Read a good book yesterday and wanted to pass it along.
Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite by William Deresiewicz
A former Yale professor, Bill Deresiewicz presents a look at how the top Ivy League colleges in America are producing students who go out into society without being able to conceive a critical thought. He also discusses how the current admissions process to top colleges has and is continuing to form a wide gulf between the haves and have-nots, how the enabling of parents is stunting their children's independence, and how this broken system is perpetuating a segregated class system within America.
It was a hard read for me as Dr. Deresiewicz criticizes the rise of specialization of professions, and the decrease in focus on the humanities within the current college model. I'm a specialized professor teaching in a professional degree program. It was hard to hear, but I think he has a good point. I teach students everyday that, I swear, don't have an original thought in their head.
With Common Core and the emphasis on STEAM, classrooms are moving more towards creativity and divergent thinking. I'm a curriculum coach so I'm seeing this K-12. Divergent thinking and problem-solving are components to training students to use their minds. I'm imagining this is threatening to many groups.
You said, " ...don't have an original thought in their head."
When all the good stuff is taken, or all has been taken, how can one be origional?
The wheel is only invented once. Many, many improvements later, must the wheel be re-invented?
When all animals plants, etc. named. all discovery's made, all technology figured out, all drama themes written about and movies made: "I named 2 animals today that I re-discovered, re-dog and re-cat. let the world know they have been re-discovered and make wonderful domesticated companions. "
Maybe being generous on the time span: 10,000 years from now, if some world catastrophe hasn't wipped out people kinds current collective mind and information storage for things to be re-discovered, there may be 1000's of Willy Wanka and the chocolate factory remakes with different actors over the years.
When all original is copyrighted, patented or just worn out, how can original be original again?
That is a book that I would love to read. Thank you for the up.
But with out even have read it yet, I can Attest to the premise.
When I was young, and mind you this was during the Carter administration, where higher learning was something that he really fought for, was fortunate to have been administered into a " Modern educational school", for lack of better words.
We were, rather than memorizing names and dates, were shown how to use and apply critical thinking.
For example, we would discuss a topic, and then sent out on our own to research our findings, and write a paper on what we had learned. and even then we would still discuss what we had learned, and came to a consensus.
Unfortunately, that ended in my Tenth grade. Going back to a public school for the two remaining years was much akin to torture.
I am simply dumbfounded on why that system never advanced farther than that.
But I have to say that the "critical thinking" aspect has never left me. I still apply it to just about every thing I do.
Such a tool is paramount to any other system I've ever seen.
Sounds mighty interesting, however I think that I need to read all the other 150 000 books that I already have at home, on my bookshelves, under the bed, in piles on the floor, in boxes in the garage, but if I ever finish them, I shall get to that one too.
My brother went to an Ivy league school, Dartmouth, for one year, then dropped out because it was too expensive, which was back in the 70s. Can only imagine what it costs now. He took away from it a very disillusioned view of how the offspring of the elite think and act as well as the lesson that for most of those members of elite families the main benefit of an Ivy league education as well as the top priority among their kind is the making of connections with others of their kind with which to get jobs in govt. or the private sector. It's just an expensive 4 year boarding school to party and network in.