Lecture: "The Failures of the Elite Education System"


Location: 101 DeBartolo Hall

The Dean’s Fellows present William Deresiewicz, former professor at Yale University and Columbia University, who will discuss “The Failures of the Elite Education System.”

As a Yale professor, Deresiewicz saw something deeply troubling. His students were adrift when it came to the big questions: how to think critically and creatively, and how to find a sense of purpose.

In his book, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite, he takes a sharp look at the “high-pressure conveyor belt” that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and continues into college. As schools shift focus from the liberal arts to narrowly “practical” subjects, Deresiewicz argues that students are losing the ability to think for themselves.

Deresiewicz asserts that college should be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success in order to forge their own path, while answering the question, “What is the good life and how should I live it?”

This event is part of the Dean’s Fellows speaker series, “Stepping Away from the Ivory Tower.”

Sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters Office of the Dean, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Center for Social Concerns, Campus Ministry, First Year of Studies, Center for the Study of Religion and Society, the Glynn Family Honors Program, the Hesburgh-Yusko Scholars Program, the Program of Liberal Studies, the College of Science, the Department of Psychology, and the College of Engineering.