Those Who Can't Do
According to this CNN article , Harvard was considering one of the largest overhauls of its curriculum since the 1970s; it was considering requiring an all undergraduate religion course.

My favorite part of the article is, "Efforts to revamp Harvard's curriculum, which has been criticized for focusing too narrowly on academic topics instead of real-life issues, have been in the works for three years." (emphasis added)

Um, it's an academic institution. You're not supposed to go to Harvard to learn how to balance your checkbook or how to get a good credit rating. Academic institutions have historically NOT focused on "real life issues." That's what real life is for. Of course, with "real life" eroding at an exponential rate in favor of video games, reality tv, ipods etc, it would make sense that academic institutions would be called upon to aquaint students with what they should be encountering on the off chance they should, you know, actually leave their cellphones at home for a few hours.

Even more interestingly one of the proposals included, " a course requirement on 'what it means to be a human being.' "

I used to talk about that with my students at NYU, and I ran into the "What the hell do we care about that?" response. Now here we see a disparity. In my mind, there is nothing more real life than contemplating what it means to be a human being. To my students, this was "narrowly academic" because understanding what it means to be a human being was going to a. help them get into a club with a fake driver's license b. get them a date with the dream person of their choice c. get them a cheap piece of ass d. get them a job with a six figure salary.

When I went to Metafilter to see if they had some sort of response to this article, I found this instead. For anyone who has wondered why I have an anonymous blog, or used to, this article might help you out a bit.

Now do you understand why I tell my students, "If I talk just one of you out of pursuing a career in education, I'll have done my job as a teacher."

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