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Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Great Dumbing-Down: Graduate School edition

More evidence that a college degree is literally worse than useless:
I am an instructor at a [university you would immediately recognize]. The director of the program is encouraging the entire faculty to alter their own teaching methods, based on an article that discusses how a professor at [another well-known university] found that she could improve the grades of her minority students through “inclusive teaching.”  By this she meant creating mandatory worksheets for students to fill out during each lecture (to "teach students how to take notes”), guided reading assignments, required class participation, online quizzes to check their progress,etc.  Basically all the busy work that everyone with an IQ over 95 hated in high school. The article was about implementing this regime in an undergraduate program, which is pathetic enough.   My [spouse] is being encouraged to use it in graduate level courses.  This is in a program that is considered to be extremely selective.
I always find it amusing when people expect me to show deference on the basis of someone's academic credentials. As far as I'm concerned, a PhD is a reliable indicator that you're dealing with a midwit.

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54 Comments:

Blogger Wynn Lloyd May 19, 2018 8:14 AM  

Also a disordered personality, or there's at least there's a good chance. Midwit is likely guaranteed.
Wish I had done something different but, that's life.

Blogger JACIII May 19, 2018 8:17 AM  

Much safer to assume "Active Stupid" given the collective damage done by these types. Or am I being redundant?

"Oh, you're not a real doctor...."

Blogger Uncle John's Band May 19, 2018 8:18 AM  

They love their hollow shells. It's all just discourse; if there's no substance, the titles are everything.

The standard for a PhD. was an original contribution to a field. It wasn't a checklist you completed, but an accomplishment you might or might not achieve. Sort of like earning a Gracie black belt or Russian Master of Sport. That worked when 5% of your population went to college and you needed a tiny professorate, because relatively few people are intellectually capable of that, and fewer still were drawn to academia.

The modern PhD is a product of university bloat. You need to crank out thousands of credentialed "instructors", graduate programs are a huge cash cow, and they keep useless BAs from facing the market. The programs are designed for high midwit put through. Most require minimal coursework (3-4 classes, mainly theory/methodology), have general exams as a formality, and push out theses that masticate theory rather than present new knowledge. Consider who the advisors are. Not exaggerating, a PhD in English has read less literature for specifically academic purposes than a BA in Tolkien's era.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore May 19, 2018 8:24 AM  

Education is dead. The dearth of articles about persons with Down's Syndrome going to college was warning which came after all the other warnings.

I remember something said by Stefan Molyneux; that there are many people in college who do not belong there.

Blogger Long Live The West May 19, 2018 8:29 AM  

Anyone with common sense should be able to figure out that a gender studies degree is going to land you a job flipping burgers.

On the other hand... An employer who recently visited my Tech School (which is the way to go!) said that roughly a third of the people in engineering type jobs will be retiring over the next ten years.

Blogger Invisible Man May 19, 2018 8:30 AM  

Since 2015 Oxford freshers have been obliged by the students' union to take 'race, equality and diversity' workshops. They are also obliged to agree that only white people can be racist. Obliged. So a PhD is and will be a reliable indicator that you're dealing with a bigot as well as a midwit.

Blogger Wynn Lloyd May 19, 2018 8:46 AM  

Woe to the fool who thinks he can overcome the dysfunction by selecting a particularly-rigorous program.
Sure, you will spend night after night deep in research, but it will avail you not. Not only that, your rigorous, intensive program will be looked down on as old-fashioned by many, if not most, academics.
The fool who dedicates his life to translating cuneiform, or the history of mathematics, or linguistics, etc. has no choice but to deal with "Mom's Spaghetti: Gender Feminism and the Work of Eminem," getting accolade after accolade, and the degenerate who wrote it getting prestigious job offers.
It will affect every area of your study. Did you find a stone tablet with text on it during a new excavation in Iraq? Or transliterate an entire set of charters from the archives of a Church in Lithuania, or some other topic dealing with paleography and hours and hours of working with frustrating manuscripts? Get ready to suck it up when grant after grant is given out based on who has a vagina. Or who is the right color.

