Stanford Critiques Itself

Source: The New Yorker, Apr 2012

The long-term value of an education is to be found not merely in the accumulation of knowledge or skills but in the capacity to forge fresh connections between them, to integrate different elements from one’s education and experience and bring them to bear on new challenges and problems. . . .

Yet we were struck by how little attention most departments and programs have given to cultivating this essential capacity. We were also surprised, and somewhat chagrined, to discover how infrequently some of our students exercise it. For all their extraordinary energy and range, many of the students we encountered lead curiously compartmentalized lives, with little integration between the different spheres of their experience.

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