New York Times

The fallacy of the 10K B.A.

by David Alm February 1, 2013

In an Op/Ed for today’s New York Times, Arthur Brooks offers himself as evidence that cheap, zero-residence higher education not only works, but is a moral imperative. The moral imperative has less to do with the correspondence part of the equation, and more with the low cost that correspondence (i.e. online) education allows. See, Brooks […]






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The endless, perplexing, and ultimately essential question of whether writing can be taught

by David Alm October 8, 2012

In this month’s Atlantic, Peg Tyre writes about a school on Staten Island that has “revolutionized” writing pedagogy: by going back to basics. Judith Hochman, who originally developed the very old-fashioned approach to writing pedagogy that New Dorp High School is now using, told Tyre that “kids need a formula, at least at first, because what […]






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News flash: people argue to win

by David Alm June 15, 2011

According to a groundbreaking new study into the mysterious workings of the human mind, and reported by the New York Times, our species developed its well-honed capacity for reason and argument not to seek out truth, however nuanced or elusive it may be, but rather for a decidedly more selfish purpose: to win. Lest my […]






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The digital quadrangle

by David Alm March 22, 2011

I recently designed a syllabus for a course at NYU on writing for digital media. Unlike most of my writing courses, which focus on journalism, this was meant to have broader appeal: marketing, advertising, blogging, and public relations were included in the weekly readings and assignments. And the university had a unique request: try to […]






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Let kids rule the school, indeed

by David Alm March 15, 2011

Writing in Tuesday’s New York Times Op/Ed page, Susan Engel describes a truly remarkable scenario: teenagers, left to their own devices, learning complex ma thema tical concepts, reading tough books, and investigating multi-faceted questions with interdisciplinary implications, like “why do we cry?” The scenario is real, and happen ing presently in New Marlborough, Massachusetts. Her […]






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Why I love business news

by David Alm March 8, 2011

People are often surprised when I tell them that my favorite section of the New York Times, a newspaper that’s still delivered each morning to my front stoop, is business. Their surprise is reasonable enough: I have degrees in the humanities, not economics or finance, and I don’t make a lot of money, have no […]






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Our digital ruin, a certain fate

by David Alm February 22, 2011

I have a very bleak outlook on the future of education, reading, thought, and human experience. But I’m not an especially dark or pessimistic person. My view is colored by the rise of one thing, which seems to be steamrolling a lot of other things out of existence: digital technology. It’s not a new outlook, […]






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