Here are three great, thought-provoking articles about education and society, all of which should do the trick:
- The sad truth about Internet research, which English teachers have been saying for years: students, even the intelligent and conscientious ones, don’t know how to absorb and integrate new material into their work. In the best-case scenario, they cobble together research papers from quotes of academic sources. In the worst, they lift chunks of text from Wikipedia and eNotes and drop them into presentations, and are then shocked when plagiarism-detection software finds it: “I didn’t mean to copy.” I think they actually don’t know what copying is.
- The digital revolution has spawned a generation of students who can’t focus; yes, it begins with simple rudeness in their private lives, but it carries over easily into the school hours, when they spend a whole class period “researching” with nothing to show for it — having been distracted by fluff and sidebars.
- Peter Thiel thinks that higher education is the next bubble. It represents wealth and safety (prestige, salary, job security) and we are willing to incur massive debt for it:
“A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed,” he says. “Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus.”