Monday, November 03, 2008

"Educational Brutalism"

That's the term coined in this interesting post at the Chronicle Review's blog site, Brainstorm. Written by Stan Katz of Princeton, it's a thoughtful look at how University has evolved from a liberal arts focused, "man of letters" ideal into, increasingly, job preparation and job preparation alone.

When I was going to Eastern Washington U. there was a proposal floated to mandate an additional 4 credit class that would be a sort of synthesis of thought symposium; something related to your discipline, but bringing in other disciplines as well. I loved the capstone class I took--in fact, I expanded out and made the program my minor emphasis--but a lot of folks went nuts at what they perceived as "one more thing" that they had to get done before they could get out and get a job.

What, to your mind, should the function of the University be? Does that function vary based on the school, or is there a purpose that it can be argued every school should aspire to?

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