Mike Kueber's Blog

September 9, 2014

The purposes of college

Filed under: Education — Mike Kueber @ 11:48 pm
Tags: ,

A recent column by the NY Times’ David Brooks suggests that there are three principal purposes of college:

  1. Commercial (starting a career)
  2. Cognitive (learning how to think)
  3. Moral (building an integrated self through moral, emotional, and spiritual growth)

According to Brooks, elite colleges have mostly abandoned any attempt to guide their students toward a meaningful, moral life because they don’t think it is their place or they don’t think they know how. But Brooks is encouraged by an essay by William Deresiewicz that “offers a vision of what it takes to move from adolescence to adulthood. Everyone is born with a mind, he writes, but it is only through introspection, observation, connecting the head and the heart, making meaning of experience and finding an organizing purpose that you build a unique individual self.”

Hear, hear! My thoughts exactly.

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