Wednesday, January 17, 2007

" a bachelor's degree in a field such as sociology, psychology, economics, history or literature certifies nothing."

Ouch! Charles Murray's second in a series of three articles for the WSJ on education. Fascinating and discomfiting stuff.

I majored in psychology...he's right!

Update: Jonah Goldberg is picking nits!

Update: Link now fixed. Also, see this.

9 Comments:

Blogger Mike in S.A. said...

I have to agree with Murray as well. Universities today are admitting (and even graduating) far more people than they should.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Luther said...

That's an interesting and thought provoking read.

"A depressing research literature documents one's inability to recognize one's own incompetence."

I have seen this trait in quite a few people and encounter it regularly in the workplace.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Luther, I encounter it every time I look in the mirror, and since I'm such a looker, imagine the frustration I go through!

Mike, my short stint as an educator in high school (student teacher really) brought me to conclude that we were graduating whoever showed up on time.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Mike in S.A. said...

I'm not surprised. It seems that each year, more and more college freshman are being sent to remedial math and writing classes to learn what they should have already been taught in high school.

That raises the question - if the kids aren't learning, then what's going on in the high schools?

11:11 PM  
Anonymous kathy said...

(hey i want to read the Goldberg nits! but your link has an extra "http://" so it won't go!

signed,
whiner
(kathy)

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That raises the question - if the kids aren't learning, then what's going on in the high schools?"

Learning isn't going on because teachers cannot teach because they are so preoccupied trying to keep the natives in control for 50 minute periods...

Dana

12:03 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Well, one thing to note is that Texas education has changed dramatically since I was in school and since I was a student teacher. I believe there is more than one kind of degree now to graduate with. And there is also the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills that 11th graders have to pass in order to graduate.

But you're right. When I was student teaching the natives were in complete control. I failed a bunch of them and they all got mad at me, and their real teacher, I assume, reversed their scores when I left.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Mike in S.A. said...

Learning isn't going on because teachers cannot teach because they are so preoccupied trying to keep the natives in control for 50 minute periods...

Yes, and heaven forbid discipline be used...it might lower the little darlings' self-esteem.

I failed a bunch of them and they all got mad at me, and their real teacher, I assume, reversed their scores when I left.

The "failure is not an option" mentality is starting to take root in some corners of higher education. That's terrible for students, since failure damn well is an option in the real world.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, there are many teachers who really should have 'failure is not an option' become their own personal daily mantra as they have comfortably sat back waiting for their nice retirements to kick in, instead of doing the very hard work of teaching. There are certainly big lapses of responsibility on the teaching side...

Bottom line, though, parents' abdication, laziness, and even fear of actually training their children, telling them 'no', and disciplining them, has caused so much of the problems facing education.

What a mess.

Dana

5:35 PM  

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