Mark C. Carnes Quotes
“The central argument is not that higher education is all wrong, but that it is only half right. Our predominant pedagogical system — rational, hierarchical, individualistic, and well-ordered — often ignores aspects of the self relating to emotion, mischievous subversion, social engagement, and creative disorder.”
“That same year , young anthropology professor Cathy Small went undercover as "Rebekah Nathan, undergraduate student" and lived in a first-year form at Northern Arizona University. She was repeating the study of anthropologist Michael Moffatt, who in 1977 had attempted to pass himself off as an undergraduate at Rutgers. Like him, she found virtually no evidence that students derived intellectual benefit from classes. They skipped more frequently than she had expected: in the one large course for which she had solid data, barely half came to class on any given day. The students in her dorm, moreover, almost never discussed academic issues — in class or outside of it. Small's 'most sobering' insight was 'how little intellectual life' mattered to students.”
“Senior scholars, insulated by tenure, pawn undergraduate instruction onto overburdened adjuncts and unprepared grad students. Beleaguered instructors ward off student resentment by offering fluff courses, assigning little work, and bestowing As with glad-handed largesse. This 'non-aggression' pact enables students to enjoy the social aspects of college without the inconvenience of doing much academic work, and it allows professors to focus on research (or carpentry or yoga) unencumbered by pestering students.”
“I'm a great test-taker," she explained. "I'm great at guessing what teachers are going to ask, and I can store dates and names like it's nobody's business. It was never a question of how much I knew, but how many correct answers I got. If I had thought about it, I would have realized that I had forgotten most of what I 'learned' three months or a semester later. But I never thought about my education. Why would I? I wasn't going to be tested on it.”
Mark C. Carnes
- Date of birth: November 17, 1950
- Description: Mark C. Carnes is Professor of History at Barnard College.