Skip to comments.At Princeton, They Call it an Education [Ivy League = bad education]
Posted on 04/07/2013 9:27:57 AM PDT by grundle
I recently came upon the July issue of Life magazine, which reproduces, with her permission and comment, the entire four-year academic transcript of Brooke Shields
The record itself reflects nothing but credit on the young lady. She got all A's and B's. None of the criticism that follows is directed at her
What caught my attention was the totality of her program - that is, what it takes to get a Princeton degree these days.
She took four courses in French language and five in French literature. She took eight courses in drama-related subjects: three in acting, three in cinema analysis, one in dance, one in contemporary English drama. These accounted for 59 percent of her classroom hours.
She took three semesters of ceramics (10 percent).
She took three courses in psychology - introduction to, abnormal and ''Theories of Psychotherapy'' (10 percent).
She had two other English courses - ''Women and the Novel'' and ''Victorian Children's Literature'' (7 percent).
The other courses, one semester each, were ''Philosophy and the Modern Mind,'' ''Comparative Family Systems'' (sociology), ''The Self in World Religions'' and ''History of Earth and Life'' (geology).
If that adds up to a liberal arts education from a place like Princeton, there is no longer any danger that our society will ever suffer from elitism in any form.
That education apparently contained no courses in classical studies (history, philosophy, literature of the ancient world), medieval history, modern history or American history; no hard science (physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy) requiring any kind of lab; no math; no anthropology; no economics; no political science or government; no basic sociology; no world literature; no American literature; no geography; not even computer literacy.
That's no fault of hers; by my lights, she got cheated.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Wow. I got better courses than that at the community college. To get an Associate’s that would transfer to my mid-level university, I had to take 2 years of math, 1 year of lab science, 2 years of History, American Lit, World Lit, and 2 years of foreign language.
I’m not defending Princeton, but you don’t get a Bachelors without the General Requirements. The author of this piece was probably looking at her courses on her major...she may have just gone there after getting her General Requirements out of the way.
In their general requirements they list Quantitative Reasoning (i.e. math) and Science and the number required in each field for a bachelors.
No college degree: Steve Jobs, Rush Limbaugh.
Ivy League elite degrees: Barack Obama, Tim Geithner, Jamie Gorelick, Ben Bernanke.
Any more questions?
I was shocked by how little I did to get a BA in English. By my reckoning, a MA in English (Which I earned) is less equivalent to a BA pre 1965 or perhaps earlier.
My Masters in Library Science was even more “BSie” than the other two degrees together, but that got me a job. Go figure.
By this reasoning, I seldom read books on literature or grammar that were written after the 50’s or by anyone educated after the 50’s.
To paraphrase Flava Flav “Education is a joke.”
If you go back to the 1880s and look at the general requirement at most eastern state universities...you had to take a fair number of Greek philosophy-related classes, and a couple of math/geometry-related classes, for any degree. I think we ought to go back to the old standards.
I too had a number of required courses. I worked my butt off so I could graduate with two degrees and a minor in 4 years. I was astounded to meet classmates who took only 4 classes per semester (12 credits). My last semester in college I took either 21 or 23 credit hours. Most people just don’t work like that anymore.
I remember being shocked when I heard a senior say, “You know I’m a senior and this is the first time I’ve ever been in the library.” Years later I’m not shocked by how stupid people are today.
No Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton. No Plato or Aristotle, no Caesar or Cicero. No Keats, Shelly, or Wordsworth. Maybe a little Jane Austen.
On the other hand, it could have been worse. I don’t see any gender bending, colonial oppression, or postmodernist relativism courses—although they could have been worked into some of those mentioned, I suppose.
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well yes, and in fact, if you were to stop everytime you saw an idiot liberal on TV, in politics, etc, and Google them - you’ll find out that the vast majority are in fact Ivy graduates. The Ivy League now is perhaps the most destructive force in the country....producing economic and social illiterates...but who are well connected and in power.
I'm a licensed professional engineer with a master's degree in my field. I probably wouldn't have even been admitted to engineering school 100 years ago.
I think you under-appreciate how much engineering has changed in 100 years.
Back then, there might have been more classics and such in an engineering school, but there is a tremendous increase in the knowledge packed into a BS in engineering, much less a MS, in the last 100 years.
100 years ago, EE’s didn’t have to take any coursework in semiconductor physics. MechE’s didn’t have anywhere near the knowledge in their materials classes we see today, and so on.
Unlike the “liberal” arts programs, engineering hasn’t become soft and cushy. There’s a change in the material in the programs, mostly because we have created so much new technology in the last 100 years.
Another example: 100 years ago, we barely had vacuum tubes. We had no such thing as op-amps. Had a circuits course that was mostly op-amps and their applications in control systems and filters. Not exactly a cake-walk, and quoting from said class didn’t exactly impress girls in the campus bar, either. Engineers of 100 years ago would probably wash out of today’s engineering programs. They weren’t adapted to the speed of change in the fields... life was much simpler back then.
I'm a civil engineer by trade, which means I work in what is readily understood as the "original" field of engineering. I agree that the coursework has become more complex, but I also think we've managed to slowly turn engineers into technicians over the last 100 years. I consider an engineering education very incomplete these days, mainly because most of the engineers I've dealt with who have graduated from engineering programs (even the best ones) can barely write coherent sentences in English. And these are the American ones, mind you.
The problem of which you write (the issue with English composition) was evident when I was in engineering school in 1980 as well. My school instituted a composition pre-exam the first weekend you arrived. You had to pass it to get through your first semester without a mandatory composition course.
I agree that there are more “technicians” who are running these damn computer modeling programs and calling it “engineering” (when you and I know full well that it isn’t - AND the over-reliance on computer modeling s/w is going to get some people killed pretty soon) - but in the fundamental coursework, I think engineering has gotten harder, not easier over the last 100 years. Electrical engineering is to a point where I think the BS should be extended to a five year program.
The issue with the lack of writing/reading/speaking skills I put back on the high schools, because the issue there isn’t specific to engineering students or graduates. It’s ALL of these kids. There are times I have seen notes and assignments from kids with all manner of abbreviations that are made up from their “texting” lingo.... and you wanna light up a cranky old man like me?
Be a kid who hands me a paper filled with gibberish like that. Sit back and watch me come un-freakin’-glued.
Though I believe Princeton’s Mathematics department is first rate.
“[F]our courses in French language” would probably equal two years (four semesters) of French. From my four semesters of struggle with Spanish at the University of Illinois, I’d say that part of her curriculum was definitely not easy.
Ivy League grads generally do well because they’re naturally intelligent. The schools run their admissions departments very well. It’s the education part that they suck at.
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