Thursday, July 13, 2006

Something to contemplate

I know many graduates of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges and universities. Few of them can name the liberal arts.

I know many electrical engineers who, if pressed on any details of the lives of Maxwell, Hertz, Marconi, or Faraday, would be ill-prepared to give one--let alone recreate any of their famous experiments.

I know journalists who have no idea about the contributions of Peter Zenger, W.R. Hearst, or Ernie Pyle. I've even read a journalism law book that makes no mention of Zenger--though he and Alexander Hamilton redefined libel law in the famous case that bears his name.

Draw your own conclusions.


Mercy Now said...

And we wonder why our students keep falling in ranks when compared to students abroad. The fact that the rate of technical degrees in the US has fallen while those of foreign countries continues to rise does not mean a good future for us.

Bike Bubba said...

I'd actually point the other way; to suggest that the problem is not a lack of technical skills (hundreds of thousands of engineers no longer work in the field), but rather on a critical lack of thinking skills.

In other words, we've been incredibly successful at training technicians, but what we really need are people who know how to think. Severed from the liberal arts and from history, we're the most schooled, but least educated, people in history.