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What should be in a study of Western Civilisatisation?

By Gregory Melleuish - posted Monday, 11 June 2018

But such issues are for those who are going to create the curricula.

The other issue which has not been addressed are the very real problems of contemporary education.  It is increasingly the case that students have short attention spans and need to be encouraged to read texts in a careful and analytical fashion.

What Ramsay proposes is a degree of which the core will consist of students engaging in close analysis of a number of key texts, reflecting on them and then spending time discussing those texts intensively in very small groups.


This is an exciting prospect for students who will have an extraordinary opportunity to flex their intellectual muscles.  One hopes that for those students that they will be able to develop their cognitive capacities thereby countering some of the harmful effects which such things as social media have had on those capacities.

The debate about western civilisation has created a lot of noise.  It would be a tragedy if this noise prevents students from having the opportunity both to engage with key texts from which they will learn a considerable amount and develop key capacities for analytical and critical thought.

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About the Author

Gregory Melleuish is associate professor of history and politics at University of Wollongong.

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