Universities: In Pursuit of Independence

"Leibniz was doubtless the last man who knew everything," mourns Amherst Philosophy Professor Joseph Epstein. The death in 1716 of that encyclopedic German mathematician-philosopher symbolizes the time when the knowledge explosion began forcing universities to abandon the ambition of teaching every student everything, and made them narrow down to what be came the "required courses" of modern schools. Now, all over the U.S., colleges and universities are scrutinizing the value of these lock-step requirements and, to a surprising degree, are dumping them in favor of letting students form their own education...

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