Citizen, Renew Thyself

Barack Obama Teaching Power Analysis

A citizens movement doesn’t have to be leaderless, but the kinds of leaders ensconced at the top of large institutions are not well-suited to be the leaders of civic renewal movements. They can inspire and celebrate such movements, but neither Barack Obama nor Bernie Sanders nor Pope Francis can lead them. Their institutional authority appears to be inimical to the very bottom-up power they’re trying to engender.

Foucault on Education and Human Capital

From Foucault’s Collège de France lecture on March 14th, 1979 (in what the publisher has misnamed The Birth of Biopolitics despite the fact that that year’s lectures basically spelled the end of Foucault’s work on biopolitics and focused on the limitation of state control over the market): What does it mean to form human capital, and so… Continue reading Foucault on Education and Human Capital

The Teleological Paradox in Utilitarianism and Education

In my brief response to Community College Dean a few weeks back, I said something that I think is pretty obvious, but that is often ignored: humanities advocates spend so much time fighting the instrumental approach to education [because] you’ve got to pretend like time doesn’t matter, or else the education won’t work. Consider the classic… Continue reading The Teleological Paradox in Utilitarianism and Education

Administrative Bloat?

Confessions of a Community College Dean takes on one of my cherished beliefs, that “Administrative Bloat” drives skyrocketing tuition: Never mind that this assertion has been empirically discredited, or that the “supervisory” ranks in colleges have shrunk even faster than the full-time faculty ranks.  The only actual growth has been in IT, services for students with… Continue reading Administrative Bloat?