June 15, 2013

"[A]n alliance of students and faculty... must make debate and controversy, not dull pedantic cant, the common style for educational life."

A good line, from a famous statement, made half a century ago.

56 comments:

Paco Wové said...

So, were the authors of that statement the deceived or the deceivers?

traditionalguy said...

I will miss those pedantic cants. They were like good country music repeating the chorus at the beginning and the end of each new verse.

Wait, wait. Education is telling what we plan to teach, then teaching it and then telling what we taught. It's repetition, and repetition and then repetition.

EDH said...

... To turn these possibilities into realities will involve national efforts at university reform by an alliance of students and faculty. They must wrest control of the educational process from the administrative bureaucracy... They must consciously build a base for their assault upon the loci of power.

Now, these activists are the administrative bureaucracy, defending their "loci of power".

Chip S. said...

Well. they got rid of the boring intellectual stuff pretty effectively. But their zest for debate seems to have been merely temporary.

rcocean said...

. To turn these possibilities into realities will involve national efforts at university reform by an alliance of students and faculty. They must wrest control of the educational process from the administrative bureaucracy. They must make fraternal and functional contact with allies in labor, civil rights, and other liberal forces outside the campus. They must import major public issues into the curriculum -- research and teaching on problems of war and peace is an outstanding example. They must make debate and controversy, not dull pedantic cant, the common style for educational life. They must consciously build a base for their assault upon the loci of power.[12]

rhhardin said...

No more reading Gatsby!

rcocean said...

The left out of power - Freedom of speech. Debate everything. I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it.

The left in power - Debate over. Freedom of speech? haha. Speech codes, punishment for heretics.

Trotsky and the Bolsheviks were free speech advocates - before November 1917.

edutcher said...

I wasn't aware shouting down the other side constituted debate.

El Camino Real said...

The new boss actually turned out to be much worse than the old boss.

Who'd have thunk it?

El Camino Real said...

The new boss actually turned out to be much worse than the old boss.

Who'd have thunk it?

Howard said...

I was, uh, one of the authors of the Port Huron Statement. The original Port Huron Statement.
Not the compromised second draft. And then I, uh... Ever hear of the Seattle Seven?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Never gonna happen.

The Progressive infestation of Higher Ed is too pervasive, and has gone on much too long.

Consider any "reforms" just sweet whisperings in the ear of the nervous frog, as behind the scenes hands continue turning up the temperature dial.

A "parallel structure" alternative , mostly web-based I would think, is the best hope.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Shorter me: A Replacement is needed, not a Reformation.

rcocean said...

The Universities ran off Farmer Jones, and got "Snowball" in his place.

And "Snowball" ain't changing nothing.

edutcher said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Shorter me: A Replacement is needed, not a Reformation.

Why do you think all these University of Phoenix clones are springing up?

Chip S. said...

Why do you think all these University of Phoenix clones are springing up?

I'm gonna guess "bandwidth".

Baron Zemo said...

On-line education is the wave of the future.

Soon top heavy money pit Universities will go the way of Horn and Hardart.

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Yeah, but Horn & Hardart had good stuff.

Loved their hot cross buns when I was a kid.

somefeller said...

Online education is the wave of the future if it's provided by top universities and those classes are considered for credit not as gloried audit courses. Also, online education from good universities undermines the need for low-selectivity colleges that are there to provide a credential, thus opening doors for people who need a certificate or any sort of BA for a credential. Those are all good things.

But online education won't replace Research One schools or selective liberal arts colleges, especially if they are religious in nature. Those schools have missions other than provision of mass courses. And selective employers already toss resumes with University of Phoenix on them in the circular file and that isn't going to change.

Online education will reform higher education, but don't kid yourself. The Harvards, Amhersts and University if Wisconsins of America will still be around and thriving 50 years from now. The Private College of BFEs, probably not so much, however.

somefeller said...

I'm gonna guess "bandwidth".

Also, federally-guaranteed student loan debt that isn't dischargable in bankruptcy. U of Phoenix and similar schools wouldn't exist without it. The same can be said for a lot of colleges that no sensible parent would go out of pocket for and that don't get any research funds from industry or the government, but six of one and a half dozen of the other. Yale, Georgetown and the University of Texas existed before the current student loan system and they'd survive if it was scrapped.

chuck said...

Sure, occupy the buildings, shut down the school, and disrupt meetings. I was there, that's how it went down. And now we are stuck with dull, left wing cant.

edutcher said...

somefeller said...

