Friday, June 12, 2009

Students as Lemmings


OK, file this under "You needed a study for that?!"

I was reading an inside higher ed. article recently with the same title as this blog post. A study was conducted and surprise! surprise! (NOT!) Students have a greater effect on what fellow students choose to major in rather than aptitude in a particular subject!

You really didn't need to do a study because this falls under the "D'uh" category. Of course peers influence peers (Now if you wanted to know how much that influence is, that is another story". Of course as the article rightly points out, if you study things that you don't score well on you might have work mismatch, being in a career that does not fulfill you and one that you can't be as productive in as something else. (I italicized score because exams aren't always best indicators of one's success - something that the article does not point out).

The one thing I wanted to point out here is this: It's not just your peers, it's also your family and society at large. It's a running joke that us Mediterraneans put doctors, lawyers, and engineers on a pedestal and we want (or sometimes force) our kids to go into these fields for our own pride and edification. We can't lay the blame just on peers, but we have to look internally to see if we are also pushing our kids to fields that they aren't complete matches for in the name of status.

Oh yeah, the image has nothing to do with this article - I just like the game :-)
blog comments powered by Disqus