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When Aristotle Meets Confucius: Liberal Arts Education for Sustainable Development; Reflections from Teaching a First Year Seminar in a U. S. College

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AbstractBased on the author’s personal reflection from teaching a first year seminar on ecology, development and education in a US liberal arts college, this article explores the desirability as well as possibility to incorporate Eastern philosophies into Western liberal arts education. The article highlights two lessons that the author has generated from her teaching experience. Both lessons focus on the acquisition of skillsets that are at the core to both liberal arts education and education for sustainable development, and how the introduction of Eastern philosophies and their perspectives helps students accomplish or further strengthen these skills. Specifically, students develop more critical thinking skills by shifting the paradigm, and practice liberal arts education in real life by bringing knowledge and action together, connecting individual to community, and linking the global to the local.

Affiliations: 1: Beloit CollegeWisconsin


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