I intend to use A Free and Ordered Space, by A. Bartlett Giamatti as a vehicle to explore some current issues in higher education. In this posting, I explain why I am doing this and I briefly introduce a Free and Ordered Space. In my next post, I will continue the introduction.
In the coming months I plan to use “A Free and Ordered Space: The Real World of the University” by A. Bartlett Giamatti as a source and sounding-board for my thinking about higher education. In the spirit of Mortimer Adler, I hope to engage with Giamatti through his writings and perhaps through this public forum engage with others as well. I intend to methodically embrace the text; teasing out its explicit messages, its latent meanings, the patterns that are formed within, and their relevance to what we presently see about ourselves in higher education. I also hope to extend in some way Giamatti’s thoughts and observations by simply building on them and applying his logic to what is currently happening within and without the university. At the very least, the ensuing posts will anchor and catalog my thoughts, but potentially others will join privately or publicly in an effort to make sense of some enduring issues.
- The Nature and Purpose of the University
- The Earthly Use of a Liberal Education
- The Private University and the Public Interest
WHAT MOTIVATES ME TO DO THIS?
As indicated above, methodically treating A Free and Ordered Space may be a nontrivial activity. I’m a pretty busy guy. Like most folks, I have professional responsibilities and personal commitments, which leave me with little extra time. So, why should I spend it this way, and why would anybody decide to spend their time engaged with this project, even to passively follow along? For me, the answer is sort of simple. I am troubled. I am troubled by the way many colleges and universities are reacting to a variety of changes within the University and without. I am seeking a way to to better understand what is happening, a better foundation from which to interpret what others are writing, a more grounded perspective to interpret regulations and policies, and a principled footing to better contribute to my chosen profession and avocations. Frankly, I have found that reading current events in publications that treat higher education is not doing the trick.
A LITTLE ABOUT THIS
Giamatti, A. B. (1988). A free and ordered space: The real world of the university. New York: W.W. Norton.
Adler, M. J., & Van Doren, C. L. (1972). How to read a book (Rev. and updated ed.). New York: Simon and Schuster.
Newman, J. H. (1959). The Idea of a university. Garden City, N. Y.: Image Books.
Rosovsky, H (1990). The University: An Owner’s Manual. N.Y.: W. W. Norton.
The University of Southern Queensland
About the Featured Image
Meeting of doctors at the University of Paris. From a medieval manuscript. Downloaded from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University#/media/File:Meeting_of_doctors_at_the_university_of_Paris.jpg