Education: Professor Out of Step

He looked like a rather ordinary figure—short, bespectacled, with graying hair and mustache—and he acted as though this were just another day, just another lecture. Five minutes late, he strode into Room 569 of New York University's Waverly Building and confronted the two dozen students of "The Philosophy of History and Culture." First, "to clean up some housekeeping," there would be an exam after the holidays, and "I don't want to hear just what you know but why you know it. And I always tell my students that if they write just one brilliant sentence on an exam, he or she...

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