Mittwoch, 14. Januar 2015

Excellent sheep

I restart my blog in 2015 with a reccommendation: read William Deresiewiczs seminal book "Excellent Sheep" if you'd like to learn about the state of education at America's Elite universities, especially its "Liberal Arts Colleges". I also liked Lisa Herzog's comment in the FAZ, titled "Does Harvard make you stupid?". It's a brilliantly written book, a sharp (though biased) analysis with a dose of cynicism worth to read.

Deresiewicz challenges both students and teachers by recurring to ideals of education: critical thinking, time to read the great books, strive for wisdom not know-how, questions not answers, insight not credits, personality not cv-grooming.

From a European perspective a lot looks different here, beginning with a wider fletched, more fragmented and decentralised landscape of universities and differentiated ways into the "elite" of a society than by being admitted to just a few number of colleges. Nevertheless, credit hunting behaviour, career-focussed social engagement, asking "by when" instead of "why" are phenomena I have seen, too. The simple reflex "doesn't apply because of the US perspective" comes to short: a discussion about what higher education in the 21st century is for is direly needed. Let's start it.

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