Graduate programs are taking young people who could be learning skills valuable to society, and wasting their potential.
The GE's spending reform is a godsend. Unfortunately, protests by the midwits managed to save a good bit of federal funding for graduate education, but enough has been cut that a harsh blow has been dealt to these people. Yet more evidence that this is a great time to be alive.

Blogger Wynn Lloyd May 19, 2018 8:50 AM  

The counter-cultural influencers like Vox, Milo, Taylor, Kersey, et al, are so much more intellectually powerful and significant than the vast majority of tenured professors.
Hence the major attempt to shut them down via harsh censorship. Can't have the innovators overthrow the useless high priests. Truth be damned.

Anonymous Anonymous May 19, 2018 9:01 AM  

We've had to fire people with their master's degree. They're worse than untrainable. Little knowledge, no skills, pedantic excuses, and in need of constant praise.

Blogger tz May 19, 2018 9:07 AM  

The 6 figure participation certificate.

Blogger Johnny May 19, 2018 9:14 AM  

If you are an educated person the first step to enlightenment is to figure out that most of what you know is a crock. Either not materially relevant or simply not true.

Blogger Aidan MacLear May 19, 2018 9:24 AM  

Anecdotally, my fiance is a grad student in a hard science; she is responsible for teaching this hard science to prospective engineers.

We read these students' tests together for fun. Dumb as rocks, 80% of them. Don't drive over new bridges.

Academia has become incapable of weeding out the people who don't deserve to be there. The point of educating the entirety of the population from K-12 was to find potential geniuses and elites who would have otherwise slipped through the cracks. (all those poor genius peasants oppressed by the evil aristocrats, lol)

Attempting to cover up this ugly truth has made K-12 the most mendacious discipline in the world, and the slippery lies have all been crawling upward through the various levels of collegiate achievement.

Blogger Ken S. May 19, 2018 9:28 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Aidan MacLear May 19, 2018 9:33 AM  

Wynn Lloyd wrote:Graduate programs are taking young people who could be learning skills valuable to society, and wasting their potential.

If you learn a skill "valuable to society", "society" will use that value as a weapon to destroy you, your coreligionists, your family, your community, and your ethnicity. Our society is evil, and our young men should be learning the necessary skills to dismantle it, not keep the hideous thing running like white men in Brazil and Sou'frica do.

Blogger Lovekraft May 19, 2018 9:41 AM  

The ONLY benefit I can confidently say that my bachelor's degree provided was an ability in how to think, or approach an issue.

Which, come to think of it, could have been provided if I had a family/community support structure that wasn't feminist/liberal/boomerkumbaya.

Blogger Curlytop May 19, 2018 10:01 AM  

They have to dumb it down bc the big topic among academia behind closed doors is that by 2025 50% of K-12 classes will be LD classes. Folks, the colleges already employ people to help guide these LD and ED kids through adulthood.

And this is NOT just a minority issue. At the predominantly middle-upper middle class white Christian School where I teach, we have seen this statistic unfold rapidly in the past 2yrs. In my circles the topic of conversation is "who are our kids going to be able to talk to," let alone marry!?!

Blogger Patrikbc May 19, 2018 10:53 AM  

I only have an eight grade education, and I’ve done ok.

Blogger Crew May 19, 2018 11:15 AM  

And, of course, ‘Star Wars’ Writer: Lando Is A Sexually Fluid Pansexual

https://truepundit.com/star-wars-writer-lando-is-a-sexually-fluid-pansexual/

which probably just means he's willing to engage in a threesome with goats.

Blogger pyrrhus May 19, 2018 11:26 AM  

More evidence for my estimate that the US is losing at least 2 IQ points per generation....

Blogger Miguel May 19, 2018 11:30 AM  

"found that she could improve the grades of her minority students"

This is why women should stay away from public life. Their natural maternal instinct kicks in and they start "caring" for people whose descendents may, given time, kill their own offspring.

