The Education System Of The 21st Century

1083 Words5 Pages
In the 21st century, many American students are wondering why they are even going to college at all, which begs to question, what is the purpose of education in the 21st century. As with any big question, there are multiple takes on the higher education system in America. Walter Kirn, a Princeton Alumni, describes education as a “meritocracy,” where those with merit, or wealth in this case, can rise to the top, in a personal narrative – Lost in the Meritocracy - describing what education in the 21st century is. His experiences show us the life of an Ivy Leaguer in modern times, which is very different from the common portrayal of an Ivy League student. Kirn’s experiences and life at Princeton comically contradict his own university’s mission statement, while still highlighting the pressure put on Ivy League students with “an aptitude for showing aptitude” (Kirn 143) Kirn’s narrative shows the flaws and cracks in higher education, cracks that Liz Coleman – former president of Bennington College – believes call for a reform of liberal arts education. In her TedTalk, Coleman shows us how to get education back to its roots, or what it should be. Using rhetorical devices created by Aristotle, pathos, appealing to emotion; ethos, appealing to expertise; or logos, appealing to logic; Kirn, Coleman, and various universities are able to convince the reader of their point of view. Whether it is the images of a broken education system, or the idealistic dreams of the universities
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