The absurd assumption underlying publish-or-perish in higher education

That when a man writes a scholarly book that reaches a dozen specialists he adds immeasurably to the world’s knowledge; whereas if he imparts his thoughts and his reading to one hundred and fifty students every year, he is wasting his time and leaving the world in darkness.

One is tempted to ask what blinkered pedant ever launched the notion that students in coming to college secede from the human race and may therefore be safely left out when knowledge is being broadcast.

Jacques Barzun, Teacher in America. Boston: Little, Brown, 1945 – via Orange Crate Art.

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An elementary school teacher who teaches her students to focus on living a life that matters -video

A moment with a good teacher can give a lifetime of hope.

Decline of ‘Western Civ’ in the undergrad? No problem, the MBA will take care of that

Survey courses in “Western Civilization,” once a common component of undergraduate curricula, have almost disappeared as a requirement at many large private research universities and public flagships, according to a study by the National Association of Scholars.

The report finds that, since 1968, the number of the selected colleges that require Western Civilization courses as a component of general education curricula and U.S. history as a component of history majors has dropped. ( via Inside Higher Ed)

Meanwhile,

the Dean of a well-ranked business school is proud to announce that his graduate studies contains a combination of character-building (often discussed as an outcome in high school)  and the humanities (often perceived to be the overall outcome of undergraduate education).

Go figure.

Walter Lewin: Teaching as a performing art

I recently tweeted a comment of his in an interview with La Vanguardia. Now I find this wonderful short.

“Teaching as performing art” a dear colleague of mine once said. Quite applicable here.

From janitor to Ivy-League graduate

He’s a 52-year-old refugee who emigrated from a war-torn former Yugoslavia to work as a janitor at one of America’s premiere universities.

It took Gac Filipaj seven years to learn English and gain acceptance into Columbia University, where he received free tuition because he’s an employee. He took classes in the morning, then worked 2:30-to-11 p.m as a “heavy cleaner,” and when he got home after midnight he would hit the books.

After 12-years of study, he received a bachelor’s in classics and he graduated with honors. (via)

Congratulations, Gac!

They will be managing my retirement fund… and yours!

February 2011: dozens of MBA applicants at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business are found to have submitted plagiarized essays.

February 2012: a dozen MBA applicants at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management are found to have submitted plagiarized essays.

via Orange Crate Art.

Thank a teacher!

Merci, monsieur Kasabgui!