EN/SANE World

Saturday, February 13, 2010

OT: "The Big Lie"

Thinking about getting that Ph.D.? Read this article, OK? It's sometimes hard to find folks who "tell it like it is" from the inside out, so I'd definitely pay attention.

2 Comments:

  • I feel pretty fortunate to have been told this kind of stuff during my undergrad. My theory professor told us, straight up, "Don't go for a PhD. You won't get a job." If anything, I went to grad school for my Master's knowing it might not help but that it would be a good experience, for me. And as my wife's graduation date looms over the next year, I know that academic jobs in the areas of her grad school choices are already slim-pickings.

    So I feel prepared for the inevitable "dramatic reverb" of possibly teaching only adjunct for a couple of years. And I have a couple of back-up plans.

    But I've definitely met my share of grad students who came to school with hopes of academic greatness, only to find they have a real problem getting a job or even getting admitted to PhD programs after graduation :-/

    By Blogger Ben Villarreal, at 2:37 PM  

  • Yeah, the article speaks to what James Gee said in his contribution to the New London Group Project a few years back: The "new truth" in education means we're going to have to admit that current systems aren't fair and that some folks just aren't going to make it, just by the nature of things but not necessarily their natures. I think what I appreciate from the linked article is the author's pegging lower and middle-class work ethics and expectations. So many of us are sold the American Dream -- I know I was -- but when I can see friends back home making as much and more than I am with little more than some community college or a generalist undergraduate degree, I have to wonder. I also like that he blamed the system instead of talented people. Especially as a grad student, I've seen so many truly intelligent people scoffed by university faculty while they exalt folks whom I consider mediocre and sometimes event lazy. The article also makes me feel that more fortunate to be in a tenure-track position.

    By Blogger Bucky C., at 9:15 PM  

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