Education

"Which Country’s Higher Education System Is Best?"

George Leef makes a really good point:

Given the fact that resources are limited, there will always be trade-offs between seemingly positive outcomes. That’s the big point that the authors hope political leaders and government regulators will take from their study: “Recognizing that trade-offs between desirable goals exist will force policy-makers to think critically about whether pursuing a certain goal is worth it.”

That is what policymakers ought to do.


"How to reform the economics Ph.D"

Tyler Cowen proposes as follows:

Eliminate the economics Ph.D, period.  Offer everyone three years of graduate economics education, and no more (with a clock reset allowed for pregnancy).  Did Smith, Keynes, or Hayek have an economics Ph.D?  This way, no one will assume you know what you are talking about, and the underlying message is that economics learning is lifelong.

It's an interesting idea but I, for one, certainly won't be holding my breath waiting for it to be adopted.


"From Icon to Just a Con"

Victor Davis Hanson remembers better times on campus.

As an undergraduate and graduate student at hotbeds of prior 1960s protests at UC Santa Cruz and Stanford, I don’t think I had a single conservative professor. Yet there were few faculty members, in Western Civilization, history, classics, or mandatory general education science and math classes, who either sought to indoctrinate us with their liberal world view or punished us for remaining conservative. . . . 

Administrators in the 1960s and 1970s were relatively few. Most faculty saw administration as a temporary if necessary evil that took precious time away from teaching and research and so were admired for putting up with it. Often the best scholars and classroom teachers were drafted for such unwelcome duty, and were praised for their sacrifices of a year or two.

Professors taught large loads—four or five classes a semester for California State University faculty. Conferences were rare. Teaching was still valued as much as scholarship.