Sample Essay

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Liberal education is “a philosophy of education that empowers individuals with broad knowledge and transferable skills, and a strong sense of values, ethics, and civic engagement. [It is] characterized by challenging encounters with important issues, and more a way of studying than specific content.”

(What is liberal education) Jefferson’s citizenship education and liberal education fall along the same lines. In the Jeffersonian era a liberal education was only availbel to the elite and anyone who could afford. Jefferson fought his entire life to change that. He wanted everyone to be educated because it would help society become a better place. Education would become a part of that pursuit of happiness. Today, it can successfully said that Jefferson accomplished his goal and more than he imagined. Liberal education is available to everyone today. Jefferson had only envisioned the white male to receive a liberal education despite of his socio economic background. Today, everyone can receive a liberal education despite his or her gender, the color of his or skin, or ethnicity.

In typical American education today we see “Academic villages” and people being provided with a basic education. Colleges actually have the feel of the architecture described by Jefferson. There are quiet places to study all over campus and different buildings for each field or study. Students can easily communicate with their professors and cafeterias are interlinked with dorms. The government provides a basic education to all citizens and scholarships are still a popular means to getting into college. Aside from architecture and a basic access to education, Jefferson wanted citizenship education. This is still very apparent today. Today, a person cannot survive without a basic liberal education. With the increase of media influence people are more aware of the political and environmental surroundings than they have ever been before. If in this day and age, a person is devoid of the basic curriculum Jefferson highlighted he/she cannot do much in society.

Today, education paves a citizen’s future. He wanted people to be educated so they could give back to society and be able to vote with full awareness. Students today are more involved in political debate and other fields and give back to society in a way Jefferson had not imagined. The idea of Jefferson’s liberal education is still present in the United States except in this century the education is limitless and there is no limit to who can be educated.

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