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Amor Mundi Newsletter 3/9/14

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 Newsletter 3/9/14 Posted on 10 March 2014 | 1:40 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

The MOOCs Debate Continues

Thinking stops us. To think is to slow down, even stop, turn around, and reflect. There is that famous scene in the Symposium where Socrates simply stands there in the street for hours, thinking. Barbara Sukowa, in the new film Hannah Arendt, literally smokes saying nothing for minutes on end to offer the exemplary sense…Read more The MOOCs Debate Continues Posted on 17 May 2013 | 2:12 pm

The Progeny of Teachers II: Philip Roth

“Like all great teachers, he personified the drama of transformation through talk.”  —Philip Roth It may be the twinkle in the eye when a light flashes in the student’s mind, or the subtle rise of the head as insight hits, or a purposeful nod as veils of darkness flutter amidst a gust of comprehension. These…Read more The Progeny of Teachers II: Philip Roth Posted on 22 April 2013 | 10:06 am

Avoiding the Catch-22

The NY Times Editorial page takes aim at online education on Monday. It turns out that studies show that more students in online classes drop out of classes, more fail, and fewer graduate. This is not surprising. But one might ask so what? Online courses are proliferating and will continue to do so because they…Read more Avoiding the Catch-22 Posted on 19 February 2013 | 2:47 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 Higher Education Bubble? Not So Fast.

We have a higher education bubble. The combination of unsustainable debt loads on young people and the advent of technological alternatives is clearly set to upend the staid and often sclerotic world of higher education. In this month’s The American Interest, Nathan Hardin—the author of Sex & God at Yale: Porn, Political Correctness, and a…Read more The Higher Education Bubble? Not So Fast. Posted on 23 January 2013 | 10:43 am