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« A Parable | Main | Dumb SpaceX Question »

A Potential Waste

Zeyad is coming to the US. That's good.

He's going to study journalism. That, not so much.

Jeff says that he's a "born journalist." If so, why need he study journalism?

Will he learn things in journalism school that actually make him a better journalist? Will he learn things that make him a worse one? Will he have to unlearn some of them to find his full potential?

No secret--I'm not a big fan of the major of journalism. I think of it as a metadegree, a pseudodegree, and one that in fact is probably almost as damaging and counterproductive as a degree in education, in which all of the training is about how to convey information, whereas very little actual information to convey is learned. Were it up to me, neither of these would even exist as majors, or schools.

If he persists in this, I hope that he'll be sure to take some classes that aren't required in a journalism curriculum, like statistics, and history, and logic, and solid training in basic science. And for the history classes, I hope that he can find a non-leftist instructor.

Good luck to him.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Here's a relevant piece in today's Journal (sorry, subscribers only, but I think it goes free after a week):

...a band of Democratic-leaning thinkers wants to reclaim the issue. Their proposal, unveiled yesterday, is simple: Get rid of bad teachers and reward good ones.

Simple, in this case, is significant on two counts. First, the proposal publicly confronts teachers' unions, an influential Democratic Party constituency, with the fact that bad teachers are part of the problem...

...[it] rests on several arguments: that the current practice of demanding certification based on teacher-training courses has outlived its usefulness, that routinely granting teachers lifetime tenure after two or three years is stupid, and that student test scores and other systemic ways to evaluate teachers are now good enough to act on.

Good for them. And good luck with that. I can already hear the howls and cries of "treason" from the NEA.

Posted by Rand Simberg at April 06, 2006 08:50 AM
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