David Brooks on the Practical University – NYTimes.com
David Brooks considers the role of the university in today’s society in the United States, and how those responsibilities might be shared across online and face-to-face education. A more reasonable response than the MOOCopalypse. Recommended.
Are universities mostly sorting devices to separate smart and hard-working high school students from their less-able fellows so that employers can more easily identify them? Are universities factories for the dissemination of job skills? Are universities mostly boot camps for adulthood, where young people learn how to drink moderately, fornicate meaningfully and hand things in on time?My own stab at an answer would be that universities are places where young people acquire two sorts of knowledge, what the philosopher Michael Oakeshott called technical knowledge and practical knowledge.