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Amor Mundi 9/15/13

Hannah Arendt considered calling her magnum opus Amor Mundi: Love of the World. Instead, she settled upon The Human Condition. What is most difficult, Arendt writes, is to love the world as it is, with all the evil and suffering in it. And yet she came to do just that. Loving the world means neither…Read more Amor Mundi 9/15/13 Posted on 16 September 2013 | 2:13 pm

Defending the Humanities While Trashing Them

Leon Wieseltier, the longtime cultural editor of the New Republic, dedicated his commencement address at Brandeis last month to a defense of the humanities. He asks, “Has there ever been a moment in American life when the humanities were cherished less, and has there ever been a moment in American life when the humanities were…Read more Defending the Humanities While Trashing Them Posted on 21 June 2013 | 4:07 pm

On MOOCs; and Some Possible Futures for Higher Ed

Barely more than a year old, MITx and edX now dominate discussion about the future of higher education like nothing else I have seen in my time in Cambridge, MA. I have been teaching at MIT for more than 10 years now, and can’t remember any subject touching directly on university life that came even…Read more On MOOCs; and Some Possible Futures for Higher Ed Posted on 4 June 2013 | 12:19 pm

Looking Beyond A Digital Harvard

Graduation is upon us. Saturday I will be in full academic regalia mixing with the motley colors of my colleagues as we send forth yet another class of graduates onto the rest of their lives. I advised three senior projects this year. One student is headed to East Jerusalem, where she will be a fellow…Read more Looking Beyond A Digital Harvard Posted on 24 May 2013 | 12:22 pm

Amor Mundi 5/5/13

Hannah Arendt considered calling her magnum opus Amor Mundi: Love of the World. Instead, she settled upon The Human Condition. What is most difficult, Arendt writes, is to love the world as it is, with all the evil and suffering in it. And yet she came to do just that. Loving the world means neither uncritical acceptance nor contemptuous…Read more Amor Mundi 5/5/13 Posted on 6 May 2013 | 12:32 pm

MOOCs: The Debate Continues

After months in which university after university signed on to the bandwagon for Massive Open Online Courses called MOOCs, the battle over the future of education has finally begun. This week Duke University pulled out of EdX, the Harvard/MIT led consortium of Massive Open Online Courses called MOOC’s. The reason: Its faculty rebelled. According to…Read more MOOCs: The Debate Continues Posted on 3 May 2013 | 4:10 pm

The Great Divide

In this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education, Richard D. Kahlenberg lifts (or rips) the band-aid off a wound that has been festering for decades. For much of the 20th century, class animated campus Marxists. Since the 1970s, race and gender have largely supplanted class as the source of youthful protest. But the pendulum is swinging…Read more The Great Divide Posted on 19 February 2013 | 1:17 pm

MLK and the Purpose of Education

You know elite universities are in trouble when their professors say things like Edward Rock. Rock, Distinguished Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and coordinator of Penn’s online education program, has this to say about the impending revolution in online education: We’re in the business of creating and disseminating knowledge. And in 2012,…Read more MLK and the Purpose of Education Posted on 8 February 2013 | 1:15 pm

The Humanities and Common Sense

In this post, academics and university faculty will be criticized. Railing against college professors has become a common pastime, one practiced almost exclusively by those who have been taught and mentored by those whom are now being criticized. It is thus only fair to say upfront that the college education in the United States is,…Read more The Humanities and Common Sense Posted on 10 August 2012 | 1:48 pm