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Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:37 AM

Is our college students learning?

Liberal Arts Majors Didn't Kill the Economy
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/02/liberal-arts-majors-didnt-kill-the-economy/272940/

Rarely is the question not asked nowadays. Graduates now face a tough labor market and even tougher debt burdens, which has left many struggling to find work that pays enough to pay back what they owe. Today, as my colleague Jordan Weissmann points out, young alums aren't stuck in dead-end jobs much more than usual (despite the scare stories you may have heard). But that's a cold comfort for grads who borrowed a lot to cover the high cost of their degrees.

There are two, well, schools of thought about why freshly-minted grads have had such a tough time recently. You can blame the smarty-pants majors or blame the economy. In other words, students can't get good jobs either because they aren't learning (at least not the right things) in college, or because there aren't enough good jobs, period.

This is far from an academic debate. If recent grads can't find good work because they didn't learn any marketable skills, there's little the government can do to help, besides "nudging" current students to be more practical. And that's exactly what conservative governors in Florida and North Carolina are considering with proposals to charge humanities majors higher tuition than, say, science majors at state schools.

But there's an obvious question. If liberal arts majors "didn't learn much in school," as Jane Shaw put it in the Wall Street Journal, why haven't they always had trouble finding work? Are there just more of them now, or is this lack of learning just a recent phenomenon? ............

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is our college students learning? (Original post)
Coyotl Feb 2013 OP
Drale Feb 2013 #1
ScreamingMeemie Feb 2013 #2
Coyotl Feb 2013 #8
riverbenddem Feb 2013 #6
oldhippie Feb 2013 #3
liberal_at_heart Feb 2013 #4
PasadenaTrudy Feb 2013 #5
Coyotl Feb 2013 #9
Solly Mack Feb 2013 #7

Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:39 AM

1. Apparently not

The title should be "Are our college students learning?" Is our college students learning sounds like something W would say.

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Response to Drale (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:41 AM

2. I'm going to throw it out there that perhaps that was what Coyotl was aiming for.

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Response to ScreamingMeemie (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:25 PM

8. It is the opening line and paragraph of the article, not the title

but, yes, the sarcastic arrow strikes George W as aimed, and i liked it enough to place it in the title here.
Gotta follow those URLs before jumping in!

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Response to Drale (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:00 PM

6. Wow.... do you think so?

 

n/t

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:42 AM

3. [sigh] ....

 

"Let are children walk!"

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:46 AM

4. Just another attempt to get the worker bees to learn to have a skill but no critical thinking

A workforce that has skills but no critical thinking means you have a workforce that can be controlled, kept under check with no chance of upward mobility, with no chance of questioning and rebelling.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:48 AM

5. Agreed. n/t

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 01:30 PM

9. When did education become filling a bucket instead of lighting a fire?

I see this also as dependency vs. independence, learning centered on one capability instead of educating oneself for all aspects of life.

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Response to Coyotl (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:27 PM

7. k/r

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