Monday, October 29, 2007

Education, Over-education

A somber Krugman post today had me contemplating Democracy and, mixed with my recent enjoyment of MIT's free online lectures, especially Sylvia Ceyer's excellent Chemistry presentations
and the question of how to teach science to youngsters who are not blessed with mild forms of Asperger's,
led me to this post which echoed at least one recent Angry Bear feedback post on a Free Trade post, which begs the qustion of the purpose of education in an economy. This line from the referred to study abstract is significant:

"This adds to the relevance of preventing overeducation, and shows that being employed above one’s level of education contributes to workers’ cognitive resilience."

Essentially, you're happier if you are employed at a job JUST ABOVE your educational level than if you are employed at a job JUST BELOW your educational level.

And the aforementioned blogger, Zubin Jelveh, asserts that "the (U.S.) job market isn't built to help find a new job for a person who is stuck in a position that doesn't use their abilities efficiently.".

I still am left wondering, however, with each generation of scientific advancement and complexity, what percentage of the population can be expected to fully understand it (and thus contribute to it). I say this as one who considers himself cursed to being somewhere between the elites that do, and the those that don't. I think I understand enough to know where my capabilities end (somewhere in the mid-19th century...just before Maxwell's Equations).

And why are the Dutch seemingly the only ones studying these things?

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