Anonymous Anonymous May 19, 2018 11:46 AM  

LD and ED kids through adulthood.And this is NOT just a minority issue. At the predominantly middle-upper middle class white Christian School where I teach, we have seen this statistic unfold rapidly in the past 2yrs

Common Core was designed to drag Asians/Whites down to brown levels. When kids have to take 90+ steps to do math Asian/Whites can do in their head it's because they are copying how Haiti teaches math instead of Japan/Germany. There are several assignments like "the jacket" that are designed to go against Occam's Razor.

Also there is not one image of a white girl next to a white boy in all common core material even though it would save money on ink.

And, of course, ‘Star Wars’ Writer: Lando Is A Sexually Fluid Pansexual

They tried to go gaynigger with Fin & the wetback pilot, but cut the scenes.

"found that she could improve the grades of her minority students"

A whole lot of work when she could just change the test scores

Blogger Mike Hertz May 19, 2018 11:49 AM  

Years ago my father explained to me what PhD meant, "pile it higher and deeper".

Blogger DraveckysHumerus May 19, 2018 11:55 AM  

I self-taught majority of my EE/CS toolkit and knowledge base. No way could I personally have developed the depth I did without the formal mentoring I received at graduate school. Law school curriculum was at least a year too long although I managed to sneak an LLM in IP during the third year. I worked my way through school, finishing in my 30's, but would take time-outs to escape, play and screw around. There aren't very many folks with my technical and legal background. Essentially we can name our price and, at least for now, collect our due on as many hours as we care to work. There was value added.

Blogger kurt9 May 19, 2018 12:27 PM  

I'm not surprised by this revelation. One of my best friends (who died last summer) told me about 2 years ago that the universities were so FUBAR that in his opinion they were beyond the possibility of being reformed and simply had to left to collapse so that some kind of new educational system could emerge to replace them. He further said that a major problem is that people are effectively banned from starting new universities because the accrediting agencies themselves are run by the existing universities and that they act as a cartel to prevent anyone from starting new universities. This is one reason why the "for profit" colleges were set up to be nothing more than scams for government supported student loans. No one was allowed to start new legitimate universities because the accrediting agencies would not recognize them no matter how good they were.

Serious anti-trust legislation needs to be brought to the education establishment. I suspect the reason why this does not happen is because the universities have their hands so far up the ass of the government they make the lips of either party move with their fingers.

This does present the interesting opportunity for another country with functional universities, particularly in STEM, to start recruiting American students.

Blogger Akulkis May 19, 2018 1:24 PM  

@Kurt9

Sad but true.

Blogger Taignobias May 19, 2018 1:44 PM  

@24

I want to create new forms of accreditation, but my research has come on two major stumblingblocks.

The first is trudt. Certifications are backed by either companies, who hold some monopoly (such as Cisco or Microsoft), or by sponsored organizations with similar powers (such as universities). They can enforce certain trusts, I think, and so it is difficulg to intrude on their markets.

The second is government. If you want to practice any form of medicine, for example, the law requires certain certifications from certain organizations. If you want to teach, you need certification from certain organizations. If you want to counsel troubled teens, you need certain degrees and licenses.

It's interwoven, such that monopolies can neither be created any longer (except by those already in the web) nor destroyed, unless the whole mess be undone entirely.

Blogger SouthRon May 19, 2018 1:44 PM  

Absolutely. The smartest person I have personally known had an IQ north of 170. He dropped out of a top Ivy League school after his Junior year.

Shortly thereafter, they gave him a PhD so they could have him teach graduate-level classes.

Blogger John Bradley May 19, 2018 2:09 PM  

We read these students' tests together for fun. Dumb as rocks, 80% of them. Don't drive over new bridges.

Or under them, for that matter. (FIU pedestrian bridge)

Blogger S'mon May 19, 2018 2:18 PM  

As far as academia here in the UK goes, I have a PhD from the '90s and I think I'm a bit above midwit, but certainly these days we put plenty of midwits through our PhD programme, and my Uni is a lot more rigorous in who we let in than most.

There is definitely a constant downward pressure on standards - we are pressured to let people in with lower qualifications, then we are pressured to have high median & mean grades (55%+, where a Pass is 50, Merit 60, Distinction 70), and high pass rates (pass 80%+).
I think my institution is better than most; many places seem to treat graduate study especially as a cash cow and let almost anyone in.

