Friday, 16 May 2014

College Woes

A couple of weeks ago....some economics students from the US and Germany....stood up and made a remarkable statement.  Basically....they were tired of seeing a continual trend of education....tilted toward one particular side of economics.  Their general argument is that it's not a very recent trend.....that it's been going on for decades.

Economics is a science that has a number of theories....none proven to absolutes.  There are trends, and they get explained.  Once some economic system has moved on.....then more theories are put on the table....to be used until another trend has occurred. What the students are generally saying is that the college professor crowd is busy explaining the current trend, but rarely going back to look at past theories or trends.

This brings to mind what history has said about colleges and their original purpose.  The Catholic Church in Europe was the original sponsor of most university settings.  Call it the background of 'enlightenment' or whatever....but a noted number of scholars at the time....were called into large rooms to challenge young men to think.  You were given some useful tools of analysis....some logical assumptions....a few facts.....and by the end....you had an open mind.

One of the curious things about American colleges throughout the 1800s...was that you could not graduate any university, unless you took a class or two in debate, and actually engaged in a few debates.  Today?  The vast majority of university requirements leave out debate or argument as mandatory.  They mandate an English class or two....maybe one science and math class....and then it's wide open.

Equating today's university system to the colleges that existed in the 1600s?  I think if you measured it upon an open mind and logical abilities to deduct conclusions....the graduate of today would not be able to stand up against the minds set loose four hundred years ago.  Today's graduates would have facts, and know various processes and theories....but when you get down to reasoning and asking more questions....he'd mostly just sit there and look at you.

What will become of the students taking this stance on economics?  The university chancellors will quietly sit down and ask some stupid questions....and suggest that maybe a professor or two be added.....who teach subjects generally left off the big list of topics.  The university will then turn around and admit that it's more of an experiment....than a real change...to see if this makes any real difference.  Just my humble opinion.

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