So what is it that institutions of higher learning are supposed to do? My answer is simple. College and university teachers can (legitimately) do two things: (1) introduce students to bodies of knowledge and traditions of inquiry that had not previously been part of their experience; and (2) equip those same students with the analytical skills -- of argument, statistical modeling, laboratory procedure -- that will enable them to move confidently within those traditions and to engage in independent research after a course is over.
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