The Disadvantages of an Elite Education

My ministry is at Northwestern University, which most people consider an elite university.  No, it’s not in the Ivy League, but it is close enough.

I was forwarded this article from The American Scholar, and it put words to much of what I as a staff and several of the alumni of NU have thought.  William Deresiewic, professor of English at Yale, wrote the article and it’s a good read.  The title: The Disadvantages of an Elite Education.  In an encounter with a plumber in his home, Deresiewic realizes the extent of his “Ivy retardation” and this is his confession.

I don’t know how it makes alumni of elite institutions feel, so I’d be interested in hearing people’s thoughts.  Feel free to drop a comment or two.  I’d really enjoy a good dialogue on this.  My take: it’s why I feel ministry among the poor is so important for students at elite institutions.  It reminds us how much they have to teach us.

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July 2008

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