Monday, April 27, 2009

Graduate Education is the Detroit of Higher Learning?

First off, I do like to hate on Detroit ... I mean it is Detroit. But I noticed this article via Mr. Finnerty's gtalk status (thanks btw), titled The End of the University as We Know It.

But after reading this article... I did find a few upsetting points, and I had a lover-ly discussion with my friend Eric on it...
magiceggo: I'm not sure how I feel about this article.
me: ha!
magiceggo: Well, the one ur writing ur blog on about restructuring universities
me: ahhh
5:24 PM i feel something has to be said about it
magiceggo: His argument might hold water for the social sciences
me: but i'm not entirely sure what
magiceggo: However, in my department this is not how research is conducted.
We are fairly specialized, but collaborations are more frequent in the sciences than in say religion.
5:25 PM me: tru
but not so much in architecture
which is bizarre because it is in the prof
5:26 PM magiceggo: It's highly authoritarian.
I don't like many of his points, aside from maybe point 5.
5:27 PM Create departments that feature a single "theme." So, we'll have a "drug" theme and put MY department in there with philosophers, pharmacists, bioethicists, and animal experimentalists.
That would be, in short, a pedagogical nightmare.
me: and essentially that's the only reason architects go to grad school is to specilize in x (be it theory, a type of contrustion, a form of representation) and what for? its nothing that i couldn't learn on my own, I guess I do have more authority and respect about that topic with that degree, but pretty much all i can do then is teach ?
yeah i can see your agrument
5:28 PM magiceggo: Well, that's point number five, which I agree with, that graduate students should be trained for more jobs than just teach.
Yes, train grad students for multiple careers. Their training should be such that you could ask them, "What are your plans for hwen you graduate?" And they reply, "i can do x, y, z, all based on their training."
5:31 PM me: 3. seems a little idealistic to me
5:32 PM i mean potentially its a great idea to collaborate between universities, but then what merit does one university have over the other?
magiceggo: idk
me: idk?
what does that mean?
magiceggo: i dont know
5:33 PM good question i mean

1 comment:

ryan said...

Universities are simply clearinghouses for illusory careers. So we cram kids with nothing but reading and math so they can test into bachelors programs. (My undergrad students are hard pressed with questions like, "How many representatives do YOU have in congress? or Anyone ever read Steinbeck?) Then they graduate with a specialized degrees that are unlikely to get them past entry level work and on average, $20,000 in debt. Then they go to grad schools, many of which are archaic. The University gets cheap personnel for low-quality undergrad education and the grad students still graduate with high debt and low prospects. Sounds like we could use an overhaul.
(Although I haven't seen an interdisciplinary program that produces anything but dilettantes thus far.)

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