Online education is the wave of the future if it's provided by top universities and those classes are considered for credit not as gloried audit courses. Also, online education from good universities undermines the need for low-selectivity colleges that are there to provide a credential, thus opening doors for people who need a certificate or any sort of BA for a credential. Those are all good things.

But online education won't replace Research One schools or selective liberal arts colleges, especially if they are religious in nature. Those schools have missions other than provision of mass courses. And selective employers already toss resumes with University of Phoenix on them in the circular file and that isn't going to change.

Online education will reform higher education, but don't kid yourself. The Harvards, Amhersts and University if Wisconsins of America will still be around and thriving 50 years from now. The Private College of BFEs, probably not so much, however.


Not if what they provide is contingent on Lefty indoctrination to pass the courses.

Like it or not, people vote with their feet and the grading mess at places like Haavahd degrades the rep as fast as the high cost for little more than a pass into the echelons of the Democrat Party and the Lefty indoctrination.

People are leaving Establishment Education for the same reason they're leaving Establishment Media.

All the whistling past the graveyard in the world won't change it.

Chip S. said...

Like it or not, people vote with their feet and the grading mess at places like Haavahd degrades the rep as fast as the high cost for little more than a pass into the echelons of the Democrat Party and the Lefty indoctrination.

edd, meet edX:

EdX is a non-profit created by founding partners Harvard and MIT. We're bringing the best of higher education to students around the world. EdX offers MOOCs and interactive online classes in subjects including law, history, science, engineering, business, social sciences, computer science, public health, and artificial intelligence.

edutcher said...

A noble endeavor, but that wasn't my point.

Do you have to regurgitate the prof's views to pass?

Does everybody get a B?

Do you have to jump through any number of PC rings, failing to do so will get you ejected?

This is where the brand is degraded.

Chip S. said...

ed, your point appears to be that Harvard is so intellectually degraded that it's losing students to online alternatives.

My point is that Harvard is in the vanguard of online alternatives to bricks & mortar.

What it's doing is a lot more important to the future of education than the U of Phoenix.

somefeller said...

ed, your point appears to be that Harvard is so intellectually degraded that it's losing students to online alternatives. My point is that Harvard is in the vanguard of online alternatives to bricks & mortar. What it's doing is a lot more important to the future of education than the U of Phoenix.

Bingo. It's also no accident that last year Salman Khan (founder of Khan Academy) was commencement speaker at Rice and MIT. The top universities are embracing online education as a supplement to their brand, which isn't fading. Chip S. gets it, edutcher doesn't. No surprise.

edutcher said...

somefeller said...

ed, your point appears to be that Harvard is so intellectually degraded that it's losing students to online alternatives. My point is that Harvard is in the vanguard of online alternatives to bricks & mortar. What it's doing is a lot more important to the future of education than the U of Phoenix.

Bingo. It's also no accident that last year Salman Khan (founder of Khan Academy) was commencement speaker at Rice and MIT. The top universities are embracing online education as a supplement to their brand, which isn't fading. Chip S. gets it, edutcher doesn't. No surprise.


Again, you miss my point. I didn't say it's happened; I said it's in a process of happening. Here's what I said:

A noble endeavor, but that wasn't my point.

Do you have to regurgitate the prof's views to pass?

Does everybody get a B?

Do you have to jump through any number of PC rings, failing to do so will get you ejected?

This is where the brand is degraded.


It's only been noted upon in the last few years, but there's a move away from schools like that to ones that are more meat-and-potatoes, if you will.

The Baghdad Bob of Althouse's reading comprehension is too mixed with his wishful thinking. He seems unable to accept the idea that his idea of a Lefty upper class will always exist along with all of its institutions.

Evolution says otherwise.

He seems to find it vital that it exists and that he is a part of it.
It's touching and quite sad, actually.

PS Can you ever make a point without going ad hominem?

Apparently not.

Chip S. said...

I said it's in a process of happening.

Record 35,000 Apply to Harvard College

I'm afraid you're wishcasting on this one.

somefeller said...

PS Can you ever make a point without going ad hominem?

Of course I can. When the person making the point is intelligent and thoughtful. You are neither. It's amusing to see you whine about ad homs, as that (coupled with ressentiment) is the core of most of your comments.

