Friday, May 16, 2008

Food for thought

There's often at least one article in the Atlantic magazine each month that makes me think ... a lot.

This month's winner is called "In the Basement of the Ivory Tower." You can read it by clicking here.

The article was written by an anonymous contributor who teaches English at night. His students aren't the best and the brightest, but rather ones who feel they should be in college rather than who need to be.

After seeing these students in action, if that's the right word after a semester mostly filled with boredom and inattention, he finds he has to fail some of them and feels a little guilty about it. No, a lot guilty.

There is a great deal of pressure on people to get some sort of college training these days. Some people need college credits for career advancement. His question is, should we be doing that? Not everyone needs to learn the themes of Hamlet. He wonders just who are we accepting into colleges these days, and whether it comes close to a scheme to get tuition dollars into the college's wallets from those who shouldn't be bothering.

We've heard a lot about the "dumbing down" of America. This is a part of it that doesn't come up much. And I'm glad it did here.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Here's a related article: