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Editorial: Teacher proves liberal arts still has role in education

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The selection of Columbus North High School teacher Dennis Lindsey to be the latest inductee into Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.’s Education Hall of Fame is an acknowledgment of his individual abilities and achievements.

In a broader sense, it also is a refreshing reminder that liberal arts still have an important role to play in the development of our children.

Lindsey teaches English and literature, and the excitement he brings to the classroom has spread to his students. A hallmark of his personal philosophy is his belief that students should be inspired to become intelligent and discerning adults who question what they see and hear.

His approach and that of other teachers of liberal arts courses are becoming more rare as schools throughout the country are focusing on preparing students for career opportunities in a variety of professions.

It is especially telling that three of the inductees into the BCSC Education Hall of Fame taught English and literature at North — Lindsey, Shirley Lyster and Kim Stover, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year.

Lyster, who is retired, and Stover were instrumental in a remarkable string of successes by North students in writing competitions sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English. In 40 of the past 43 years, at least one local student has been selected for the award.

In some quarters, a liberal arts education is dismissed as of little value in an age of specialization.

Yet the quality of independent thinking that is embodied in Lindsey’s philosophy of inspiring his students to become intelligent and discerning adults able to question what they see and hear is integral to a free society.

It is good that there still are teachers like Dennis Lindsey, Shirley Lyster and Kim Stover. It is refreshing that they are still being recognized for what and how they teach.

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