Tuesday, November 16, 2010

EXACTLY: on the usefulness of academic degrees

Vox Day writes about a man whose job was, as an undergraduate, writing papers, including masters and PhD theses.  It raises a number of questions, beginning with why kids are apparently graduating from high school without being able to write, continuing with the fact that apparently this man's staff--all novices to various trades--are able to write convincing prose about those trades for those with PhDs in those trades, and finally to the scary point of realizing that.....

.....these guys who cannot "write a lick" to save their lives are going to be, to a point, teaching the nation's children not only in elementary schools and high schools, but also in universities.

Now more than ever, an academic degree seems to correlate to no particular expertise on any subject--and yes, this is something that observers of the current President know quite well.

There is one small place where I differ with the author, however; if professors routinely interviewed students about the papers they'd written, they'd figure out pretty darned quickly which ones had actually written them.   There is something to be said for the British tutorial system along these lines, and it's something that homeschoolers will do well to remember. 

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