Compromising higher learning, measure for reified measure

The idea that measurement brings certainty persists. One example is the quantification of the contact hours students have with teachers under the new dispensation in which higher education is cast as a quasi-privatised investment. Contact is important, but the quantifying of hours occludes the more serious issues: the quality of contact, and what we want from it.

The university, however, is not a marketplace where individuals come to account for or to buy time; it is precisely a mode of being together, of seeking communities and forging shared futures; and these are immune from measurement, but open to questions of quality. That is the point of contact: connectedness with each other, not econometric clock-watching. Even the Cowles Foundation, now at Yale University, no longer believes that science is measurement. Nor should we.

Full story.