Friday, February 17, 2006

Don't do as I do ...

I suspect that the voyeuristic fantasies of professors include wondering what goes on in the classrooms of their colleagues. Just sitting in is perfectly legal but done by very few. We would probably find uplifiting as well as depressing experiences.

At Harvard, the most popular course is now Psych 1504 and, from this review, it sounds like therapy masquerading as academics. But does it matter?

We hear the steady lament about too few domestic students bothering with engineering and science. But international students are more than happy to take the places that American students cannot be bothered with. And many of them stay and work here, enriching us all.

My only worry is that the rest of the world has a way of wanting to copy what we do. What then happens to our supply of budding scientific talent when courses like Psych 1504 become the fad in Asia?