Review of The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students by Anthony Abraham Jack

“Many students,” writes Ivan Illich in his classic essay Deschooling Society, “especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them.” In Anthony Abraham Jack’s recent book The Privileged Poor (2019)


Before departing on an extended trip to a foreign country, it’s best to learn about the local culture. Learning the unwritten rules of a culture can make a trip easier and more rewarding; one can minimize uncertainties and ambiguities that lead to miscommunications and mistakes. …


The college preparation industry rakes in roughly 1 billion dollars per year. This is mostly made up of prep courses that help students boost their standardized test scores for the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT. The rest of the industry is made up of subject-specific tutoring. One takeaway from…


Fall 2020 is going to be difficult. Difficult for students. Difficult for parents. Difficult for faculty. Difficult for administrators. These difficulties will not go away if students return to campus nor will they vanish if students wind up doing all their learning online. …


Depending on who you ask, so-called “soft skills” are either essential to one’s success or are simply the latest cockamamy non-sense to emerge from some HR-Department Head’s fever-dream. So which is it? Are soft skills ineluctably important or patently bullsh**? Let’s have a look and see.

The term “soft skills”…


Higher Education is often extremely stressful for students. According to a recent survey by OnCampus Research, “over 50% say they feel stressed ‘very often,’ and 42% feel nervous or anxious at a similar rate. Conversely, only 23% say they ‘very often’ feel confident in their ability to handle their personal…


Higher education functions as a giant social sorting mechanism. It tends to reproduce existing social inequalities. Yet there is no denying that it also enables some individuals very real upward mobility.

Often, as a university professor, I’ve witnessed first-generation students strive to improve their social positions by working much harder…


As many students prepare to “return” to classes this Fall, many will find that their classes are online rather than in-person (even if they begin in-person). It may then be helpful to have a shortlist of the kinds of questions that work well in college classes. I’ve compiled such a…


Many universities, with a few notable exceptions, have announced that they will be holding most classes in-person this Fall. But as rising freshmen review their schedules, they may notice that many of their classes in-person classes have nevertheless been revised and are now online. Even if the semester starts in-person…


In an op-ed published in the New York Times on July 8th, 2020, Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, argued that in order to online classes to really work, they ought to be conducted using the tutorial system.

According to Barrett, the tutorial system, which is…

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