A recent article in Slate warns that students enter medical school brimming with altruism and empathy but leave bitter and jaded. This may reflect the division of medical education into two very different phases. The first two years are comprised of classic schooling: lectures, textbooks, exams. Most medical students...
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The Absurdity of Teaching Practical Skills in the Classroom

A recent poll shows that students want to learn 21st-century skills such as problem-solving, global awareness, and communication. Fantastic! But here’s the kicker: they feel they’re not getting it in high school or college. Students show up at university expecting to gain professional skills applicable in the real world,...
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Acting Locally: New Approaches to Promoting Civic Engagement

There has been a marked decline in civic engagement in the United States over the past several decades. As Americans retreat from the visibility of their front porches to the privacy of their backyards, old patterns of community have been replaced by a preference for separateness and isolation. The...
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Segregated Schools, Segregated Learning

Two recent pieces in the New York Times highlight two alarming trends in higher education. The first, which is based on a report issued by the Century Foundation, reveals that “colleges have become increasingly separate and unequal. . . . Higher education today, the report says, is stratified between four-year colleges...
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Go to College Because You’re Dumb?

“Some jobs of the future only ‘require’ college because we’re very dumb,” argues Forbes contributor Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry. Take, for example, a diagnostic medical sonographer. Gobry argues that it is a highly skilled job that doesn’t require a college degree because everything can be learned on the job within a...
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