Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Back to School

Along with my colleagues, I am back to school fully engaged in facilitating and encouraging active learning, thinking, and scholarship. Of course, with each new year comes changes in the nature of the college experience for both learners and educators. I suppose that higher education is incrementally "reinvented" in very subtle ways as each year passes.

This year, students and faculty alike are returning to the halls of higher education in an environment of economic uncertainty, both for the economy and for capitalism. Clearly, the world has changed since last year as unemployment and human suffering have reached levels not seen since the peak of the Great Depression in 1933. For these reasons, researchers and students have become increasingly anxious to consider and understand what is happening economically, including implications for the future.

Prof Walter Russell Mead, Bard College

I came across a very interesting article by Prof Walter Russell Mead entitled, Back to School, which includes some useful guidance for everyone engaged in higher education. Here's a taste of Prof Mead's advice for college students, today:
Choosing the right college is over-rated. Just about every college in the United States has more talented and interesting students than you will have time to get to know in four years. At every college in America you will not be able to take all the great courses from great faculty, read every worthwhile book in the library, or participate in all the rewarding extracurricular activities.... Choosing the right courses, on the other hand, is under-rated. In the old days you could take a lot of silly courses and guts and get away with it. But your generation is going to have to scramble and you need every edge you can get.
You can read Prof Mead's entire article by following the link below:

Source: Mead, W R (2010, August 31), Back to School, The American Interest Online.

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