If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a student at a university. And if you’re a student at a university, then you’re probably wondering why you’re here.
Mark Edmundson, a professor at the University of Virginia, has a theory. He believes that the purpose of university education is to help students learn how to think for themselves.
“The goal of education,” he says, “should be to turn young people into thinkers who can question received wisdom and orthodoxy.”
In other words, universities should be places where students can learn to think critically and independently. This is what Edmundson calls “the critical thinking ideal.”
And it’s an ideal that he believes is under threat. In a recent article, he argues that “the contemporary university often fails to live up to its promise” of promoting critical thinking.
There are a number of reasons for this, Edmundson says. For one thing, the pressure to get good grades can lead students to focus more on memorizing facts than on learning how to think for themselves.
What’s more, the increasing use of technology in education can lead to “passive learning,” where students simply consume information instead of engaging with it.
And finally, Edmundson says, there is a growing trend towards “safe spaces” on university campuses, where students are shielded from ideas that they might find offensive. This, he argues, inhibits critical thinking by preventing students from being exposed to different points of view.
So how can we promote the critical thinking ideal at universities? Edmundson offers a few suggestions.
First, he says, universities should focus on teaching students how to think, not just what to think. In other words, students should be taught how to question received wisdom and orthodoxy.
Second, Edmundson says, universities should make use of technology in a way that encourages active learning, rather than passive consumption of information.
And finally, he argues that universities should create an environment where ideas can be freely debated and discussed, without fear of offence. Only by exposure to different perspectives, he says, can students learn to think critically and independently.
In Mark Edmundson’s essay Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here, which was published in the Oxford American on August 22, 2011, he discusses his college years as well as what others need to do to succeed while in school. Getting an education is difficult because there are so many diversions; but find something you like doing or else you’ll become bored and work hard to achieve it.
Edmundson goes on to say that you should do more than just get good grades, go to events and make friends while in college. Edmundson is a professor of English at the University of Virginia and has written many books. He has been teaching for over 35 years.
Edmundson says that the main reason people don’t like college is because they don’t know what they want to do with their lives yet. It’s hard to find your passion when there are so many things competing for your attention. But if you can find something you enjoy doing, it will make the whole experience more worthwhile.
He also argues that too much focus is placed on getting good grades. While grades are important, they shouldn’t be the only thing you focus on. Edmundson believes that you should also make an effort to attend events and get to know people while you’re in college.
Overall, Edmundson’s article provides some valuable insights into what it takes to make the most of your college experience. If you can find something you’re passionate about and make friends along the way, you’ll be much more likely to enjoy your time in university.
There are many different options in life, and going to college is one of the finest. Because he is encouraging kids to try harder in school, Edmundson must also agree with this. However, Edmundson makes some important distinctions regarding what children must accomplish.
Edmundson states that, “it is not enough simply to go to college. The challenge is to go to the right college, the one that will best help you develop as a student and as a person.” It is important for students to do their research on colleges before they decide which one they want to attend. Edmundson also believes that kids should not just focus on getting good grades, but also focus on learning and engaging with the material. College is a time for personal growth and development and Edmundson wants students to make the most of it.
He also touches on the issue of elitism in universities. Edmundson believes that elitism is a big problem in colleges and it needs to be addressed. He states that, “Universities should be meritocracies, places where the best and the brightest come to learn and to grow. But too often, they are places where the rich and the privileged come to party and play.” Edmundson feels that universities should do more to help students from all backgrounds succeed.
Overall, Edmundson’s piece is full of advice for students who are considering going to college. He stresses the importance of choosing the right school, engaging with the material, and growing as a person. Students would be wise to heed his advice in order to get the most out of their college experience.
In most colleges, there are no hard requirements. They simply demand the most basic things and don’t hold students to a higher standard. Many schools will only try to maintain the peace and aren’t stringent enough to force kids to do well, according to Edmundson. There are just too many pupils for the university to deal with, so the fewer issues there are, the better.
The author goes on to say that, “universities have responded to the new conditions by becoming more like businesses and less like communities of learning” (Edmundson 3). Edmundson believes that in order for universities to improve they need to start making stricter rules and regulations. Along with this, he also mentions that professors need to take more responsibility when it comes to their students and what they are teaching them.
It’s important for college students to be aware of the different expectations and standards that might be placed upon them compared to those in high school. In “Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here?”, Mark Edmundson discusses how many colleges simply expect the bare minimum from their students and don’t push them to do better.
Edmundson believes that this is because universities have become more like businesses and less like communities of learning. As a result, professors need to take more responsibility when it comes to their students and what they are teaching them. College students should be aware of these different expectations and standards in order to be successful in their education.