Policy - Written by on Friday, June 17, 2011 3:56 - 0 Comments

Louis Menand Writes On The “Education Bubble”

 

Bubble

 

Louis Menand has a thoughtful article in the New Yorker joining the discussion surrounding the reportedly declining value of a college degree. Reviewing a duo of books that also try to tackle this issue, Menand suggests that, for students, motivation is the key to making an education count:

Assuming that these new books are right (not a fully warranted assumption), and that many students are increasingly disengaged from the academic part of the college experience, it may be because the system has become too big and too heterogeneous to work equally well for all who are in it. The system appears to be drawing in large numbers of people who have no firm career goals but failing to help them acquire focus. This is what Arum and Roksa believe, anyway. Students at very selective colleges are still super-motivated—their motivation is one of the reasons they are selected—and most professors, since we are the sort of people who want a little gold star for everything we do, still want to make a difference to their students. But when motivation is missing, when people come into the system without believing that what goes on in it really matters, it’s hard to transform minds.

Of all the things being written about this issue, Menand’s article probably sums up all of the sides best, while also offering some historical and philosophical perspective.

- WA

Read the full article here.



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