Sustain (v.): nourish, encourage, provide for, supply, support;
Culture (n.): intellectual and artistic activity.
With these definitions in mind, this paper considers cultural sustainability as “the nourishment and support of intellectual and artistic activity” specifically in higher education, particularly in the US. The co-authors of the paper represent seemingly opposite ends of the cognitive spectrum, statistics and the performing arts, and address the issue from different perspectives. Many institutions endeavor to educate students/faculty/staff/community about the importance of sustainability in certain aspects of their lives. The authors explore this notion in the opposite direction, discussing the sustainability of education, primarily at the post-secondary level, in the context of changing global resources, fiscal realities, and the population being educated. Specifically, higher education is being affected by communication developments, economic policies, diminished enthusiasm and funding for all levels of education at the federal level, pressure to increase retention rates, and the bureaucratic versus academic debate of job training vs. education. Many believe a new, experiential-learning based approach is needed to address the very real 21st century needs for creative problem solving and innovation; others assert that the need for technical expertise and quantitative reasoning can best be developed through current practices, based on long-held traditions. If we are to nourish intellectual and artistic activity in the future, post-secondary education will need to negotiate an uncharted and undetermined course in the 21st century.
|Keywords:||Higher Education, Meaning of Cultural Sustainability, Arts and Creativity, Quantitative Literacy|
Lecturer, Statistics, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
Associate Professor, Humanities, Campbellsville University, Campbellsville, Kentucky, USA
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