Gary Gutting and Mark Edmundson the authors of the essays “What is College For?” and “On the Uses of a Liberal Education” respectively expressed their opinions on how college isn’t what it used to be. Gutting said some universities don’t teach what they are supposed to; they make some classes compulsory so students end up taking classes that are unnecessary. In result when students are given these particular courses as they become disinterested and aim for average instead of learning the material. Gutting also points out lack of academic engagement is why people misinterpret the existence of the college. He says both students and professors need to work together in order to keep the true meaning of college, according to him is to nourish a world of intellectual culture. Edmundson states in his essay that students lack intellectual curiosity. He blames the schools by saying colleges in America are using the consumer mentality to increase their enrollment, but this is affecting the quality of education students are receiving. But he also blames the students for not challenging their conventional thought in fear of being invalidated. He then goes on to call those students “not …show more content…
Gutting and Edmundson both blame the structure of the education system, but at the same time it sounds like the change needs to come only from students. In their book I wouldn’t always be their “ideal” student that is depending on the classes they would teach me. Like Gutting said colleges sometimes give unnecessary courses, so it can be hard to be interested in something that in no way relates to your major. If one of the authors were instructors in one of my unnecessary” classes they probably would make comments that I’m “weak minded” or “not genius”. However, if they taught in one of my classes that I actually have an interest in I might have a shot of being their perfect student they have conversations about on the
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Gerald Graff explains, “the fact that we associate those street smarts with anti-intellectual concerns. We associate educated life, the life of the mind, too narrowly and exclusively with subjects and texts that we consider inherently weighty and academic. We assume that it’s possible to wax intellectual about Plato, Shakespeare, The French Revolution, and nuclear fission, but not about cars, dating, fashion, sports, TV, or video games” (#). What he is explaining is that to many times school systems force feed student’s material that they have little or no interested in and think they will read the item and not google it and take the easy road. Now Graff doesn’t say that students should not learn about the important figures that shaped the world as it is, but instead ween them in by getting them interested in something they enjoy first.
Higher education is important to most people, but there are times where it does not take priority. One major issue talked about by Magdalena Kay in “A New Course” is that teachers are teaching to the state test, and not to teach students knowledge. There are two perspectives in this article: one is from Magdalena Kay, an associate professor of English at the University of Victoria, and the other is Christopher Lasch. Christopher Lasch is a historian and a social critic, who does not have an inside sight into the educational system. Lasch is only able to express the perspective of an outsider, unlike Kay who has an insight because she is in the educational system.
In “Are Too Many People Going to College?” Charles Murray offers his opinion on the number of students that pursue a B.A. He believes that two year or four year colleges are not needed for a majority of students who could instead pursue other life paths. He discusses the ability for the general knowledge needed to be learned in primary and secondary school, and for a lessened need for a “brick-and-mortar” institution the problems with the current secondary and higher educational issues including the lessened need to acquire a B.A. All members of society need certain skills in order to be productive members of society. They need to know general facts about the country they live in, general history, and general geography.
Edmundson begins his article by stating his background and overall experience in the field of modern college education. In order to establish credibility, he describes how he has taught at institutions, such as, The University of Virginia. Edmundson asserts, “I’ve been teaching now for thirty-five years and in that time, have had about 4,000 students pass my desk. I’m willing to testify: Not all students have hungry hearts. Some do, some don’t and having a hungry heart (or not) is what makes all the difference for a young person seeking an education” (Edmundson 521).
“Hidden Intellectualism,” by Gerald Graff starts off with an older argument between being book smart and street smart. Throughout the reading, Graff uses his own life experiences to critique the education system today. Points made focus on the idea of overlooking the intellectual potential of those who come across as being, “street smart”. Different authors cited in the reading to show how to accept another’s different intellectual. However, we realize that people who come across as being intellectual weren’t always labeled as that.
The school systems aim to please these new age college students because they essentially pay the bills. Consumption maybe on the rise but college students are more than the shrewd remarks Edmondson argues in his piece. Although his experience as a professor leads him to the assumption that all college students are the same, he has not encountered the whole population. Edmondson’s challenges are learning how to complete with the twenty first century ethos. He has to learn how to adapt to the changing society.
