The Aim of Education

Spring 2021
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
16 Credits per quarter
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It sounds silly but let’s ask anyway: Why are we here?  Here at Evergreen, in a college, an educational institution?  To put a fine point on it, what is the aim of education?  What is the aim of your education?

Fortunately for all of us, there is a trove of lecture-essays to get us started.  Every year since 1961 a faculty member at the University of Chicago gives “The Aims of Education Address” to the incoming first-year students.  We’ll start by reading them.  We’ll read others who have thoughts on the matter.  Then we’ll invite members of Evergreen’s administration, faculty and staff to tell us what they think.  And, of course, you’ll have opportunities to formulate and re-formulate your answer.  Which everyone here should do, often.

Student activities will include intensive reading, writing and participation in seminar discussions.

Because the program will be conducted remotely, students will need access to the Internet and a computer equipped for use with Zoom (i.e., you need a webcam and microphone). You will be online (in all-program activities, in a student-only seminar, and in peer groups) 12-14 hours each week.  The Evergreen Library may still have Chromebooks available for quarter-long checkout. 

Our approach will emphasize participation in synchronous (live) sessions.  However, if students find themselves unable to participate due to technology, caregiving obligations, economic disruption, health risk, or illness, they can work with faculty to pursue alternate options to earn related credit.


Spring 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 30191
Fr (16): 30194

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory For

education; humanities and social sciences; liberal arts

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting