Gary Gutting, writing in the “Stone” Column of the NY Times, today; says well, what I have tried to say before in this blog, that college should be about more than getting a job, since if that were all it is, we can surely more efficiently “job train”. If college is strictly about helping students get jobs, then poetry, physics or philosophy are not much more than unnecessary speed bumps along the way. But, as Gutting says, if it is about inspiring them to richer understanding of the world in which we live; then these courses become essential. I think he even stops short, honestly; since I believe he should say that getting a good job is only a byproduct of what colleges should be doing for their students. I believe this, because today’s jobs/careers will evaporate over time, leaving the most important factor of quality of life as: how well one thinks and adapts to new situations/life demands.
I also believe he comes up short in his depiction of the classroom, meaning; I think it is important to define the classroom as more than tails sitting in seats listening to lectures, but as active minds and bodies exploring ideas in and out of the classroom, on and off the campus proper – learning in the laboratory of the word. Active, problem-centered, passionate, compassionate – these are the adjectives we should be applying to college learning and those doing the learning.
Gutting’s article was found today at this link: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/14/what-is-college-for/?hp