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View Diary: The need for reflection and downtime in education (18 comments)

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  •  I've lived next door to a university (3+ / 0-)

    for the past two years. Not a top-tier school, but not a bottom-tier one by any means. I spend a couple of hours most days reading in Starbucks, surrounded by students.

    They seem like very nice young people and pretty diligent about school. They always have lots of books with them, and a lot of the time they're working away at something.

    But I've observed two sad things about them. One, I almost never see anyone reading a book that isn't a textbook. Very occasionally a novel, but there don't seem to be any English or philosophy or art majors. Even in subjects like history, psychology or sociology, all they seem to read is textbooks.

    Two, I've never, ever heard anything that sounds like an intellectual discussion of any kind. They do talk about school related stuff - teachers, classes, schedules - but never about what they're learning - only if they're studying together, in which case they're drilling each each other on facts.

    Maybe I'm deluding myself about my own school days, which were a very long time ago, but this is not the way I remember my hours in the student union. Maybe they're just way busier and more focused than I was, but it seems very sad to me. Talking about ideas and books is what I remember most fondly about being a student. They seem to be missing the best part.

    We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

    by denise b on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 05:59:33 PM PST

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