Home > Perspective > A Look At Elite Education

A Look At Elite Education

My sister commended an article entitled ‘The Disadvantages of an Elite Education’ to my attention today, and I think it’ll very likely also be of interest to you the reader. The author’s main contention is that the school systems that produce the elite in his country generally produce a certain type of elite that is deficient in several ways, and that the product is the natural result of a flawed and self-perpetuating system. The author, William Deresiewicz, taught English at Yale for 10 years, and he refers to a kind of narrow success culture he observed in his experience at many points in the essay.

I also think the timing of the article coming to my attention is just slightly uncanny. Earlier today I was interviewed as part of the admissions process to a certain liberal arts college, and in the preceding days and weeks I have heard the occasional question or suppressed question (in the tone of voice) about why my first choice (and only application this year) is what it is. (I’ll leave the unsaid implications unsaid.) Also as a matter of interest, one of the points that came up during the rather lengthy conversation was about my own identification with the school tradition that I have been a part of. It was a meaty and slightly knotty topic, but mostly meaty. This is a different sort of school from the ones the author of the article has in mind, but in today’s conversation ideas like exclusivity and old boys’ networks cropped up as well.

(Thanks for the recommendation, sister.)

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