Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Statistics

Today I attended an Undergraduate Committee meeting for the Department in which it was proposed that a statistics requirement (100-level, intro stats) be removed from the undergraduate degree in anthropology. The argument made is that some students just don't need training in statistics for their goals in anthropology. I argued to the contrary but was over ruled. What do you think?

""Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires vigilance, dedication, and courage. But if we don’t practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us — and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, a world of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who saunters along."

- Sagan, Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, p. 38"

2 comments:

DuWayne Brayton said...

Bloody damned ridiculous and completely insane, to put it extremely mildly. But I suppose if the goal is not to help actually make anth students employable, it is easy enough to do away with.

This is very reminiscent of my uncle's construction management program. A couple of years ago (this would be a MI school) they cut the structural engineering requirement and got downright pissed when he was pressuring his students to take it anyways.

This reasoning is beyond assbackwards. The economy is broken, so lets cut out requirements that are actually going to be useful and make students more valuable.

I'll stop now, before I happen to slip and express how I really feel...

evan said...

I think I need more stats.