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Does Education Matter?: Myths About Education and Economic Growth (Penguin Business) Paperback – November 25, 2003
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Professor Alison Wolf of King's College in London challenges the conventional wisdom in this extraordinarily insightful book. Actually, it's more than a challenge -- it's a thorough refutation. She demonstrates that the "knowledge economy" does not significantly change the broad contours of the labor force, that a high public "investment" in formal higher education is neither necessary nor sufficient for strong economic growth; and that the best educational policy to follow would be to ensure that young students learn well the academic basics (which many now don't, even if they graduate from college).
Does Education Matter? is absolutely essential reading for anyone with an interest in educational policy.
Another theme of the book is that centrally directed educational policies, especially if aimed at promoting equality, failed in the UK and are likely to fail elsewhere.Read more ›
The author starts out by providing a history of post-secondary school education. In that history she is careful to emphasize that the connection between higher education and economic grouch has only come about since the late 1800s and even then has not been a paramount factor in the expansion of post-secondary education until the second half (and particularly towards the end) of the 20th century. Before that education, at that level, was intended to benefit society and the state primarily through the production of civil servants and the intelligentsia, a fact that is difficult to comprehend today.
In the remainder of the book, Wolf specifically debunks the myth that an expansion in higher education will necessarily and logically lead to higher economic growth. She does this (at the University level) by showing that that educational expansion has led to expanded educational requirements for positions over time (i.e.Read more ›