Also, there's no need for you to obsessively respond to every comment I make. It only opens you up to even more ridicule than you already receive. In this case, you really haven't a clue about the topic, as your fellow conservative Chip has pointed out, so you should sit down and mumble into your coffee.

somefeller said...

Record 35,000 Apply to Harvard College
I'm afraid you're wishcasting on this one.


If wishes were horses, then dreamers would ride. Or make those lefty bastards at Harvard disappear!

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Godfather said...

When I read this poorly written, poorly argued, poorly reasoned, simplistic, jejeune manifesto, I said to myself, oh well, they were just kids; cut them some slack.

I then I remembered: I'm of that same generation. I was a rising sophomore in college when this thing was issued, and my friends and I certainly wrote better than that.

None of my writings of that era are available as proof (and who would care if they were), but take a look at the Sharon Statement, which launched the Young Americans For Freedom. No matter how you feel about YAF, their founding document is parsecs ahead of SDS's.

http://www2.fiu.edu/~yaf/sharon.html

edutcher said...

Chip S. said...

I said it's in a process of happening.

Record 35,000 Apply to Harvard College

I'm afraid you're wishcasting on this one.


No, while many people still think a Haavahd sheepskin is a passport to the good life, but articles like this are becoming more and more frequent and more and more scathing, not to mention such PC antics as the firing of Larry Summers.

How long between "Unsafe At Any Speed" and Detroit's brand decay?

somefeller said...

PS Can you ever make a point without going ad hominem?

Of course I can. When the person making the point is intelligent and thoughtful. You are neither. It's amusing to see you whine about ad homs, as that (coupled with ressentiment) is the core of most of your comments.


Too bad you just proved my point.

"ressentment"? Oh, that's cute; clearly, spellcheck is beyond you. I guess persons who are "intelligent and thoughtful" are also beyond you.

Unlike you, I'm a happy guy; I have The Blonde, the pups, friends (not only online, but in the real world) and a cheerful outlook. I congratulate Ann on her photos, wish people well on the good things in their lives, and even banter with Titus.

OTOH I think your longing to be part of that "diverse, gay-friendly" Lefty upper crust you think is just aching to welcome you into its folds is what's bugging you. It appears you're the very unhappy person. As I say, it's sad.

Also, there's no need for you to obsessively respond to every comment I make.

Ah, but there is, when you say the stupid and clearly propagandistic things you do.

Someone needs to let you know your nonsense is just that.

It only opens you up to even more ridicule than you already receive.

Yes, because you're such devil of a fellow with words, right? The "ridicule" you attempt to deliver always falls flat because I'm able to rebut your nonsense and ad hominem with facts. Haven't you noticed?

I guess the atmosphere in Mom's basement is a bit gloomy.

In this case, you really haven't a clue about the topic, as your fellow conservative Chip has pointed out, so you should sit down and mumble into your coffee

Well, you can read my rebuttal to Chip and reflect a little on the long term consequences.

And, yes, you may cry into the Ovaltine Mom brings when she hears your sobs.

somefeller said...

Nice rant, edutcher. Hate to break it to you, but your response to Chip was singularly unconvincing. You'd get an F for that any of the fine universities I mentioned earlier.

As per this: "ressentment"? Oh, that's cute; clearly, spellcheck is beyond you. The term I used was ressentiment, not resentment. It isn't misspelled, perhaps you should Google that word if it's unfamiliar. And yes, you beclowned yourself again and you just don't get it. Such is the humor and the pity.

But please continue, Governor. You're always good for a laugh.

Rhythm and Balls said...

Before women overwhelmed the academy and student body with their emphasis on making lists of things to memorize and scorn for any actual criticism (i.e. critical thinking).

Baron Zemo said...

You what is going to help devalue the importance of a college education?

When Governor Walker is elected President in 2016.

edutcher said...

somefeller said...

Nice rant, edutcher. Hate to break it to you, but your response to Chip was singularly unconvincing. You'd get an F for that any of the fine universities I mentioned earlier.

Let me put it this way:

Seen at the Occupation of Wall Street

"I have a degree in Native American Lesbian studies, a half million dollar debt, and no job".

The reality is creeping in. Sorry, but it took a while for people to find out that American-made Cadillac was a lemon, too.

But they did, which is why GM had to be bailed out.

Now the top auto makers aren't the Big 3.

Oh, and since those fine universities seem to average a B among their students with an excess of cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude honors, people are getting wary.

