A college education is valuable and its quality is of the highest importance to most Americans. In his essay, “On the Uses of a Liberal Education: As Lite Entertainment for Bored College Students,” Mark Edmundson utilizes ethos, pathos, and logos to effectively deliver his argument that the current educational system, especially in college, revolves around consumerism which in turn has negatively impacted students, teachers, and universities in general. However, although Edmundson presents an overall logically sound argument, there are few instances throughout the article that may hinder the reliability of his claims to the audience.
Simmons uses senior high school student Isabella, as well as other students repeatedly as a foundation for his main arguments. By using Isabella’s essay Simmons is able to paint a picture as to the education system and how it impacted the outlook of higher education on students. Instead of emphasizing the impact of a good education, there was emphasis on economic status and what a
At the beginning of the essay, the writer expresses the difficulties experienced by high-school graduates in gaining admission to universities, nowadays. She states,” College as America used to understand it is coming to an end” through Rick Perlstein (Addison 3). To show contrast between the past and modern days, Addison brings another character to the scene. She states that Perlstein had a ‘beatnik’ friend alongside him. The term ‘beatnik’ makes reference to a person of the artistic Beat generation of the 1950s and 60s. During that period, college education, offered in universities, was highly regarded. To further her argument, she claims that admission to universities, nowadays, relies solely on their Curricula Vitae.
Published in Harper's Magazine’s September 1997 issue, Mark Edmundson’s essay, “On the Uses of Liberal Education: As Lite Entertainment for Bored College Students,” presents a very personal argument for an apparent crisis in liberal education–the lack of passion in students. According to Edmundson, a professor at the University of Virginia, “liberal-arts education is as ineffective as it is now…[because] university culture, like American culture writ large, is, to put it crudely, ever more devoted to consumption and entertainment, to the using and using up of goods and images” (723). He believes that consumer culture is responsible for students’ dispassionate attitude towards his class because they view liberal education as a paid service or product that should cater to their wishes. Further, he writes that universities feed into consumer culture, maintaining a “relationship with students [that] has a solicitous, nearly servile tone” (725). In this way, Edmundson lays out the reasons for why he thinks liberal education is failing.
When Shorris explains his goal to the prospective students he indicates, “You’ve been cheated. Rich people learn the humanities; you didn’t. The humanities are a foundation for getting along in the world, for thinking, for learning to reflect on the world instead of just reaction to whatever force is turned against you.”(Page 4) That the rich have had the opportunity to buy that type of learning and embrace it, while the poor have had more things to deal with like getting food on the table from day to day. Therefore, Shorris believes that a liberal education will provide poor students with a new kind of lens to outlook the world. With the knowledge of philosophy, poetry, art history, logic and American history, Shorris trusts that these students will begin to uncover hidden talents and interests that will inspire them and help them to not only solve problems, but also seek plausible solutions. He believes that these qualities would provide the poor with an escape route from the ongoing cycle that have them trapped and it will provide them with “a certain kind of life, a richness of mind and spirit.” (Page 5) After his first thriving year teaching this class, sixteen of his prospective students completed the course, which then some went on to universities.
In his work entitled “The Shock of Education: How College Corrupts”, journalist and author Alfred Lubrano poses the question of how receiving education can lead to a harsh reality. Lubrano explains that as a child works toward a higher education, there are certain aspects of life they are forced to leave behind as they enter into a new existence. According to Lubrano’s statement, “At night, at home, the differences in the Columbia experiences my father and I were having was becoming more evident” (532). Additionally, Lubrano states, “We talked about general stuff, and I learned to self-censor. I’d seen how ideas could be upsetting, especially when wielded by a smarmy freshman who barely knew what he was talking about” (533). In answering this question, Lubrano must explore the types of conversations that occurred with other family members, the disconnection from his peers, and how segregating himself from his family
Mark Edmundson, the author of “On the Uses of a Liberal Education”, is an English teacher at the University of Virginia who expresses his concerns about the trajectory of the universities and colleges in America. Edmundson depicts how college students today have “little fire, little passion to be found,” towards their classes (4). In an effort to find the source of this lack of passion, Edmundson describes contacting other professors about this issue while refining his own ideas. Ultimately, Edmundson comes to a conclusion. He believes that the consumer mindset of college students has hindered American universities as a whole. My target audience is my professor, Professor Chezik. Looking closely at his wording, formation of sentences, and idea structure, one can see a recurring theme throughout Edmundson’s essay. Edmundson uses fragments, specifically at the beginning of his paragraphs, to start his point, pose counter arguments, and to have a poetic refrain.
