49:26 minutes (23.73 MB)
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So I teach one college class a year, at Trinity College. And one the first night, ever year, I tell them that I'm not a real professor and that therefore I am not wedded to the idea that there has to be a course taught by me and that people have to take it. It's not a default setting.
And I tell them that, every year, what I decide is that there's no point in my teaching a course unless I can make them better citizens and better critical thinkers. Jefferson said the purpose of public education was the make average people better able to safeguard their liberties against the depredations of tyrants. Works for me! And then on the last night of the course, I remind them about the first night. If heads nod, if they understand why they're better citizens, it's a win.
UCONN professor Gaye Tuchman has written a book that explains how grotesquely out of step with modern college realities that whole notion is. Universities make money and train workers. Who knew?