Monday, April 25, 2005

A brief comment

I've done a little internet research tonight for myself and compiled a list of related articles.

I suppose the real heart of the matter is that there is increasingly diminished respect for a college degree. The newest vision of education has become something equivalent to shopping at the mall. Stop in and pay for your diploma. The state can set a price that students are willing to bear and dilute the quality as much as possible.

The students keep taking out bigger loans and are not dissatisfied with less work and less attention from their teachers.

No one, least of all us, the professoriat, is standing up the virtue of education as a key pillar of civil society. It may be that so many of us simply take for granted the desire for education, as we all have devoted ourselves to pursuing it. I have been trying to increase my explanations and justifications of a liberal education as I teach, but who knows if it has much effect. Learning how to read and think critically are at the heart of democracy. A society where people are not self-sufficient and able to carefully analyze their own place in it can not function through democratic means.

Students and legislators simply see it in instrumental terms, necessary to get a good paying job. The cuts can really be seen in these terms. If you accept the idea that you are maximizing your profit, why not raise prices and cut quality. As long as the consumers keep buying, what's the problem? Nobody complains and the cuts just keep coming. . .

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