The Advancement of Professional Learning
The introduction to Discourse and Design: Composing and Revising the Professional and Technical Writing (WAC Clearninghouse Press, 2007), this essay discusses professional writing's relationship to the humanities in the global university.
As Richard M. Freeland, the president of Northeastern University, observes, the new paradigm for undergraduate study erodes the long-standing divide between liberal and professional education. Many liberal arts colleges now offer courses and majors in professional fields, while professional disciplines have become more serious about the arts and sciences. This remarkable trend, here and abroad, results from the latest seismic shifts produced by the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions. If the Academy is to remain viable, dynamic, and relevant within this context, universities must redefine their mission. For the liberal arts to prepare students for responsible action, for business, communications, health, law, and technologies to become a form of a liberal education, professional training must become an object of genuine intellectual inquiry and a topic for serious writing.
Inspired by the educational ideas of Sir Francis Bacon, Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek, and Peter Drucker.
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