Student's Guide to the Core Curriculum

Student's Guide to the Core Curriculum

ISI Student Guides to the Major Disciplines

by Mark C. Henrie
Trade Paperback, 118 pages
Price: $12.99

A remark by author Mark Henrie in A Student's Guide to the Core Curriculum may strike many readers as a paradox, at least at first—that students can usually obtain a good foundational education "even at Harvard." Of course, you may think; where better to learn than America's preeminent institution of higher academics?

The problem with the modern university, Henrie asserts, is that its goal is no longer to provide a workable and complete framework of knowledge and thought in which to place one's specialized studies, but to focus solely on those specialized studies with at best a haphazard exposure to other (but presumably unrelated) disciplines.

It is in the core curriculum composed of classical literature, philosophy, political philosophy, and Christian studies that students will find a comprehensive view of things to which everything else they study can relate. In this brief introduction, Henrie exposes students to the prominent figures, ideas, and works of the West, while simultaneously urging them to avoid the pitfalls of both a Western Civilization course and a Great Books education.

All this from a graduate of programs offered by Dartmouth, Cambridge and Harvard. Instead of telling kids that they can't get a good education at Western universities, Henrie shows them how to get a good education there, picking elective courses that will help the student become a broad and complete thinker, rather than just another postmodern, confused victim of the academic elite. This is an important book for anyone wanting to embark on a well-rounded intellectual life, whether at college or home.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Summary Defends the value of a humanities-based education, and prepares students to acquire one on their own.

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