William Deresiewicz's The Disadvantages Of An Elite Education

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Today we are to discuss the purpose and necessity of a university. Higher learning is without a doubt necessary to progress. Be that as an “intellectual” or a “painter”. Universities gives people a place to cultivate skills, and abilities that would be hard to come by through other life experiences. William Deresiewicz, wrote in, “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education”, that “our best universities have forgotten that the reason they exist is to make minds, not careers”. Deresiewicz may have missed the mark. Universities are still in the business of making minds. However the end result may not be what Deresiewicz had in mind, but a mind was made nonetheless. Universities provide a place to learn things that would normally be inaccessible. …show more content…
Deresiewicz has over fourteen years of higher learning, holds multiple “Ivy League degrees”, and can speak multiple languages (Deresiewicz). That does not appear to be a person who has had an incomplete education. His inability to talk to the plumber working on his kitchen, displays not a lack of education, but a lack of interaction with the common folk. Which is lacking in some institutes of higher learning. This lack of exposure to regular American society is something that should be taken into account but it does not detract from the purpose of education. If not for Deresiewicz’s rigorous education he would not have the insight to even make the points of his argument. In all aspects of life, “some abilities are …developed, [while] others are … crippled” (Deresiewicz). This is not ideal, but there is always a cause and an …show more content…
It is up to the individual to take ownership of how much is learned and what is learned. The principle process in which learning at a university happens is discourse. Also known as debate, conversation, lecture, or intellectual talks. Universities are necessary to learn higher level of analytical, and rhetorical skill to pursue certain career paths. This specialization is due to the complexities of current technologies. Which has made the extent of knowledge that has to be gained simply too immense to do anything other than focus on one area of expertise at a time. Nevertheless this does not cause the universities to become a “glorified vocational school” as Deresiewicz states. It does, however cause education to sustain a more arduous rubric. Universities are simply a tool for learning. The real teacher is life. Deresiewicz has learned that he does not know how to interact with people with less education than him. He learned this through a real life experience, and he can now fix his case of “Ivy retardation”. A University is a safe place to learn, then the big bad world comes and the real learning

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