«Consider this the start of a conversation, a call in hope of response»…
These words and public presentation of article for discussion reflects the main call of Kathleen Fitzpatrick.
Kathleen asks us to think about the causes of the problems of humanitarian education, which they say some facts, such as: lower level Humanities students, the lack of jobs, the reduction of the budget. We can say that society in conditions of economic necessity have lost the understanding of the value of humanitarian education, on the one hand. On the other, scientists themselves are often unhappy when uninitiated the public intervenes in the academic field.
The author determines the importance of a humanitarian education for the development of ways of thinking, representations of activities and cultural understanding. The author recalls that the original goals of higher education were these: “they were developed in order to cultivate a particular model of citizenship based on exclusion and oppression and focused on the reproduction of state power”. However, it is a humanitarian education allows to model “ways of being that we would like to see manifested in the world.”
The University is unable to solve the problems which it faced. And on the other hand inside the University there is a potential that can “help us navigate the current crises, if not to solve them”. This requires rethinking fundamental things. So, according to the author, the power of the Humanities have always been critical approach and somewhat public inaccessibility. To advance humanitarian education had to face opposition, to alter the views to move through the resistance. Today, this principle ceased to work. The author introduces the concept of “Generous thinking” as a new approach to the rethinking of the Humanities and mission of the University. His role the author sees in the creation of spaces that unites the Universities and what is around them.
This will allow scientists to go beyond classrooms and to those emotions which are necessary to achieve socially oriented goals. It “creates an opportunity for genuine dialogue not only with colleagues but also with our objects of study, our predecessors, and many potential publics that surround us”. A true work of “scientists” in the Academy and beyond carries the “spirit of service”. Therefore, the “Generous thinking” involves the ability to be patient, interaction with what is “outside” a kind of “critical humility”.
Empathy, joint decision, dialogue between the society and the University, perhaps the thought of the author…