Throughout the essay, Charles Murray stresses the idea that college is the wonderland of finding oneself and to find the career that one would want to follow for the rest of their lives. “College is seen as the open sesame to a good job and a desirable way for adolescents to transition to adulthood. Neither reason is as persuasive as it first appears.” Murray, C (2008) Practically spoken, this is not normally the case. College is a fair amount of work, much more work than one would normally acquire through any course of a high school or secondary school setting.
In my opinion, I agree with Murray’s claim that four year college is not worth, job satisfaction for intrinsic reward, and the dark side of the Bachelor's degree. In my view, Murray’s is right, because college requires student to take 32 courses in four years or longer and not all courses are relate to the field they study with. More specifically, I believe that four years college will take more time to achieve our goal and knowledges doesn’t teach us how to make a living in our society. Murray described in his article, “More people should be getting the basic of a liberal education. But for most students, the places to provide those basics are elementary and middle school” (235).
What this essay is saying about students and education is there is no student who doesn’t want to learn or what’s to get an education. Everybody is capable of learning, but the problem is sometimes the education are given by people who don’t care if you are learning or not. In this essay, we learned that the author was put in classes where the teachers didn’t care too much about their students and because of this he become a mediocre student. Not because he didn’t like school or he was lazy, but because there was no inspiration in learning. Luckily, Mike Rose the author of I Just Wanna Be Average found someone that wants him to start learning someone that make him change his mind.
In Charles Murray’s essay “Are Too Many People Going to College,” he believes that the concept of college has changed over the years. According to him, a four-year college is no longer as necessary as it was when it was first created because most jobs requires more on job training. He also adds to his reasoning by mentioning that because of the advancement of internet, physical libraries and the physical proximity of student and teachers is less important. Because of the changes he noticed he believes that people should go to college but not for liberal education. He makes the claim that the basic core knowledge of liberal education should be learned in elementary and middle school and that only people with high academic abilities should be encouraged to go to college.
Going to college for many students is just a normal part of life. It is what will enable them to get an education that eventually will lead to get a well-paid job and the resources and the status to live a comfortable life. But for college professor, Andrew Delbanco, the American college has a higher purpose. In the article “College at Risk”, Delbanco states that colleges should be promoting critical thinking among students, through knowledge of the past and the interaction with each other; as well as, help them discover their talents and passions and figure out what they want to do in life. This type of education is called liberal arts and for Delbanco, it represents the ideal education.
“3 Reasons College Still Matters” by Andrew Delbanco 3) “Surely, every American college ought to defend this waning possibility, whatever we call it. And an American college is only true to itself when it opens its doors to all - the rich, the middle, and the poor - who have the capacity to embrace the precious chance to think and reflect before life engulfs them. If we are all serious about democracy, that means everyone.” 4) In this part of the writing Andrew Delbanco tries to persuade his audience by using the pattern of logic that agrees with the overall argument but also considers another striking point of view to strengthen the argument (While these arguments are convincing, they must also consider…).
Is college still important and relevant? The question is answered and confirmed when Liz Addison, author of “Two Years Are Better than Four”, wrote a counter argument in order to disprove the opposing views of Rick Perlstein, the author of, “What’s the Matter with College”. The topic that is being brought to light is the subject of whether or not college still matters. Perlstein that college is no longer what it used to be. It was after reading Perlstein’s article that Addison masterfully wrote her counter argument which successfully contradicted the opinionated, inaccurate views of Rick Perlstein.
Liz Addison’s essay, “Two Years Better Than Four,” was first published in the New York Times Magazine back in September of 2007. Addison went to two community colleges and majored in biology; earning her degree in 2008. In her essay, she is responding to Rick Perlstein's article “What’s the Matter with College?” in which he claims, “College as America used to understand it is coming to an end” (211). Addison refutes Perlstein’s claims by saying, “My guess, reading between the lines, is that Mr. Perlstein has never set foot in an American community college” (212).
The diversity of student backgrounds, abilities and learning styles makes each person unique in the way he or she reacts to information. The intersection of diverse student backgrounds and active learning needs a comfortable, positive environment in which to take root. Dr. King continues by explaining, “Education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.” From back then to today’s society, kids are failing because they lack those morals that they need to succeed.