually think in universities that ought to continue and that the best system is the liberal arts system which prevails in Korea in Scotland in the u.s. and in smaller pockets of other parts of the world and in fact even Singapore and China which certainly don't want to create robust democratic citizenship as I do they are introducing much more of the liberal arts and critical thinking because they think it's just important for the business culture you can't get innovation without cultivating the imagination but the capabilities approach is something that I have worked out along with a whole group of other people there's now a whole international association the human development and capability Association that fosters work on this and what we're trying to do is set out a an account of what it is for a country to move forward to develop that's rich and informed by what people are really striving for when they try to live meaningful lives so it isn't just focused on profit but it's focused on a whole range of essential opportunities for people in their lives and I feel that for women in particular that's an extremely urgent issue because even when women have an eight-hour job well then they go home and they do so much elder care childcare domestic labor that's not valued in the market that they in fact have two jobs and what they really like is leisure and the opportunity to expand their imaginations through play so I I think that one that sounds a little more frivolous but is actually not frivolous at all each country has to figure out what are my problems what are my funding sources and what other resources can I tap and I I do think that in India NGOs play a very important role well of course you could call these arts organizations NGOs couldn't you but but they do things like educating working children educating working women that the public school sector just doesn't touch and and so then a lot of people are brought to education that otherwise would be completely outside the system so I think that's very important now I do think ideally we would want to move toward a situation where the public schooling that was provided to all children was much more adequate and much more inclusive and that is what Kerala has done so they don't need the NGOs quite so much because they've got better public schooling the very existence of the human development reports of the United Nations has put the accident now on education and health and it's made countries at least embarrassed if they have low female literacy or if some other statistic that makes them look bad compared to other countries so just packaging the data in a new form has already changed I think the nature of the debate because countries don't want to be low ranked in any ranking it's very important that this debate is not dominated by the focus on short-term profit which so often it is because people are looking at these kids as mere instruments of national economic gain I think that's encouraged by the GDP per capita measure of development but it's also encouraged by the current economic tensions and and the fact that people are desperate they want to get back on the track economically the debate about education had better be infused with voices from the arts voices from the humanities and with a concept of Education for human capability the capability to be active in citizenship which of course takes the ability to argue the ability to imagine but also the capability to live a whole meaningful life and and that's the question we need to be asking you know what capabilities does a good education system promote and how it each age and in each region how are we gonna do that

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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