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Korean Journal of General Education 2017;11(1):13-37.
Published online February 28, 2017.
Exploring the Possibility of a Korean Liberal Arts College
Seung-Nam Son
한국형 리버럴아츠칼리지(K-LAC)의 가능성 탐색
In the era of globalization robots, IOT and AI give an impulsion to a paradigm shift toward the 4th industrial revolution. Due to a big bang of knowledge, the amount of knowledge has increased remarkably, but its expected life span has become relatively short. The college education should give an impetus to the new revolution in order to raise a creative and global leader in a sense of consilience of human resources. In the age of the 4th industrial revolution, in which industrial convergence and integration are commonplace, significant changes are expected in vocational ability required for a college student. The need for multi- and interdisciplinary research is increasing rapidly. Now is the time for pursuing reconstruction of the college education to change it into a real liberal arts education. The nature of the liberal arts education contains ‘heaving up of haman values.’ The value of the liberal arts education to save humanity should be more firmly observed in a situation which the dignity of human rights falls to the ground and the humanity is threatened by terrorism and war. This article examined the American liberal arts colleges and their applicabilities to the Korean college system. It was discussed that a K-LAC can provide alternatives to solve the urgent problem of the college education: the collapse of basic sciences and the lack of future academic generations. The first task for the Korean LAC is a structural reform of the college education toward an ‘open academic system.’ If the existing department structure interferes the flexible academic system, it should be transformed immediately. Suggestions on the transformation into the Korean LAC are as follows: First, professors should be assigned to an academic system in accordance with their department, but students do not need to belong to a certain department and should be allowed to do their study freely. Second, the core of liberal arts education lies in only ‘enhanced quality’ of such education based on the performance and recent academic trends of basic sciences. In this regard, the development of the core curriculum as a common curriculum will be necessary. Third, colleges need to help students study what they really want to do in the campus. It means that ‘liberal learning’ should be literally implemented in the college education.
Key Words: 리버럴아츠칼리지(LAC), 한국형 리버럴아츠칼리지(K-LAC), Liberal Arts education, the 4th industrial revolution, LAC, K-LAC


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