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The disadvantages of an elite education

November 30, 2010

This article is very powerful:

The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

Here’s a quote:

The world that produced John Kerry and George Bush is indeed giving us our next generation of leaders. The kid who’s loading up on AP courses junior year or editing three campus publications while double-majoring, the kid whom everyone wants at their college or law school but no one wants in their classroom, the kid who doesn’t have a minute to breathe, let alone think, will soon be running a corporation or an institution or a government. She will have many achievements but little experience, great success but no vision. The disadvantage of an elite education is that it’s given us the elite we have, and the elite we’re going to have.

While I can quibble with a few points here and there, I think Deresiewicz’s characterization of elite education hits the mark at most levels—college and high school. I’m thinking I’d like to include this in my metacogntion curriculum for my students, but I’d like something to balance it out (ideas?), and I’m worried a good chunk of it would go right over their heads.

This is something that I’ll try to revisit and expand my thoughts upon later.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Katherine Kirby permalink
    December 5, 2010 1:51 am

    I completely agree with the point made here in this quote. In more elite schools you typically see students forced to do certain things certain ways. There’s not much room for creativity in these circumstances. They graduate from these elite schools having had others force ideas and such on them. Strict curriculum and strict guidelines don’t leave much room for personal thoughts. ‘…great success but no vision.’ This part is so true of so many elite personalities.

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