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绡僵*鎺ㄨ崘 :教師力量的全部秘密

篮球竞彩nba www.xvrnl.com   Light, Truth and Whatever


  Andrew Delbanco must be a great teacher. A longtime faculty member at Columbia, he is devoted to the development of his students as individuals, and recognizes that their time in college should be formative: “They may still be deterred from sheer self-interest toward a life of enlarged sympathy and civic responsibility.” Like most professors devoted to teaching, he has no interest in telling undergraduates what to think, but he does want to draw them toward a sense of skepticism about the status quo and to a feeling of wonder about the natural world. College, he tells us, is a time to learn to “make connections among seemingly disparate phenomena,” to see things from another’s point of view and to develop a sense of ethical responsibility. At a time when many are trying to reduce the college years to a training period for economic competition, Delbanco reminds readers of the ideal of democratic education.

  安德魯·德爾班科(Andrew Delbanco)一定是一位偉大的老師。他長期任教于哥倫比亞大學,致力于把他的學生培養成獨立的人,他認識到他們的在校時間應該有助于他們的成長:“徹底的自私可能會阻礙他們擴展同情心,影響他們負起公民的責任。”他跟大多數獻身于教學的教授一樣,興趣不在于告訴本科生該思考什么,但他確實希望他們擁有對現狀的懷疑精神和對自然界的好奇心。他告訴我們,大學時光真正該學習的是:“把看上去風馬牛不相及的現象聯系起來”、從他人的角度看待事物、培養道德責任感。現如今很多人想要縮減學院歲月,將其改造成順應經濟競爭的培訓期。而在此時,德爾班科提醒讀者,不要忘記民主教育的理想。

  In “College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be,” he recalls this ­ideal’s roots in English and American Protestantism. In this country, education was never supposed to be only about imparting information. It has long included character development — turning the soul away from selfish concerns and toward community. Delbanco cites Emerson’s version of this turning: “The whole secret of the teacher’s force lies in the conviction that men are convertible. And they are. They want awakening.” Even secular teachers are trying to “get the soul out of bed, out of her deep habitual sleep.”

  在《大學:過去,現在,以及應當怎樣》("College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be")一書中,他追溯了這一理想在英國和美國新教中的根源。在美國,教育從來不只是傳播信息。它一直包含著性格養成——使靈魂離開對自我的關注,轉向群體。德爾班科引用了愛默生(Emerson)關于這種轉向的敘述:“教師力量的全部秘密在于,相信人是可以改變的。人確實如此。他們希望覺醒。”哪怕是世俗的老師也在努力“把靈魂喚醒,從她慣常的沉睡中喚醒。”

  By the end of the 19th century, this commitment to character formation, to sustaining “curiosity and humility,” as Delbanco writes, was in sharp tension with a commitment to professionalization. Colleges were becoming universities, which meant they were getting into the business of research. Community took a back seat to expertise, and schools once exclusively devoted to undergraduate learning sought prestige through the development of graduate and professional schools.


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  With the substantial increase in the number of students wanting to pursue a college degree and the expansion of the number of fields of learning that schools were expected to cover, the dream of a “common learning experience” for undergraduates faded in favor of offering a plethora of courses from which to choose. Modern universities are meant to produce knowledge through specialization, and they often reward faculty members by giving them “relief” from teaching. Our best universities are adept at steering resources to their most productive researchers, but the undergraduate curriculum gets little more than lip service. “Very few colleges tell their students what to think,” Delbanco notes, and “most are unwilling even to tell them what’s worth thinking about.”


  Curiously, the elite universities’ neglect of their core college mission has coincided with a frenzied competition to enter their gates. The desire for learning and character formation seems no longer to motivate a majority of college applicants (or their parents), but the desire to gain access to the schools with the highest rankings certainly does. Selective universities confer status, and their diplomas are thought to bring higher earnings. The wealthy have a much better chance of appearing qualified for admission; high schools for the rich know how to polish those résumés and pump up those SAT scores. At many schools, the so-called meritocracy in admissions is increasingly an excuse for reproducing economic inequality. The class divide grows ever greater; those with money and those without “know less and less about each other,” Delbanco writes.