Blogger Mr. Bee May 19, 2018 2:19 PM  

This has been going on for a long time in one form or another. Anyone wonder why high tech businesses demand foreign technologists rather than Americans?

Blogger Metric May 19, 2018 2:26 PM  

Mean IQ of undergrads goes from ~100 to ~130, depending on subject area alone. Of course there will be many more low-IQ majors than high-IQ majors. Add some points for the filtering process of graduate school, and it's plausible that the average Ph.D. is a midwit. But accounting for subject area can take this from "near certainly correct" to "near certainly wrong."

Blogger RobertT May 19, 2018 3:01 PM  

I've taught grad school classes even though I don't have a grad degree. But I tried, Lord knows I tried, three times, but boredom stifled me out each time. I never met a single person in or around a grad school with a legitimate claim to intelligence. I have a friend who has a PhD in college administration or some other beauracratic nonsense, and he ranked in the lower half of my high school class. The main thing I remember is he was really into 'out of body' experiences and ouija boards.

Blogger R Doom May 19, 2018 3:19 PM  

As part of my research/book into what's happened to higher education, I registered and acquired the course materials for an 8000 level Administration course, holding the most advanced material the rules of our universities will ever see. It may provide some insight here:

http://professorconfess.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-deeper-look-at-anadministration.html

Blogger VoodooJock May 19, 2018 3:19 PM  

If they mention their degree within the first 10 minutes of meeting them, they're probably not even midwits.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 19, 2018 3:34 PM  

R Doom wrote:As part of my research/book into what's happened to higher education, I registered and acquired the course materials for an 8000 level Administration course, holding the most advanced material the rules of our universities will ever see.

Dude, B-School classes are always content free.

Blogger Trid May 19, 2018 3:39 PM  

Currently wrapping up a highly respected graduate program that's cost uncle Sam about 30k. These past two years plus the two years for my undergrad combined didn't even come close to covering the same breadth or depth of the same subject matter taught over a few intensive months while I was in the Army.

Higher education is a joke and it becomes more of a joke the higher you go. Home school your kids and home school yourself- free knowledge on the internet is available for anyone, at any pace.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 19, 2018 3:44 PM  

kurt9 wrote:... the accrediting agencies themselves are run by the existing universities and that they act as a cartel to prevent anyone from starting new universities. This is one reason why the "for profit" colleges were set up to be nothing more than scams for government supported student loans. No one was allowed to start new legitimate universities because the accrediting agencies would not recognize them no matter how good they were.

The for profit colleges may have originally intended to be legit, but without accreditation, their grads couldn't get jobs which required an accredited degree. They wound up with a lot of unemployed grads. They probably gave up on operating legit when they found out they couldn't and were profitable anyway.

kurt9 wrote:This does present the interesting opportunity for another country with functional universities, particularly in STEM, to start recruiting American students.

This might work. For example, India has universities (the various Indian Institutes) which have an excellent reputation for research. A bright fellow could actually learn something. Are foreign degrees generally accepted as meaningful credentials by government and the mega-corps?

Blogger The Kurgan May 19, 2018 4:29 PM  

The fourth and most dangerous type of human:
Active stupid.

Blogger tz May 19, 2018 5:08 PM  

@22
BS - Bull Shit.
MS - More Shit.
PhD - Piled Higher and Deeper.

Even when I went it was getting bad, and I was in the hard sciences and deep mathematics and I had a National Merit Scholarship.

I'm not sure anyone watches or reads the Wizard of OZ where the Scarecrow doesn't have a brain. At the end he still lacks a brain but has a diploma.

So many straw-men, so little time.

Blogger Akulkis May 19, 2018 5:19 PM  

@tz

--> SMRT <--

Blogger tublecane May 19, 2018 5:33 PM  

I used to be surprised by how surprised my professors were by my writing skills. Granted, this was at a state school and I was surrounded by people who probably didn't even bother to proofread themselves. Felt more sorry for professors having to read that junk than flattered.

I never did great in school until the last couple years of college, when suddenly I was a straight-A student. Which I chalk up to the fact that 90+% of people are illiterate.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 19, 2018 6:03 PM  

tublecane wrote:I used to be surprised by how surprised my professors were by my writing skills.

