Friday, April 21, 2017
William Deresiewicz, EXCELLENT SHEEP: THE MISEDUCATION OF THE AMERICAN ELITE & THE WAY TO A MEANINGFUL LIFE
This is an important book about a disturbing trend: high school students are jumping through hoop after hoop to reach college, only to find themselves disaffected, depressed, and disconnected from their own emotions and psychological selves, including their interests and passions, after they arrive. They have tremendous intellectual horse power, a great work ethic, and no clue of what fascinates or engages them. He holds the system accountable--primarily the college admissions process which, in the face of record numbers of applications, focus on the "easy" measures--the GPA, the SAT, the ACT, the number of APs, the number of extracurriculars--instead of how a student learns, thinks, and participates in meaningful ways in the world. He also has suggestions for how to change it ... but it's not an optimistic ending. This does, however, help parents and educators support students in resisting the NOISE and in trying to develop their authentic passions in ways that ultimately lead to fulfilling lives and careers.