Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another scary thing about our universities

In Our superficial scholars Heather Wilson bemoans a trend she has observed for the last twenty years. Students graduating from college, even America's top universities, seem unable to really think about complex thoughts.

Heather starts with:

For most of the past 20 years I have served on selection committees for the Rhodes Scholarship. In general, the experience is an annual reminder of the tremendous promise of America's next generation. We interview the best graduates of U.S. universities for one of the most prestigious honors that can be bestowed on young scholars.

I have, however, become increasingly concerned in recent years - not about the talent of the applicants but about the education American universities are providing. Even from America's great liberal arts colleges, transcripts reflect an undergraduate specialization that would have been unthinkably narrow just a generation ago.

Later in the aricle she gives some examples:

An outstanding biochemistry major wants to be a doctor and supports the president's health-care bill but doesn't really know why. A student who started a chapter of Global Zero at his university hasn't really thought about whether a world in which great powers have divested themselves of nuclear weapons would be more stable or less so, or whether nuclear deterrence can ever be moral. A young service academy cadet who is likely to be serving in a war zone within the year believes there are things worth dying for but doesn't seem to have thought much about what is worth killing for. A student who wants to study comparative government doesn't seem to know much about the important features and limitations of America's Constitution.

Personally I don't think this should start when our children go off to college at 18. We should be tossing them challenging problems when they are ten and fifteen. One of the ways I try to do this is to have my children read books about complex issues.

(Hat tip: Instapundit)

1 comment:

cpascal said...

This is a good example of the fact that the main purpose of many colleges is to create a dumbed-down population which will be much easier for the new world order to dominate. The colleges are continuing the purpose of the grade schools.