Friday, November 23, 2007

General Honors

The course met once a week with two instructors from different departments and was for discussion, not indoctrination, each session about a whole book. It always began with a question addressed to a particular student: “Mr. So-and-So, do you agree with Plato that society is in need of specially designated and trained guardians?” . . . The Columbia course was called General Honors for several years, then Colloquium on Important Books, the words Honors and Great being deemed elitist when the moral feeling swept the country.
— Jacques Barzun, The Columbia Core: A Look Back, Institute for Effective Governance, July 2006.