Oh good

The NEA has some encouraging news about reading levels among Americans of all ages.


Things are looking dismal across the board here and, as I watch the NBC commercials interrupting Olympics coverage for TV programs which will be replacing literature this fall, it's small wonder the country in general is becoming harder and harder to explain things to.

It's interesting to look at these numbers, specifically the consistent declines among educated people, and wonder what it means that education has no effect on reading levels. Is higher education just powerless against the cultural trends engulfing the rest of the populace? Or is higher education today doing less to encourage personal intellectual growth than it used to? Or does the indispensibility of a college degree for most any white collar job mean that the college-educated population is less concerned with personal intellectual growth than he/she once was?

The last possibility bodes very poorly for the liberal arts education model favored in the US. As traditional four year institutions become prohibitively expensive for everyone but the very well-off, the rest of the population will nonetheless expect a college education, as a good job is virtually impossible without it. But that education will look very different, and will encourage very different benefits and values from the model we are used to.


Blogger Alex said...


12:56 AM  

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