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On Teaching ReligionEssays by Jonathan Z. Smith$
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Christopher I. Lehrich

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199944293

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199944293.001.0001

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Why the College Major? Questioning the Great, Unexplained Aspect of Undergraduate Education

Why the College Major? Questioning the Great, Unexplained Aspect of Undergraduate Education

Chapter:
(p.111) 10 Why the College Major? Questioning the Great, Unexplained Aspect of Undergraduate Education
Source:
On Teaching Religion
Author(s):

Jonathan Z. Smith

Christopher I. Lehrich

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199944293.003.0011

This chapter presents Jonathan Z. Smith's views about the college major, which he calls the great, unexamined aspect of undergraduate education. He says that although majors consume more than half of a student's college career, and more than half of a faculty member's teaching effort, the major is held largely unaccountable to the wider faculty or institution except in the most ceremonial sense. He also calls on faculty to cease passing off their responsibility to students and their high schools. It is not the careerism of students that has disfigured liberal learning, but that of the faculty and their colleagues.

Keywords:   Jonathan Z. Smith, college major, undergraduate education, liberal learning, careerism

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