[Fridman contrasts the ideals of the nerd and of American culture by seeing how they stand up at one of the most prestigious academic institutions: Harvard.] Fridman proclaims that even at Harvard “there is a minority of undergraduates for whom pursuing knowledge is the top priority” (lines 15-17). Many Americans see Harvard as the college attended by the best of the brightest and would expect it to have a nerdy atmosphere, however this is not the case. It is a shocking revelation for Americans to learn how the anti-intellectual culture has seeped into every part of an American’s life: from kindergarten to college. Therefore, Fridman manipulates these perplexed and shocked emotions to prompt Americans to agree with him through his statement “enough is enough,” (line 29). Furthermore, he does this to demonstrate how Americans do not want to learn for the sake of learning and only desire to attend college so they can get a better job and make more money than valuing the education they are receiving.
For my entire life of schooling, both my parents and I would agree that I constantly complained about the educational systems in which I was enrolled. But when I actually take the time to think about everything I have been through, I realize that I have indeed had an excellent education. My schooling was full of opportunities and experiences, all of which contributed to the person I am today; adequate education has been an indispensable facet of my being. Sadly, not everyone has had this same privilege. And now as a college student, I am becoming even more aware of this sad fact. Looking around me in such a diverse city as Chicago, I find myself being more and more grateful. When I read Jonathan Kozol's Fremont High School, this these
To discuss the value of liberal education, there should be a mutual understanding that investing in college means to invest in oneself. Furthermore, while some consider this investment to be a critical stepping stone to success, others dismiss it, explaining that school simply cannot prepare someone for the “real world.” Sanford J. Ungar and Robert Reich explore both of these subjective values in their essays “The New Liberal Arts” and “College is a Ludicrous Waste of Money.” Ungar, the president of Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, discusses why a liberal education should be sought after; he does so by introducing common misconceptions about liberal arts and, using argumentative persuasion, proves their insignificance. On the other hand, Reich, the former secretary of labor, argues against the conventional belief of college being the only road to financial wellbeing; rather, he explains why a two-year education may better accommodate many college students, especially those in need of immediate work or those that simply cannot afford a four-year education. In all, although both Reich and Ungar generally discuss liberal education, their perspectives differ when it comes to its practicality in the current economy. Also, to express their different views about liberal arts, the authors use contrasting tones to present their ideas to different intended audiences.
In James V, Schall’s A Students Guide to Liberal Learning, he addresses the idea and importance of an authentic liberal arts education. Schall inquires about books and scholars of which centralize around the idea of a liberal education and of which has shaped our society. Schall examines the works of several authors who are in his opinion the guides to learning, and his essay serves as a fundamental building block for the creation of a “Personal Library”.
In The Basement of the Ivory Tower is a very illustrative and witty analysis that presents the idea that not everyone is suited for college. The author, who goes by the alias Professor X, presents himself as a man of scholar with the difficult task of teaching English to students he believes should not even be in college. He is an adjunct professor that teaches at two community colleges as a last resort. Throughout this article, he argues that there are too many unreachable students. During his efforts in exploring various strategies to help these students, he claims that they are deficient in ability to complete any college course—especially English. Overall, with a lack of statistics and research, Professor X utilizes his professional character by sharing multiple anecdotes that feebly argue higher education is simply not for everyone.
As a high school senior, the pressure to pick the school that will provide me with both a good social and academic experience is on. For someone like me, I would be content with going to a good state school to save money. But for other students, Ivy League is the only option. These same students and their parents strongly believe that an Ivy League education is the principal to the finest opportunities in life. William Deresiewicz claims they do not give a remarkable social experience nor do they allow room for students to think themselves. In his article, “ Don’t Send Your Kids to the Ivy Leagues”, he uses his status and personal anecdotes to persuade the reader of just that.
Higher Learning is a book made into a film which carries deep social and cultural issues that has plagued America since the time of its establishment. In this book, the author John Singleton sheds light on the never ending issues of education, racist, sexual abuse; social class, gender, and sexual orientation are faced head on. As a collection of freshman college students from all different walks of life they all come as one at Columbus University having to clash with stereotypes and prejudice in a new atmosphere. For illustration in the book, a ordinary white teenager from Idaho has a culture shock at his new school joins a Nazi bunch of criminals because they are the first friends he made,