While maybe we don’t need the current structural system of majors, minors, and core curricula, we need some kind of structure. Higher education isn’t simply dabbling in some interesting discussions for a few years. Students are supposed to come away with some amount of knowledge about a whole variety of topics, the ability to write, the ability to do basic research, and the like. You’re not going to get any of that from watching videos about the advent of modern canned spaghetti sauce.
Further, I wonder how interesting the TED talks would be to the average 18-year-old? Even to the average entering freshman at an Ivy League school? My guess is that they’re mostly being watched by highly educated people, who have a foundation to be provoked into thinking about niche ideas after a few years of post-college living.
by Patrick Appel