The Problem With Modern Education
Mark Edmundson provides a graphic portrayal of his opinion of college students and professors. He states that after the baby boom, "College became a buyers market. What students and their parents wanted had to be taken more and more into account. That usually meant creating more comfortable, less challenging environments, places where almost no one failed, everything was enjoyable, and everyone was nice" (Edmundson 153). Other authors, such as Brent Staples and John Holt also support this opinion.
The belief that college professors are getting soft and students are getting lazy is not a new idea. These thoughts have been progressing towards their current state since the late 1980's. Brent Staples believes that many college departments, especially those in the humanities, shower students with higher grades in order to keep low-demand classes at the minimum enrollment. "As a result of the university's widening elective leeway, students have more power over teachers" (Edmundson 153). For example, at Drexel University, and many universities across the country, they are doing away with tenure and more and more professors are part-time, and have no security in their job. This leads to professors tailoring their instruction to what the student, the "consumer" wants and needs.
Though the pressure on the professors to lower standards is very strong, there is little pressure put on students to perform to the standards that college used to be defined by. John Holt insists that school does nothing but corrupt young students and make them less curious, wise, and intuitive than they were before. College used to be a rite of passage for the few chosen intellectuals who would choose to broaden their horizons by means of further education. Higher education no longer gives students the knowledge they will need to succeed in the real working world. College has become so lax that students merely get an extension of their high...
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