The Heart of Higher Education by Parker Palmer and Arthur Zajonc

“Universities have forgotten their main purpose, which is to help students ‘learn who they are, to search for a larger purpose for their lives, and to leave college as better human beings.’”

“The students are not soulless, but the university is.”

“We need to stop releasing our students into the wild without systematically challenging them to take an inner as well as an outer journey.”

There was a time not long ago when people purchased a house for a simple reason, to live in it. They were thinking about their family and the memories they would make in a new home. They certainly were not concerned about a return on investment and flipping the home at the right time.

There was also a time not long ago when people obtained a college education to learn and find a purposeful career. They were thinking about changing the world and creating a promising future. They certainly were not concerned about a return on investment or having a higher salary than their less-educated counterparts.

The real estate world has seen its fair share of troubles and higher education has experienced its fair share of criticisms. Getting back the very nature of higher education is essential.

Parker Palmer and Arthur Zajonc have written another volume into the advancement of higher education. The authors call for an integrative education. They call for an education that incorporates the whole person: intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and so forth.

The book is very philosophical. Palmer and Zajonc present very articulate yet very idealistic perspectives. They attempt to balance the idealism with practical, real life examples found throughout campuses across the nation.

Though I love the book’s message, I found myself easily distracted while reading. This may be a symptom of summer busy-ness, but I never felt attached to the book. Unfortunately, this is now a trend for me when it comes to Palmer’s writings, apparently he is not my style.

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