Class dismissed. You may go play, or, in your case, just be depressed.

Baron Zemo said...

There is one thing we call all agree is great.

There is a glut of lawyers and many of them can't get jobs chasing ambulances or destroying honest working men.

somefeller said...

"I have a degree in Native American Lesbian studies, a half million dollar debt, and no job".

Got a link to that photo? Also, if that sign exists (and perhaps it did, the OWS kids were witty), it was an example of the sort of humor that sails over your head. And pray tell, what percentage of college grads take degrees of the sort you mention? Hint: too small to measure. Most college students are in "practical" fields like business and STEM. But it's nice to see you citing OWS. They aren't my cup of tea, but it's good to see you're reading around.

Oh, and since those fine universities seem to average a B among their students with an excess of cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude honors, people are getting wary.

Yeah, they're getting wary all right. They aren't applying to places like Harvard any more. Oh, wait, there's that link from Chip. And something (namely, personal experience that you don't have) tells me that hiring managers at good firms still like grads of Research One schools.

As I said, ressentinent. Both humorous and pitiful to behold. But like I said, please continue.

somefeller said...

There is a glut of lawyers and many of them can't get jobs chasing ambulances or destroying honest working men.

The market works! You only need a few good ones to raise a little hell.

somefeller said...

Oops. I did misspell ressentiment in my last post. But no big deal. Edutcher is unfamiliar with the word (but not the concept, obviously) and he can't use the Google, so no harm done.

Aridog said...

Tom Hayden, eh? ... He's still alive? Too bad. Best thing he did was leave Detroit, so we'd have one less piece of fetid shit on our sidewalks.

edutcher said...

somefeller said...

I have a degree in Native American Lesbian studies, a half million dollar debt, and no job

Got a link to that photo? Also, if that sign exists (and perhaps it did, the OWS kids were witty), it was an example of the sort of humor that sails over your head. And pray tell, what percentage of college grads take degrees of the sort you mention? Hint: too small to measure. Most college students are in "practical" fields like business and STEM.


Hah! When in doubt bluff your way through, right? No, it existed and nobody ever said it was a joke (the Occupiers were a pack of doctrinaire Maoist dullards, after all).

To quote you, I'm not going to do your homework for you.

That photo was all over the Internet. you know that. I'm sure someone with as much experience lurking as you have can dig it up.

As for STEM, the field is crying for people, especially women. You should know that, too.

But what's really a laugh is you pooh-poohing the existence of degrees in what we STEM grads call "You want fries with that?" degrees. I'm sure Haavahd offers them, as well as all those diver, PC institutions you love so much.

But it's nice to see
citing OWS. They aren't my cup of tea, but it's good to see you're reading around.


When somebody turns a major urban area into a Third World sewer, complete with rapes and murders (your people, to be sure), it does tend to make news. Most of us caught some images of it whether we wanted to or not.

But, since you didn't want to rebut my mentioning the preponderance of grades of B or better and the surfeit of cum laude distinctions well above what would be expected, I accept your surrender on the issue.

edutcher said...

somefeller said...

Oops. I did misspell ressentiment in my last post. But no big deal. Edutcher is unfamiliar with the word (but not the concept, obviously) and he can't use the Google, so no harm done.

No, dear, you loused it up. I saw the context.

Caught again.

This is turning into a lousy night for you.

somefeller said...

But what's really a laugh is you pooh-poohing the existence of degrees in what we STEM grads call "You want fries with that?" degrees. I'm sure Haavahd offers them, as well as all those diver, PC institutions you love so much.

Where did I pooh-pooh STEM degrees? I merely pointed out that degrees like gender studies aren't issued in numbers worth noting and most students take practical degrees. And as far as getting fries goes, you haven't even been able to get a job doing that, so the STEM degree didn't help you much. But how could it? A degree can't change the person who holds it.

As to the other points, declaring victory when your point is being ignored or dismissed as unworthy of response isn't convincing. Let me guess, you did that a lot when you were working, right? No wonder you were shitcanned and never amounted to much beforehand anyway.

But please, continue. There isn't enough humor on the internet. And continue with self-declared victories. They are the only ones you've ever had, after all.

Chip S. said...

dutch, the article linked to about "grade inflation" at Harvard is from 2001. The College tightened up honors requirements shortly after that.

Instead of being based on GPA, honors are now defined by a combination of departmental honors and class standing. And there's this additional restriction:

For May degrees, the total number of degrees summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude in field sum to 50 percent of all May degree candidates.