Writing intensive courses were very, very good for me. I think the profs appreciated that I wrote something sort of coherent, then stopped when I was done. It wasn't necessarily good, but it showed I'd been listening in class and it was brief and to the point.

Apparently ``know what you want to say, say it plainly and stop'' counted as advanced writing skills even thirty years ago.

Anonymous Anonymous May 19, 2018 6:05 PM  

Grade creep. Teach university-level students using the same methods that you use to teach high-schoolers.

At University level, a student should be at the point of being able to educate themselves. A baccalaureate should be an independent scholar. A doctor should not only be a scholar, but one that has made a meaningful contribution to their field that can be referenced by other scholars.

I always like to propose that the problem in the humanities could be fixed more-or-less instantly by restoring the latin requirement.

Anonymous Anonymous May 19, 2018 6:09 PM  

Oh, and while I'm at it: rid higher education of sportsball. Split vocational training off from academic streams. Most doctors and dentists are not and don't need to be academics. Reserve the Academy for it's traditional roles: fostering geniuses and jamming a little education into the children of the elites.

Blogger JC May 19, 2018 6:30 PM  

A member of my family was recently awarded a doctorate after writing about a very specific aspect of architectural history unique to where they live. Even for something this specific they were instructed explicitly that they had to shoehorn women/diversity aspects into it. Though not in the language I use.

I also have a friend from high school who I found out was doing a PhD years later. I'm no genius but he was at best a midwit. Another friend and I use to tease him about the exact entrance score he would get towards the end of high school which used to infuriate him. We were right to within a point(and this was a low score), and I don't think he ever forgot it.

Apart from the expense and the lack of real world use, those two anecdotes alone are enough to put me off higher education. I was lucky enough to have had a few good professors while I was in university but they were all older men who would now be retired or dead.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 19, 2018 6:38 PM  

paulmurray wrote:Split vocational training off from academic streams. Most doctors and dentists are not and don't need to be academics.

Same for engineers. We should be taught our trade in polytechnic schools, not universities. An engineering degree should include some math, some physics, some technical writing, and a whole lot of engineering.

Other professions can chime in as appropriate.

Anonymous Anonymous May 19, 2018 7:19 PM  

Well, there has been a general decline in quality. Not all PhD programs are like that, simply because not all PhD supervisors are like that. Some still demand that you publish your material in top journals/conferences, work independently, etc.

I've seen some horror shows, though. Real Peer Review (on twitter) routinely posts PhDs that are nothing more than glorified blog posts. Usually from education, gender studies, etc.

I made the mistake of reading a colleague's PhD thesis after noticing that she was silent meeting after meeting on topics within her alleged area of expertise. It was at the level of an undergraduate project. Grammatical errors every sentence, inept paragraph structure, a literature review that was almost comedy, and absolutely no formal methods despite it being in 'computer science'. Basically she designed an interactive website to ask questions about preferences, and had a trivial finite state machine model that allegedly tied it all together. Completely incompetent. Zero publications out of it, plus zero out of a subsequent postdoc at Stanford. So 7 years and nothing publishable. Instead of being ashamed, she goes around calling herself 'Dr'.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 19, 2018 8:45 PM  

jbwilson24 wrote:Zero publications out of it, plus zero out of a subsequent postdoc at Stanford. So 7 years and nothing publishable.

Even with a Vagina of Color, it's hard to imagine that she would ever have been offered a tenure track job with a record like that. Indeed, why even offer her another post doc if she's never published? I never even finished my PhD, and I have one scraggly little publication.

Blogger Pale Male May 19, 2018 11:03 PM  

she could improve the grades of her minority students through “inclusive teaching.” By this she meant creating mandatory worksheets for students to fill out during each lecture (to "teach students how to take notes”), guided reading assignments, required class participation, online quizzes to check their progress,etc. Basically all the busy work that everyone with an IQ over 95 hated in high school. The article was about implementing this regime in an undergraduate program, which is pathetic enough. My [spouse] is being encouraged to use it in graduate level courses.
If you bore all the average-to-smart students to death by burying them in pointless busywork, the dumber ones will score relatively better!  Amazing, isn't it?  (puke)

Long Live The West wrote:Anyone with common sense should be able to figure out that a gender studies degree is going to land you a job flipping burgers.
No, it might lead to a job in some corporate HR department.  Which is vastly more damaging.

