Have It Your Way

"Have It Your Way," Wall Street Journal, 16 November 2006.


The recent Harvard faculty report on general education has made waves for its new requirements to study America and religion. These may be good — we shall see — but the report is more remarkable for the trendy thinking it reveals in the higher reaches of American education.

The dominant practice of Harvard now is choice. Students should be able to choose the courses they want to take. The practice applies also to professors, who are permitted to choose the courses they want to teach. I say this is the “practice,” not the principle, because a principle would say why …