I will shamefully admit to having never read anything by Chomsky other than the above article. I know that he is a polarizing figure. I think the above article is very interesting and insightful. It is about how the universities are being run more and more like corporations and how that is adversely affecting education in this country for the worst.
Key quote: That ought to be the purpose of education. It’s not to pour information into somebody’s head which will then leak out but to enable them to become creative, independent people who can find excitement in discovery and creation and creativity at whatever level or in whatever domain their interests carry them.
When I went back to school over a year ago I remember feeling deeply disappointed in the education I was receiving, despite the fact that I was technically going to a better school than the one where I got my first degree. It seemed much more worker bee oriented. The first time I went to school, in the late 90’s, I was young and naive and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I did not make the most of my education. This time around I thought it would be different because I have developed a true love of reading and learning. I expected heady discussions and challenging ideas. For the most part I found group work, silly projects, and peer to peer learning, instead of being pushed to think and question things by professors. This is not true across the board, but it seemed to be more the case than not. I spoke a lot with my girlfriend about having a similar experience in the same timeframe. My mom was a grade school teacher and my Dad is a college professor. We constantly talk about how education is moving further and further away from critical thinking. Critical thinking seems to be low in this country in general. In a democracy having a population that can critically think is the most important thing to having a government that works on behalf of the populace and not just for those in power. If you feel troubled by the events unfolding in the world, but can’t quite put your finger on it, my first response would be to start going to the library.