Sunday, December 7, 2014

Someone Who Doesn't Like Linked Articles Sends Us One.

Not one for linked articles, I did just read and needed to share this.

What struck me, besides one graduate calling it "a totally unique snowflake, and comparing it to other schools is next to impossible, " was that this is what teaching used to be for me. Now, I actually wonder if my intellectual chops are such that I could be a student here.

8 comments:

  1. Shimer is the real-deal college; a tiny, Socratic institution working in the scholastic tradition of the middle ages, which is why it lacks a class body under 200 students.

    I can see a future of small, intense schools heavily focused on one branch of knowledge or the other, and the general-purpose university fading away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. I'm on board for any sort of path like the one suggested.

      Delete
  2. Small and intense Shimer may be, and the real deal it certainly is. But "heavily focused on one branch of knowledge"? No, a Great Books program is generalist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "No, a Great Books program is generalist."

      As long as the subject is the Great Books; you can't go there for a cybernetics degree.

      Delete
    2. Which is sort of the definition of specialization, innit? The curriculum at Shimer teaches you how to think in the context of great thinkers of the past. It doesn't teach up-to-date knowledge; that would be specialization.

      Delete
  3. The article is terrific. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds pretty good to me, too -- not for everyone, of course, but a really good fit for some, and certainly offering an education as strong or stronger than many students get at much larger colleges. The key, of course, is what students make of what's offered as well as the actual offerings, and it sounds like students who are unwilling or unable to make the best of what they're offered aren't going to last long at Shimer (which means that those who make it through to a degree have proven, as well as learned, something).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Experiment time: have every flagship university establish a Shimer-like college within itself. Wouldn't cost much and the benefits just might astonish everyone.

    Disclaimer: one of my best professors at Jerry Sandusky University left there to work at Shimer.

    ReplyDelete