Yes, that means that 50% of students graduate from Harvard w/ some kind of honors. OTOH, it's no piece of cake to end up in the top half of a class consisting mostly of HS valedictorians.

I don't know why you have such a thing about "Haahvahd", but it's a long way from being a diploma mill.

edutcher said...

somefeller said...

But what's really a laugh is you pooh-poohing the existence of degrees in what we STEM grads call "You want fries with that?" degrees. I'm sure Haavahd offers them, as well as all those diver, PC institutions you love so much.

Where did I pooh-pooh STEM degrees?


I never said you did; I said you pooh-poohed what we STEM grads "You want fries with that?" degrees.

Y'know, Native American Lesbian Studies.

somefeller said...

Now that I think about it, the three friends of mine who majored in gender studies did pretty well. One went to Harvard Law School, one to Univ. of Texas Law School and the third to Yale School of Management. And they all did pretty well afterwards. So maybe gender studies isn't so bad a degree. But either way, it's statistically insignificant in any discussion of college majors and employment.

somefeller said...

I don't know why you have such a thing about "Haahvahd", but it's a long way from being a diploma mill.

Ressentiment. Not a pretty sight. Especially if the nose pressed up against the window is next to your table at the restaurant.

Now here is a question that's actually interesting: is an Ivy League degree really worth that much more than a degree from a Research One state school, if you are lucky enough to be able to get in and pay in-state tuition or get a good scholarship? As with so many things in life, it depends...

edutcher said...

Chip S. said...
dutch, the article linked to about "grade inflation" at Harvard is from 2001. The College tightened up honors requirements shortly after that.

I saw the date when I linked it, problem is articles are still coming out on the subject.

Instead of being based on GPA, honors are now defined by a combination of departmental honors and class standing. And there's this additional restriction:

For May degrees, the total number of degrees summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude in field sum to 50 percent of all May degree candidates.

Yes, that means that 50% of students graduate from Harvard w/ some kind of honors. OTOH, it's no piece of cake to end up in the top half of a class consisting mostly of HS valedictorians.


But, again, logic tells you honors are going to be sparse in coming if the material is sufficiently challenging.

I don't know why you have such a thing about "Haahvahd", but it's a long way from being a diploma mill.

some people are very concerned about that. And it's not what it is today, as much as what it's becoming.

It's nothing about them, specifically, but they're as good as anyone else to point up the problems. Hell, my father went to Cornell (didn't finish - Depression) and I took courses at Penn (did finish - computer sci program, certificate). I've noticed Cornell doesn't have the rep it used to.

All I'm saying is there's a move away from the type of school dominated by the Lefties today. The numbers show it.

Some schools are going to be able to coast on their rep longer than others, but the problem exists.

As for Baghdad Bob, he's got this pathological need to denigrate me for some reason.

I regard your comments as reasonable and I see your point about how things are now.

I'm just making a point about where they seem to be headed for the future.

Inga said...

Edutcher said......
"Unlike you, I'm a happy guy; I have The Blonde, the pups, friends (not only online, but in the real world) and a cheerful outlook. I congratulate Ann on her photos, wish people well on the good things in their lives, and even banter with Titus.

Also, there's no need for you to obsessively respond to every comment I make."
----------------------
Good lord. You have no pups! You have no Blonde, they are fictitious!! I think you only have your armchair and the Althouse blog to keep you occupied.

Inga said...

Oh.... and your friends are imaginary, Edutcher.

See how that works eddy?

edutcher said...

Lay off the schnapps.

Next thing we know, you'll be singing "Horst Wessel" in here.

Rusty said...

Before women overwhelmed the academy

I'd say feminism took over the academy.
After that any "studies" were legitimate.

Tina Trent said...

It would be impossible to quantify the intellectual destruction these anti-democratic thugs wrought with their assault on free inquiry and debate in higher education and discipline and traditional learning in elementary education.

Then there were the real victims of their much-celebrated violence.

And yet their adolescent manifesto is now taught to schoolchildren as an example of liberation, because they were clever enough to take over the school of education after invading them.

Faux activism and aggrieved victimhood is what they teach.

The lesson is never again surrender our institutions to fascist anti-intellectualism. Generations of schoolchildren have never learned to be productive citizens because of these narcissists' bad ideas and vile self-indulgences.