  奇怪的是,在精英大學忽視他們的核心任務的同時,進入大學的競爭卻變得非常瘋狂。學習和性格養成的欲望好像已經激勵不了大學的申請者(或他們的父母)了,但進入排名最高的大學的欲望卻能夠鼓動他們。挑剔的大學能賦予學生更高的地位,它們的畢業證書被認為會帶來更高的收入。有錢人更有機會顯得符合錄取條件;有錢人的高中知道如何把簡歷打扮得更漂亮,以及如何提高SAT(學術能力評估測試)分數。在很多大學,所謂的擇優錄取日益成為復制經濟不平等的借口。德爾班科寫道,階級差異越來越大;有錢人和窮人的“相互了解越來越少”。<-->紐約時報中英文網 //www.xvrnl.com<-->

  It’s no wonder that politicians on the right are now exploiting resentment about higher education, even though their own economic policies would increase income inequality. Universities have become complicit in solidifying the class divide by instilling in their students a sense of entitlement: you got in because you deserved to, and once we certify your talent, you’re entitled to whatever you can accumulate in the future.


  Delbanco surveys this sad terrain, but he knows it’s not the whole story. Over the last 40 years many highly selective schools have emphasized creating a diverse undergraduate student body in the belief that this results in a deeper educational experience. Liberal arts education has moved away from cultivating homogeneity and toward creating a campus community in which people can learn from their differences while finding new ways to connect. This has nothing to do with political correctness or identity politics. It has to do with preparing students to become lifelong learners who can navigate in and contribute to a heterogeneous world after graduation.

  德爾班科考察了這個可悲的領域,但他知道這還不是全部真相。在過去40年間,許多非常挑剔的大學都強調要培養各種各樣的本科學生,因為它們相信這會給學生帶來更深入的教育經歷。通識教育(Liberal arts education)放棄培養同質的學生,轉而創造這樣的校園:在其中人們能夠從他們的差異中學到東西,同時發現新的交往方式。這跟政治正確或身份政治無關。它是要讓學生準備好做一個終身學習者,以便畢業后能夠在一個混雜的世界中暢行并有所貢獻。

  Selective colleges and universities ought to be shaping campus communities that maximize each undergraduate’s ability to go beyond his or her comfort zone to learn from the most unexpected sources. To do so, and to deliver on the promise of our ideals, we must maintain robust financial aid programs and end the steep rise of tuition. If we’re to become more affordable and more responsible, we must replace spending for cachet with investments in student learning.


  Delbanco stresses that “one of the insights at the core of the college idea” is the notion that “to serve others is to serve oneself by providing a sense of purpose, thereby countering the loneliness and aimlessness by which all people, young and old, can be afflicted.” Like John Dewey, he knows that education is a “mode of social life” in which we learn the most by working with others. Like William James, he prizes those “invasive” learning experiences that open us up to the “fruits for life.” The American college is too important “to be permitted to give up on its own ideals,” Delbanco writes. He has underscored these ideals by tracing their history. Like a great teacher, he has inspired us to try to live up to them.

  德爾班科強調,“學院理念的核心洞見之一”是“幫助別人就是幫助自己,使自己獲得使命感,從而克服所有人——無論年輕還是年老——都會有的孤獨和無所事事心理。”他像約翰·杜威(John Dewey)那樣,知道教育是“一種社會生活方式”,我們通過與他人的合作來學習。他像威廉·詹姆士(William James)那樣,珍視那些“侵略性的學習經歷”,正是這種經歷讓我們得以暢享“生命的果實”。德爾班科寫道,美國學院太重要了,“不能允許它們放棄理想”。他追溯了這些理想的歷史,凸顯了其價值。跟偉大的老師一樣,他鼓舞我們努力去實現這些理想。



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