Video: Robert Weissberg on Limits to Learning

NAS member and professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois Robert Weissberg was a recent guest on the video interview program Inside Academia. He spoke about his most recent book Bad Students, Not Bad Schools Dr. Weissberg drew comparisons to athletics, arguing that just as some people have more natural talent as athletes, some have more natural ability to perform well academically. Motivation and environment also factor in. 

Click on the video below to watch the 20-minute interview. 

Key Take-Aways

  • 1:04 – What everyone knows, but is afraid to say in public. (1 min)
  • 3:50 – Like in athletics, there are limits to your natural learning abilities (1 min)
  • 5:10 – Children can distinguish between “smart” and “dumb” peers (1 min)
  • 6:30 – Programs like HeadStart do not boost cognitive ability (1 min)
  • 9:00 – Big Bird should be killed (2 mins)
  • 12:49 – Cheating is endemic — and tolerated — in education, but not in sports (2 mins)
  • 16:15 – School choice is a blind alley, as more choice doesn’t increase motivation (1 min)
  • 17:44 – Let teens leave school at 15, but with certificates to redeem for later schooling (2 mins)

 

  • Share

Most Commented

June 13, 2022

1.

Regime Change: Repelling the DEI Assault on Higher Education

The last few decades have seen a total transformation of higher education's mission in American society. What was once an institution that encouraged innovation, built character, and sou......

May 12, 2022

2.

Mornin’ Ralph, Mornin’ Sam in Anthropology Today

Professor Lowrey recounts her latest encounter with academic cancel culture, this time with an acceptance-turned-rejection at Anthropology Today....

May 31, 2022

3.

Can America’s Colleges and Universities Be Saved?

We urge American citizens and policymakers to reform our higher education system while there is still time....

Most Read

June 13, 2022

1.

Regime Change: Repelling the DEI Assault on Higher Education

The last few decades have seen a total transformation of higher education's mission in American society. What was once an institution that encouraged innovation, built character, and sou......

May 15, 2015

2.

Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

June 21, 2022

3.

Press Release: Confucius Institutes Rebrand to Circumvent U.S. Policy, Report Finds

A new report from the National Association of Scholars finds that colleges and universities continue to host Chinese-funded programs similar to Confucius Institutes under new names......