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College Students Know Nothing | Leslie Epstein

You may think your college kid is a know-it-all, but Leslie Epstein disagrees wholeheartedly.

Epstein, Director of the Creative Writing Program at Boston University, argues that an evaluation of our universities can be summed up by three facts.  First, in his opinion, college students know nothing.  Second,  studies show that university students’ empathy is decreasing by the decade.  And finally, 58% of male Harvard students work on Wall Street after graduation — definitely not a good thing.

In Epstein’s eyes, students aren’t being given the right kind of education — one in which “[they] learn about the best that human beings have created, the best and most profound things they have thought, and the most daring things that they have done.”

When Epstein’s students failed to recognize the names of cultural greats like Joseph Haydn, Ingmar Bergman and Bach, he began to believe the problem with education was greater than he’d previously imagined.

“It became clear to me that these students…were not interested in knowledge, they were interested in training. They were not interested in ideas, they were interested in skills,” Epstein worries.

Dive into this controversial talk from TEDxBeaconStreet to hear more about Epstein’s opinions on education, his proposed improvements, and his recommendation for getting the world to start imagining again.