Curlytop wrote:the big topic among academia behind closed doors is that by 2025 50% of K-12 classes will be LD classes. Folks, the colleges already employ people to help guide these LD and ED kids through adulthood.
This is because the browns, and especially the blacks, have been allowed to breed dysgenically and (especially the ghetto blacks) have an average IQ in the moron level.  Combine with radical egalitarianism and you get morons packing universities, or at least until they drop out.  Only a mass sterilization program can solve this without massive bloodshed.

bgkoranburner wrote:Common Core was designed to drag Asians/Whites down to brown levels. When kids have to take 90+ steps to do math Asian/Whites can do in their head it's because they are copying how Haiti teaches math instead of Japan/Germany.
That's what I figured all the counting of dots to "teach" multiplication was about, but I didn't know Haiti was the model.

Administrators who purchase such course materials should be sent to prison for one count of child abuse for each child subjected to such crap.

DraveckysHumerus wrote:I self-taught majority of my EE/CS toolkit and knowledge base.
You used to be able to get a solid grounding in EE basics just by reading ARRL teaching materials.  I don't know if those books are still in print, but I suspect they're at least available as downloads from somewhere.

kurt9 wrote:a major problem is that people are effectively banned from starting new universities because the accrediting agencies themselves are run by the existing universities and that they act as a cartel to prevent anyone from starting new universities.
This hasn't stopped e.g. Microsoft and Cisco from having their own set of certs for various subjects, which are granted by exam.  Training in trades like electricians and HVAC are by apprenticeship.  Why not the same for EE/ME/CS, only call it something else?  There might be room to go around the system and make it irrelevant.

This does present the interesting opportunity for another country with functional universities, particularly in STEM, to start recruiting American students.
You are not the only one thinking along those lines.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 19, 2018 11:28 PM  

Pale Male wrote:Training in trades like electricians and HVAC are by apprenticeship. Why not the same for EE/ME/CS, only call it something else? 

We already have that apprenticeship in engineering, although we call it something else. Unfortunately, you need five years experience to qualify for the PE test and the entrance requirement for that is an accredited college degree.

Blogger S'mon May 20, 2018 5:35 AM  

I doubt there are many other countries with better higher education. Either they are cultural Marxist or corrupt or both.

The most robust standards I have seen tend to be in former British empire African colonies like Nigeria, ironically enough.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd May 20, 2018 9:50 AM  

S'mon wrote:The most robust standards I have seen tend to be in former British empire African colonies like Nigeria, ironically enough.

Interesting. In graduate school I had an officemate from Kenya. I got to know half a dozen Kenyans as a result. I liked them, but they weren't really bright enough to be there. If Kenyan higher ed is rigorous, it must be at a low level if they were representative examples.

Blogger Crew May 20, 2018 11:23 AM  

Interesting. In graduate school I had an officemate from Kenya. I got to know half a dozen Kenyans as a result. I liked them, but they weren't really bright enough to be there.

I guess it depends on time horizons and whether or not the organizations they are going into can go broke.

Governments never go broke until the country/empire falls apart. Businesses, OTOH, go broke all too frequently and as a result are far more selective about their employees, for the most part. That is not to say that they don't employ some people for diversity Pokemon points, but they tend to be fewer.

Blogger MendoScot May 20, 2018 1:39 PM  

The Colonial education system was probably the best in the world, in its time. I grew up in it, in Hong Kong. When I returned to Europe, I spent a year effectively out of education (except learning French, German and knitting) and then entered the UK system, already a year young for the schedule.

My education was a year advanced over the very progressive central London school I entered. It wasn't just intelligence - they had started the dumbing down over 40 years ago.

Now, it's pathetic. I mourn for the good ones because they are being taught to peck for grain, instead of flying like eagles.

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