"I feel the need to oppose the idea that a school must directly teach specialized knowledge or skills which will be put into immediate usage. Life's requirements are too varied to make such a specialized education possible in school. In addition, one cannot treat the individual like a dead tool. A school must have as its goal that the student leave as an integrated person, not as a specialist. . . . The development of the capacity to think and to judge in an independent way is always prior to the acquisition of specialized knowledge. If a man has mastered the fundamental principles of his subject, and has learned to think and to work in an independent way, he will not lose his way and will be better able to adapt to the progress and changes than someone who has had only a specialized education."
UW-Platteville's educational philosophy is rooted in four ideas: first, that students are capable of and responsible for making choices; second, that the quality of choice is largely dependent upon the nature and extent of their experience; third, that experience becomes more meaningful and constructive when it is informed by knowledge; and fourth, that while there are kinds of knowledge that people need in order to practice their particular professions, there are other kinds of knowledge that people need in order to live in a world larger than the purely professional.
The development of these latter kinds of knowledge is the essential purpose of a liberal education. Such an education empowers persons to live thoughtful lives, concerned about a universe much larger than their immediate environment and about a public realm that reaches far beyond their professional circle, local community, or nation. More specifically, this central part of education promotes the ability to think and communicate coherently, critically, and creatively about:
This philosophy of education is compatible with the opening statement of the Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, which states: the University enables each student to become broader in perspective, more literate, intellectually more astute, ethically more sensitive, and to participate more wisely in society as a competent professional and a knowledgeable citizen.
For information about specific general education requirements, please see the UW-Platteville Undergraduate Cataloghttp://www.uwplatt.edu/academics/catalogs/undergraduate/current/gened.html