Cory Leonard

Archive for February, 2014|Monthly archive page

Just keep studying. (The liberal arts crisis will pass.)

In career, tech on February 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Everyone seems to want to work at Google. And they want to talk about the end of liberal arts. If you aren’t following Scott Sprenger’s Humanities+ blog you should do so; he marshals all of the latest posts–and has been cited by a number of others such as Andrew Sullivan , Inside Higher Ed and the CHE.

Meanwhile, Thomas Friedman visits the Mountain View, California campus to figure out what hiring managers look for in new candidates.  Friedman learns that cognitive ability, leadership, and humility make all the difference.  

To continue this theme with we get more from Adam Gopnkik  on “liberal arts versus the world,” via GPS, one of the consistently best programs on CNN.  Gopnik talks about why studying lit isn’t elitist, the link between pop culture, the world of ideas and a lot more:

Apple is primarily an enterprise in the arts and design, perhaps before anything else. But I also think it’s true that we don’t have to apologize for the humanities and the arts in that way, because the truth is that in every civilization that we know of, that interests us at all, there’s an ongoing conversation about books and pictures.

via Are the humanities worth studying? – Global Public Square – Blogs.

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Rethinking (and Improving) the Internationalization of Higher Ed

In career on February 22, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Nearly everyone wants to internationalize their university.  But Stanley N. Katz suggests that the failure to link research centers, study abroad programs and other traditional parts of the “internaitonal campus” to the key components of an undergrad’s liberal education reveals internationalization to be “stalling” as a educational strategy.

More important, each of the international aspects of an undergraduate’s learning experience should also contribute to his or her cognitive development. Most of our educational programs for undergraduates focus on content, as they should, but their long-term impact, if any, will be less in the material retained than in the habits of mind formed. Which takes us back to the skills and values of respect, vulnerability, etc.

Hannah Arendt put her finger on the problem when she criticized the “professional problem solvers” who left the university for government and think tanks in the 1960s. They had, she wrote, “lost their minds because they trusted the calculating power of their brains at the expense of the mind’s capacity for experience and its ability to learn from it.” John Dewey would have agreed.

We will have truly internationalized the undergraduate curriculum when our students develop the capacity to understand what it means to think internationally. That is a huge challenge.

via Borderline Ignorance – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.


Academia, Meet the Public

In career, politics on February 17, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Ripping on eggheads is an easy sport.  Kristoff marshals Ann-Marie Slaughter, Will McCants, Jill Lepore and Ian Bremmer to explain why we suffer when “academic standards” for faculty discourage linkages to the public–where complex ideas can be explained.

Wisdom is hidden deeply in silos and bunkers on campus, but as Bremmer notes, “Political science Ph.D’s often aren’t prepared to do real-world analysis.”  This has had an effect on our understanding of the world–with national security consequences over the past two decades in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and Asia, to name a few.

Universities have retreated from area studies, so we have specialists in international theory who know little that is practical about the world. After the Arab Spring, a study by the Stimson Center looked back at whether various sectors had foreseen the possibility of upheavals. It found that scholars were among the most oblivious — partly because they relied upon quantitative models or theoretical constructs that had been useless in predicting unrest.

via Professors, We Need You! –