Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"These things that pass for knowledge I don't understand...."

Thomas Friedman, via CEPR:

"Underneath the huge drop in demand that drove unemployment up to 9 percent during the recession, there’s been an important shift in the education-to-work model in America. Anyone who’s been looking for a job knows what I mean. It is best summed up by the mantra from the Harvard education expert Tony Wagner that the world doesn’t care anymore what you know; all it cares 'is what you can do with what you know.'"*

Seeing as damned few of us have ever been paid by Princeton to just be retired geniuses, how in the world is this "insight" by a "Harvard education expert" any kind of insight at all?  Even scholars don't get paid for just knowing things; they keep their jobs by publishing books proving their knowledge has some kind of applicable value.

Between this and Jason Richwine's Harvard dissertation, I'm beginning to seriously question the reputation of Harvard University.  Not all that glitters is gold, even if it has the name "Harvard" appended to it.

*and because I don't entirely trust Friedman, I tracked it down.  Wagner used the line in his TED talk, and again in an e-mail to Friedman.  I'm not saying it sums up his entire educational philosophy, but wow: with wisdom like that, I don't need any more education.

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