A Liberal Arts College provides many opportunities for the college student. I know that as a future teacher I will be very grateful for the education that I have received at Manchester College. My horizons have been broadened and I have become a better person. With all the good things about a liberal arts education, there are a few bad. Overall, I have had a mixed experience here at Manchester College, but I believe that with a few modifications a liberal arts college is an excellent opportunity.
Liberal Arts education is very important in teacher preparation. A teacher must be well rounded and have many experiences with subjects that are outside the box. Having an open and accepting attitude to situations that may be different from what I am used to is what being a teacher is all about. As a teacher I will have many students with backgrounds that arenít what I am used to. Because I have experienced a liberal arts education, this will be a great learning experience for me. Liberal arts classes are a great preparation for the diversity in the classroom that I will face when I am a teacher. The Manchester Collegeís mission statement says that Manchester College is an independent, co-educational college in the liberal arts tradition, affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. It goes on to say that the college is committed to being a community of faith and learning. Manchester affirms the relevance of values to the search for knowledge and has a dual commitment to intellectual integrity and Christian faith, believing that sound scholarship and learning can strengthen both. The College welcomes students of diverse interests and ages, as well as those of different ethnic, religious, and racial backgrounds. This is only part of the collegeís mission statement. I feel like this is what Manchester College is all about, and the college does a great job living by the mission statement. I admire the college for that fact, because it does not matter if you agree with the statement or not you always know what to expect. I chose to use the Manchester Collegeís mission statement, because it is the definition of what a liberal arts college stands for, and it is the one that applies the most to me.
Experiencing The Arts was a liberal arts class that we had to take. This is one of the classes that I could have done without. There is an abundance of information to learn in that class, because the curriculum is so broad. If the class was broken down into different classes, for example: types of music, types of theatre, types of art, and types of architecture the class would be much more useful. Throughout the whole class I focused just on memorizing information for the test and not internalizing the information for life.
African History was the only liberal arts class that I have taken that has actually focused on internalizing the information. I have learned so much from that class and I will take that information with me for the rest of my life. For my religion course I took Intro to the New Testament. I definitely learned a lot about the bible that I didnít know before, and that is great for me as a Christian, but as a teacher I will never be able to use that in my classroom. This is where I run into problems with a Liberal Arts College. Some of the classes really do pertain to my major and life in some ways, but it is difficult to pay for a class and know that you wonít be able to use it for what you are actually going to school for. Just because I may enjoy a class does not mean that the class with be useful to me as a teacher.
My liberal arts experience has had an impact on my thinking about others, the world, and me. Ethical Decision Making is a class that I will certainly never forget. This class got me thinking about really tough situations that I would never have ventured to before. In college sometimes it is hard to enjoy a class that isnít for your major, because you feel as though you will never use the information again. Well this was one of those classes that werenít for my major and I was dreading it. Snap judgments arenít always correct. I learned a lot from that class about where I stand as an individual on certain situations. Personally I have become a more independent and outspoken person since that class. I view the world in a different light too. Otherís customs and traditions may seem very different from mine, but now I can understand some of their reasoning behind their customs. I think that is very important, because in the classroom and in life I will encounter people that are from different walks of life and I will have more understanding. Now I will strive to learn more about people.
Liberal arts education has had a great influence on how I view people of diversity. My favorite part of the whole liberal arts experience was attending the Diversity Workshop. I feel as though the workshop should be part of every personís experience. It has opened my mind to all of the problems with diversity that we deal with today. I have realized all of the slang and derogatory remarks that people make, and I understand that we may not realize that those remarks hurt other people. The diversity workshop taught me how to handle situations without offending other people. The realization that something that was said could actually hurt someone else may never cross our minds. The problem is that we need to be more conscientious about remarks. I have learned so much from Manchester College about diversity in the world.
Personally I donít believe that liberal art classes have had a significant change on my beliefs, but it has helped my attitude in a way because I am a more accepting person. I still have my same beliefs, but I consider and accept othersí beliefs even if I donít agree. The one thing that has been changed about me is my strong avocation for broadening oneself to view life from a global perspective. Traveling around the world was never made possible for me before. At a liberal arts college the opportunities to travel abroad are immense. I have not traveled overseas, but I have gone to Arizona for Touring Childrenís Theatre and that was a wonderful experience. Next year I plan to travel to Hawaii to study cross cultures. I plan to learn a lot from this class and broaden my horizons.
Throughout my education at Manchester College I have learned a lot about what a liberal arts college has to offer. It has taught me about different cultures, ethnicities, traditions, etc. I plan to use most of the information that I have obtained throughout my education here at Manchester College. This liberal arts college has had a great impact on my life. I am a better person today than I was before I started here at Manchester College due to the well rounded education that I have received.
Manchester College Mission Statement. 4 April 2005.