Of MOOCs and Mission

Let us hope that MOOCs [“The ABCs of MOOCs,” Summer 2013] will be big enough to call a smaller UW–Madison back to its mission. It is the large universities that have decided that Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are not essential. Minimum exposure to natural science is mandatory while philosophy is ignored.

This has fostered the “trade-school mindset.” Having abandoned its historic calling, demanding a competent grasp of what antiquity teaches in our search for wisdom, the mega-university may see credentialing migrate to the trade-school model. … Downsizing enrollment and tenured faculty may be easy compared to repositioning the massive physical plant.

Joseph F. O’Connor ’68
Chicago

Published in the Fall 2013 issue

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