Excellent Sheep

By William Deresiewicz,

Book cover of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life

Book description

As a professor at Yale, William Deresiewicz saw something that troubled him deeply. His students, some of the nation's brightest minds, were adrift when it came to the big questions: how to think critically and creatively and how to find a sense of purpose. Now he argues that elite colleges…


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Why read it?

2 authors picked Excellent Sheep as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

When we set out on our writing journey to understand the impacts of college admissions anxiety on families, friendships, students, and school communities, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, by William Deresiewicz, was one of the most insightful books we read. Deresiewicz does an outstanding job of tracing the history of the college admissions industrial complex, including the fascinating story behind the US News & World Report rankings, as well as the impact of airline deregulation and the break-up of Ma Bell on college admissions. If you’re trying to make sense…

From Tracy's list on college admissions mania.

William Deresiewicz, suggests that students aren’t encouraged to think critically and creatively in college. For him, students need more time for exploration, creativity, and self-discovery, rather than yet another student assignment that panders to the requirements of courses. I have found this tendency as well, and I’ve looked for ways to loosen these restrictions so as to foster independent thinking rather than rule-following.

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