Tag Archive for 'Education'

Professors Are About to Get an Online Education

And they are going to get it good and hard.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people. Here I am mostly referring to the leftists. They have been hiding in the uni’s for a generation. They need to get out and do productive work.

This is huge

Computer graded essays and short answers.

I’ve not seen the program. I’m sure it has a number of shortcomings. But, since it is EdX, it will only get better. This will help those who have a different idea on how to run a school, or what type of curriculum to offer. It will help separate teaching from evaluation. I also have no doubt that the use of the software will create new Shakespeares, but it will help students learn to write clearly for commercial purposes. Maybe not now, but some day soon. For ninety nine percent of us, commercial clarity is sufficient.

This is the sort of technological advance that will allow for a lot of creative people to start smaller schools serving niche groupings of students. Leading, I’m certain anyway, to much better educational outcomes. Better is defined as the students learning what they want to learn, not what the governor and others think they should learn.

Again, accreditation will likely remain a significant roadblock for some time. Accrediting bodies will likely require human grading as opposed to allowing software like this in schools they accredit. This will, for a while anyway, keep educational changes at bay.

HT: Arnold Kling

I’m amused that Arnold and I both like The Diamond Age so much. I probably did start reading the book because of his references to Thetes and Vickies on EconLog

The Age of the Essay

Paul Graham on writing essays.

He takes a dim view of how writing is taught in high school:

The most obvious difference between real essays and the things one has to write in school is that real essays are not exclusively about English literature. Certainly schools should teach students how to write. But due to a series of historical accidents the teaching of writing has gotten mixed together with the study of literature. And so all over the country students are writing not about how a baseball team with a small budget might compete with the Yankees, or the role of color in fashion, or what constitutes a good dessert, but about symbolism in Dickens.

With the result that writing is made to seem boring and pointless. Who cares about symbolism in Dickens? Dickens himself would be more interested in an essay about color or baseball.

It just gets better from there.

One can spend hours going through Paul Graham’s web site.

How to Make the Most of Your Higher Education

How to Make the Most of Your Higher Education – Megan McArdle.

I like a lot of the items listed.

I have to think about working for a year before going to college. There is no doubt that would be a good idea for some students. I can think of one in particular that might find how hard it is to make money and would then apply himself a little harder in college.

Your Massively Open Offline College Is Broken

Clay Shirky.

It’s a great article about colleges and universities.

A quote:

Because if there’s one group you’d pin your hopes for an American renaissance on, it would be state legislators.

Another one:

Imagine picking a thousand students at random from among our institutions of higher education. Now imagine unpicking everyone at one of US News‘ Top 100 liberal arts colleges or universities. You’d expel anyone from the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT. Anyone from from Emory or Rice. Anyone from Vanderbilt, Clemson, Drexel. Anyone from the famously good state schools—UMass, Virginia, the California universities. After ejecting those students from your group, how many of the original thousand would be left?

About 900.

Again:

This vitiation of the diploma is Goodhart’s Law in action, where a socially useful metric becomes increasingly worthless, because the incentives pushing towards adulteration are larger than those pushing towards purity. This is not some bad thing that was done to us in the academy. We did this to ourselves, under the rubric of ordinary accreditation…

Finally:

In the academy, we’re fine with anything that lowers the cost of education. We love those kinds of changes. But when someone threatens to lower the price, well, then we start behaving like Teamsters in tweed.

Please do go read the whole thing. It really is on point with the problems in higher education.

The Boys at the Back – NYTimes.com

The Boys at the Back – NYTimes.com.

From the article:

Boys score as well as or better than girls on most standardized tests, yet they are far less likely to get good grades, take advanced classes or attend college.

As the father of both a girl and a boy, all I have to say is: No Shit.

Do go read the whole thing.

Average earnings of young college graduates

Take a look at the depressing news:

 

educationwages

I still wonder if we’re doing the Ace justice be “requiring” her to get a degree. She is the type of person that will benefit from one, and she will also get out of college debt free. I have two more years before the Deuce has to make his decision. He’s going to be an interesting case.

The Female Orgasm: A Program About Sexual Health and Women’s Empowerment

The Female Orgasm: A Program About Sexual Health and Women’s Empowerment.

From the University of Minnesota.

I grew up in Minnesota. I won’t be going back.

Four Resolutions from Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Four Resolutions from Pedagogy of the Oppressed « Cooperative Catalyst.

I can’t believe people that believe this sort of thing are allowed anywhere near children.

From the article, written by a student teacher (?):

I resolve to make my classroom one that challenges the status quo, that takes sides on issues of social justice, that encourages students to create their own visions of reality. I resolve to take student opinions seriously, to continue passing out surveys, to more deeply discuss their input in classroom and school culture. And finally, I resolve to take a more active role in the struggle for education justice – to end poverty, inequality, and oppression – and to support allied struggles in the U.S. and around the world.

I’m glad my children won’t run into her.

Raising Minimum Wage Lifts Single Mothers Out of Poverty and Boosts U.S. Economy

Raising Minimum Wage Lifts Single Mothers Out of Poverty and Boosts U.S. Economy, Policy Report Shows.

This gem of an article is published on the UT web site.

Some quotes:

African American and Hispanic women are hit the hardest.

Can there be an article about the economy where women and minorities are not the hardest hit?

Another:

The researchers also found the share of African Americans in the category of “high school graduate, GED or alternative” is five percentage points higher than the general population. Yet that group is seven percentage points lower in the category of “bachelor’s degree or higher.”

Shocking!

…where race, low education and limited skills combine, the risks of long-term poverty for the women and their children…

Race, low education, limited skills. One of those three is not like the other two and has no (or limited) effect on wages.

You would think that a “news” article featured on the web site of the state’s premier university would have a little better scholarship associated with it. You really should read the whole thing, as you will find evidence of why I think higher education is in a terrible mess.

HT: Mungowitz