Re: What is the importance of diversity in higher education?

Amy Gutmann: Diversity in itself, I think, is not valuable. I like to point out that there’s no particular reason for somebody to have admitted me to a college because I happen to be left-handed and have blond hair and blue eyes, and that could add to the diversity at some colleges. The importance of diversity is to the extent that there are aspects of people’s backgrounds – whether it be racial or socio-economic, and aspects of people’s perspectives on life . . . so religious diversity – that add to the educational enterprise. So if I go to school and I’m surrounded by people who are like me, I’m going to learn less than if I’m surrounded by people who challenge me intellectually, who come from backgrounds that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to actually know firsthand. That’s gonna make a huge difference in my education. Now when I say that, I have to say that I’ve experienced it as well. My education has been as rich as it has as much by the people I’ve come in contact with who have come from worlds that are so foreign to my own as it is by the wonderful teachers that I’ve had. And my own education . . . The reason my father was such an inspiration to me is he was so different from everyone else . . . than every other adult I had ever met in rural New York.

Recorded on: 7/3/07

 

Diversity in itself, I think, is not valuable.

5 short podcasts to boost your creativity and success

These quick bursts of inspiration will brighten your day in 10 minutes or less.

Personal Growth

Podcasts can educate us on a variety of topics, but they don't have to last an hour or more to have an impact on the way you perceive the world. Here are five podcasts that will boost your creativity and well-being in 10 minutes or less.

Keep reading Show less

Five Hawks Down: watch the tragic migration of six Californian raptors

Tracking project establishes northern Argentina is wintering ground of Swainson's hawks

Image: @TrackingTalons / Ruland Kolen
popular
  • Watch these six dots move across the map and be moved yourself: this is a story about coming of age, discovery, hardship, death and survival.
  • Each dot is a tag attached to the talon of a Swainson's Hawk. We follow them on their very first migration, from northern California all the way down to Argentina.
  • After one year, only one is still alive.
Keep reading Show less

Trusting your instincts is lazy: Poker pro Liv Boeree on Big Think Edge

International poker champion Liv Boeree teaches decision-making for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to make decisions with the clarity of a World Series Poker Champion.
  • Liv Boeree teaches analytical thinking for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less