The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

American Academies, Cont'd

Since we were just talking about college, I’ll note this comment on academic focus by Phoebe Maltz. She is actually riffing on another piece, and starts out like this:

Mark Oppenheimer must be praised for the following: He makes some of the typical, Allan Bloom-style complaints — colleges put too much of an emphasis on diversity and sports and not enough on the Classics — but has an argument I have not seen before, which is that students should have fewer pursuits but take the few they have more seriously.

At first I thought I agreed with that — it sounds like Howard Gardner’s notion that you get to complex thinking through depth, not breadth — but then I found out this guy literally thinks students should spend four years studying one specific thing. Like “Act 4, Scene 1 of ‘Troilus and Cressida'” specific. So, not so much.

P.S. This is one of those situations where I liked the commentary but couldn’t wade through the source. Blogs are handy like that.

October 19, 2005 / Uncategorized


Um, isn’t that what majors are for? That’s my first reaction, and it’s untempered by reading Phoebe’s commentary.

Well, realistically, majoring in a subject doesn’t mean you go THAT in-depth in any particular thing — for better or for worse. Although the opportunity is certainly there for anyone who wants to dive in. But basically yeah, Oppenheimer’s critique is pretty empty.

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