Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Spring 3-12-2009


WICS, liberal education, effective practice


Is there a psychological basis for teaching and learning in the context of a liberal education, and if so, what might such a psychological basis look like? Traditional teaching and assessment often emphasize remembering facts and, to some extent, analyzing ideas. Such skills are important, but they leave out of the aspects of thinking that are most important not only in liberal education, but in life, in general. In this article, I propose a theory called WICS, which is an acronym for wisdom, intelligence, and creativity, synthesized. The basic idea underlying this theory is that, through liberal education, students need to acquire creative skills and attitudes to generate new ideas about how to adapt flexibly to a rapidly changing world, analytical skills and attitudes to ascertain whether these new ideas are good ones, practical skills and attitudes to implement the new ideas and convince others of their value, and wisdom-based skills and attitudes in order to ensure that the new ideas help to achieve a common good through the infusion of positive ethical values.


The Inaugural Conference of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise.