Many students complete bachelors and masters degrees in history and then become
public school teachers or enter such professional fields as law, management, journalism,
Library Science, public service - or even politics. Historians adhere to the tested
concept called "liberal education". This concept is directed toward a development
of human understanding; toward the development of personality and toward the strengthening
of respect for human rights and freedoms.
Liberal education transmits the heritage of the past and attempts to treat the whole and complex man, understanding that he is not solely an economic or political creature and that there is beauty and poetry in life. In short, the goal of liberal education and the goal of history is to open minds; to produce men and women capable of intelligent participation in their society and world; to create rational but sympathetic human beings; and to reveal to them a more sensitively acute perception of man's tragedy- and his hope. To achieve these goals, the collective belief of historians is that everyone is heir to a world culture and should have access to this heritage.
This should be accomplished by grounding students in a knowledge of the United States society in which they live; by teaching them that they are likewise the inheritors of a Western culture and tradition, and that as twentieth century people they are simultaneously members of a world-wide community that embraces Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.