William Deresiewicz is an award-winning essayist and critic, a frequent college speaker, and the author of “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life”. He taught at Yale for ten years and was a graduate instructor at Columbia for five.
Jasmine Samantar is a student at the Euro-American campus of Sciences Po Paris. A close observer of international politics and diaspora studies, Samantar has worked for current United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry during his tenure at the US Senate and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Office in Washington, DC. Currently acting as an adviser and attachée for the Permanent Mission of the Somali Republic to the United Nations in New York, she is an advocate of educational reform throughout the African continent – most particularly in Somalia.
Krzysztof Ignaciuk is a long-time civic education activist of the European Youth Parliament and former President of the Board of EYP Poland. He has studied linguistics and foreign languages in Poznan, Stuttgart, and Berlin. Currently, he is involved in the European chamber music festival Krzyżowa-Music and is part of the Young European Collective whose members contribute to the column “Who, If Not Us?”.
Doris Sommer, Director of the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University, is Ira and Jewell Williams Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and African and African American Studies. Her academic and outreach work promotes development through arts and humanities, specifically through “Pre-Texts” in Boston Public Schools, throughout Latin America and beyond. Pre-Texts is an arts-based training program for teachers of literacy, critical thinking, and citizenship.
Education should not be defended on strict utilitarian grounds. Children should spend their school years learning all the things they will not need later in life.
The rhetoric about rising student debt casts the spotlight on the wrong enemy.
Africa needs a new generation of leaders, if it wants to transform its current economic growth into a long-run Golden Age rather than a short-term illusion.
Many of us lack a basic understanding of scientific problems – with far-reaching political consequences.
The current competition to get into one of America’s elite universities is designed to produce only “excellent sheep”. Ben Hill spoke with former Yale professor and best-selling author Bill Deresiewicz about what has gone wrong with America’s top schools and what can be done to save them.
The German teacher Friedrich Froebel founded an educational establishment in the East-German Keilhau, Thuringia, about two hundred years ago. His credo at the time: “Children shall not be safeguarded or indoctrinated, but shall happily grow in the sunlight, gain strength and develop.” And 200 years later? Well, today we can hardly ignore the encompassing concern of society for our offspring.