Monday, June 25, 2012

Postrel and Cowen on Schooling

praises and excerpts a post by Steve Postrel about the signalling model of schooling and the rising cost of University level education.  

In it he attacks the signaling model on education but talks a lot about rigor and the lessening for rigor in a negative way.  

If schooling is about capital formation shouldn’t rigor be reduced over time as new discoveries about how to educate and new technologies come on line?

If the goal is to teach more people more of what they need to know to live a better more productive life we should never focus on rigor.  We should rather focus on what is learned. Instead of talking about rigor we should discussing that students need to learn more information, more important information and develop better skills. Once you mention rigor, though it can be a tool to get people to learn more, I think signaling because rigor is an indirect goal. Rigor in the non-signaling model in never the goal, learning is the goal and we are not sure that rigor always increases learning (see Robert Frank).

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