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Staro 13.07.2007, 00:09
paradox Uporabnik paradox ni prijavljen
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Privzeto Disciplined minds

...dobro ctivo za studente oz. would-be-professionals is but nonetheless true...and according to corporate propaganda becoming global. It's most probably relevant for our small country as well ... enjoy and learn and don't sell out


... excerpt from Jeff Schmidt's excellent book Disciplined Minds

(Excerpt, chapter 8, pages 119-123)

"All I want to do now is make some big bucks," a physics graduate student told me as he neared completion of his PhD and was starting to look for a job. He knew this simple statement said a lot about how his goals had changed during graduate school. While he may not have even clearly remembered his original intellectual interests or his original degree of determination that his work be of benefit to society, he did realize that somewhere along the way he had become very flexible in these personal and social goals. Listening to him I could see that he sought "big bucks" not as payment for valuable skills that he would put at his employer's disposal, but as compensation for intellectual interests and social goals abandoned.

Once the student abandons his own agenda, his course is set, and before long he is working like the physicists described in chapters 4 and 5: as if the agenda of the dominant sector of society were his own. How does the professional physicist come to abandon his own agenda and adopt an outlook that is appropriate for what physicists actually do in this society? This chapter looks at the steps.

Most people, including leftists, do not think of professional training as changing people; they think of it as simply teaching people facts and skills. Anyone holding this static view of the individual will not be able to explain why professional education is the way it is or why professionals are the way they are. Those who run professional training programs certainly take a dynamic view of the individual, and we should, too, if we want to understand how they make professionals.


The outlook of students completing professional training programs is markedly different from that of students entering them. (By professional training programs I mean traditional professional school as well as graduate PhD programs.) While the new professionals emerge from training somewhat more conservative on average than they were when they entered, the most striking difference is that they show less diversity in their attitudes -- their views of the world, the nature of their intellectual interests, the roles they see for themselves in society, the roles they think their chosen field should play in society, and their goals for society itself.

The student beginning professional training is usually highly optimistic about the opportunity for an intellectually rewarding and socially beneficial career. This is certainly the case in physics, where the beginning graduate student sees "the kind of work physicists do" as research on intriguing fundamental questions aimed at furthering human understanding of the universe, leading sooner or later to socially beneficial technology. The student enthusiastically anticipates doing creative work in this quest for seemingly eternal truth. Moreover, both the economy and the culture respect the scientist and uphold the notion that the good scientist's professional work is objective, politically neutral and universal in content. Thus the beginning student sees the possibility for a rare combination: career work that is intellectually, materially and socially rewarding, and that is free of political direction or interference. (The expectation of political freedom follows from the student's faith that the search for truth transcends even the most serious earthly struggles for social power.) The student outside the sciences anticipates the same rewards and freedom, expecting that professional status will bring autonomy in the workplace and a career free from domination by any powerful hierarchy.

If students are overly upbeat about what becoming a professional can do for the individual and for society, that is not because they are naive, although naivete makes this possible. Rather, they are searching with some urgency to find a way to achieve their personal and social goals. Students are well aware that in a hierarchical society one does not automatically get to live a life with any significant independence from management and its monitoring and control of the details of work and even of some leisure activity. Students beginning professional training are not properly aware, however, that there is a price to pay for any independence gained by becoming a professional. A look at those who have paid the price -- students emerging from professional training -- gives a hint as to what the price is.

Students finishing the ordeal of professional training often appear to be pressured and troubled, as if under some sort of unrelenting duress whose source they can't pinpoint. Anyone who has been around a university graduate department or other professional school has undoubtedly seen many such students. These students end up doing much of their work while in a state of physical and mental fatigue, precluding the creativity and enjoyment that were once their priority. They are no longer the upbeat students who entered the professional training program. Students who were adamant in not wanting to become cogs in the machine, students who would join the system only on their own terms, students who stood solidly behind their own goals for society -- many of these students now have a tired, defeated look about them, and an outlook to match. Many are now quite willing to incorporate themselves into one or another hierarchy, and to put up no resistance there, overt or covert, as they help do the work that furthers their new employers' goals.

The willingness shown by the new graduate to function harmoniously with the system is usually not the disingenuous kind shown by people who have fundamental reservations but who are reluctantly going along with the only choice available. The new graduate often feigns reluctance so as to maintain appearances, but it is usually painfully obvious that deep down something has changed. The individual has taken a step toward adopting the worldview of the system and goals compatible with the system. Students who once spoke critically of the system are now either silent or fearfully "fair and responsible" in their criticism. They are careful not to be provocative -- not to do or say anything that might displease individuals in authority. Any opposition is now sufficiently abstract and theoretical to not be provocative. (Don't assume that behavior motivated by fear is disingenuous. It usually isn't, because the safest way to behave in a way! that will please the powerful is to do so genuinely. The most blatant examples are cases of the "Stockholm Syndrome," named for a 1973 incident in which hostages taken during a bank robbery in Sweden grew to identify with their captors.)

Although the professional has sidelined his original goals, he usually retains some memory of them. Any such memory inevitably points to the compromises he has made and therefore can be an unrecognized source of unease in the professional's life.

None of this is to imply that new professionals are left without goals. Ironically, however, the primary goal for many becomes, in essence, getting compensated sufficiently for sidelining their original goals. Robert H. Frank, a Cornell University economics professor, tried to find out exactly how much compensation people deem sufficient for making this sacrifice. He surveyed graduating seniors at his university and found, for example, that the typical student would rather work as an advertising copywriter for the American Cancer Society than as an advertising copywriter for Camel cigarettes, and would want a salary 50% higher to do it for the cigarette company. The typical student would want conscience money amounting to a 17% salary boost to work as an accountant for a large petrochemical company instead of doing the same job for a large art museum. Indeed, employers that are seen as less socially responsible do have to pay a "moral reservation premium" to get the workers they want. Frank found that men are more likely than women to sell out, and this accounts for at least part of the gap in average salaries between equal men and women.[1]

Once the professional adopts this new, quantitative measure of success, the system has him in the palm of its hand, for he maximizes his compensation by working hard to further the goals of his employer, and thus the system. And work hard he does -- 12-hour or longer workdays are standard for many young professionals. According to the Wall Street Journal, "in some investment-banking and law firms, seven-day, 100-hour work-weeks aren't uncommon." At First Boston Corporation, a large international investment banking firm headquartered in New York City, "Young associates stay late about three nights a week. The other nights they're out by eight or nine," the chairman of the corporation's recruiting committee tells the Journal.[2]

Moreover, in spite of his marathon effort and to his employer's further delight, the young professional feels that he must not be working hard enough, because the compensation never quite seems to satisfy him; the feeling of "having it all" eludes him...

... (nadaljujte zadnji odstavek na linku, ki sledi (size omejitev na Siol-u )

Staro 13.07.2007, 08:41
mrjerry Uporabnik mrjerry ni prijavljen
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Privzeto Re: Disciplined minds

Super post!
Uporabi obe roki. (by Smaug)
Staro 18.07.2007, 21:40
nofear2009 Uporabnik nofear2009 ni prijavljen
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Privzeto Re: Disciplined minds

Zalostno, samo je pa res tako. Temu so se ze studentje upiral leta 1964 v Kaliforniji na Berkley univerzi, ker so se zavedali, da so univerze samo "masine, ki fabrikirajo studente za delo v drzavnih institucijah".

disciplined, minds

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