Should Undergraduates Specialize - Book Report/Review Example

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“Should Undergraduates Specialize?” by Patrick Allitt delves into the heart of how the current undergraduate system of education exists. Ultimately, Allitt promotes the understanding that the current undergraduate system of education is fundamentally flawed. …
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Should Undergraduates Specialize
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Patrick Allitt’s article, en d “Should Undergraduates Specialize?”, delves into the heart of how the current undergraduate system of education exists. Ultimately, Allitt promotes the understanding that the current undergraduate system of education is fundamentally flawed; due in part to its inherent lack of choice concerning a level of specialization or focus that the student is able to engage. As a function of briefly detailing and responding to his arguments, this particular brief analysis will seek to engage in a review of Allitt’s main points.
Firstly, Allitt points to the fact that the high cost of education is already an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of young people, and their families, around the nation. As such, for those few individuals that might already know what they wish to specialize in, it is something of an unreasonable torture to expect them to pay for core curriculum and requirements that will have virtually no use or application within their professional careers. Drawing upon this, Allitt points to the fact that by not allowing these students to choose what they will do early, the system itself is discouraging achievement; especially for those most likely to be desirous of completing their education and practicing their trade/craft within the workforce.
Yet, notwithstanding this, Allitt does not promote the understanding that all undergraduates should specialize or should be encouraged to skip the core college curriculum. Instead, he only asserts that for those select few who have a firm understanding of what it is that they wish to do, it is not something that should be forced upon them; either on an educational level or on a financial level.
Additionally, Allitt points to the fact that the absurdity of college applications necessarily means that students who would otherwise have little to no interest in being a civicly minded individual are behaving in a set way; merely as a means of putting a check in the box for their college admissions. Ultimately, Allitt promotes the understanding that high school organizations are littered with students that have little if any desire to be there; solely because they hope their presence in whatever group or organization is in question will somehow facilitate their entry into a desired school (Allitt 1). Naturally, this “dead weight” that is exhibited within these organizations is neither good for the student nor for the organization itself. Instead of realizing that the system itself is flawed and that membership within these groups oftentimes counts for nothing, the system is perpetuated and students are led to believe that the best way to operate within the current world is to fake one’s interest and level of engagement; hoping that it is believed. This is quite obviously a horrible example to put forward and encourages young people to behave in an unethical and reprehensible manner.
According to the points that were put forward by Allitt, it is the understanding of this particular reviewer that the points were directly on topic and spoke to the current needs of the system. The United States continues to lag further and further behind the remainder of the industrialized world in terms of education. As such, it is the further belief of this reviewer that by instituting some of the changes that Allitt alluded to, the system as a whole could be improved, streamlined, and more effective.
Work Cited
Allitt, Patrick. "Should Undergraduates Specialize? - The Chronicle Review." The Chronicle of Higher Education. N.p., 16 June 2006. Web. 5 May 2014. Read More
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