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Tag Archives: Education

Richard Davis requests

Here are some answers, I put his questions — from Request for Requests – in bold: Melancholy among academics. We’re a pretty sorry bunch, and many of us don’t have so much professionally to live for, at least not at the relevant margin — it is easy to lose forward momentum and never recover it, given the constraints and incentives in the profession and broader pressures toward conformity.  Rates of depression in academia, and especially in graduate school, are...

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A weird Lancastrian method for reopening higher education

I’m not sure this could work, but everyone else is doing weird ideas, so let’s consider another one. Remember Lancastrian methods of education from 19th century England?  Part of the idea was to keep small group size, and economize on labor, by having the students teach each other, typically with the older students instructing the younger. Here is my suggestion: have students use an app to arrange in-person meetings, in groups of five, for periods of a few weeks running.  Social...

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Interview with Josh Angrist

From the Richmond Fed Bulletin: EF: You’ve looked at the question of how much peers matter. Many parents obviously seek schools where they believe their children will have higher-quality peers, whatever they may mean by that term. You and your co-authors have looked at Boston and New York City selective public schools, and you concluded that peer effects don’t seem to matter much. Why is that? Angrist: I’m always beating that drum. I think people are easily fooled by peer...

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Are faculty myopic?

Facing devastating financial losses related to the coronavirus pandemic, colleges and universities are cutting costs just about everywhere they can. Increasingly, that includes faculty and staff retirement benefits. Duke, Georgetown, Northwestern and Texas Christian Universities are some of the institutions to announce cuts to retirement contributions in recent days. Some of these decisions have been more severe and more controversial than others… Georgetown president John J. DeGioia...

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Covid career advice for young workers

Given COVID-19 and its accompanying economic issues, what do you think people in their early-mid 20s should be doing or thinking about right now in terms of saving, spending, career planning, etc.? What’s overlooked or wrong in the most obvious or common advice? (I.e., “sit tight”, “spend some money at local businesses”, “give to charity”, “learn a new skill”, etc.) Obviously, employment status matters and different skillsets, talents,...

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The economics of college vs. the economics of private tutors

How can you possibly justify a $200,000+ college expense? How can you justify a $100,000+ college expense? This is not necessary. The average tenure hopeful adjunct makes $40 an hour. If you were to employ her as a private tutor at the cost of $60 an hour, and had four hours with her a week, and did that for 14 weeks (that’s the length of an average college course folks) that is about $3,400. Were you to employ three such professor-tutors, that would be about $10,200, or a bit over...

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*The WEIRDest People in the World*

That is the new 655 pp. book by Joseph Henrich, due out September 8, and yes it is “an event.”  The subtitle is “How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous,” and that is indeed one of the very most important questions in all of social science. “WEIRD” of course refers to “Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.”  And is it not weird that we (some of us, at least) are WEIRD? Here is an excerpt from...

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Some reflections on GRE scores

The evidence indicates that GRE scores predict graduate school success, general intelligence, and also that SAT scores predict later success in science.  Here is further evidence, and here is yet further evidence. You don’t have to think that “high GRE score fields” are better than “low GRE score fields.”  Many of my friends, for instance, think string theory is intellectually bankrupt, despite many of its proponents being very, very smart.  I don’t have an...

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What should I ask Paul Romer?

I will be doing a second Conversation him, including about testing but by no means only.  What should I ask him?  For purposes of reference here was my first Conversation with him, likely I won’t repeat any of the same questions, though of course you are free to suggest I should. The post What should I ask Paul Romer? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

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Online Education is Better

The COVID-19 crisis is accelerating a long-term trend, the shift to online education. I’ve long argued that online education is superior to traditional models. In an excellent essay in the New York Times, Veronique Mintz, an eighth-grade NYC student agrees: Talking out of turn. Destroying classroom materials. Disrespecting teachers. Blurting out answers during tests. Students pushing, kicking, hitting one another and even rolling on the ground. This is what happens in my school every...

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