Beyond Serendipity: The Value of Intentional Learning

While there are undoubtedly unplanned experiences that contribute significant lessons to a student's development, I am unconvinced that our goal should be simply to create the conditions for such serendipity. In fact, I would argue that such approaches are even at the very heart of what so many legislators, foundations, and even parents find distasteful about higher education these days: a squirmy unwillingness to be "pinned down" that calls on us to spend an inordinate amount of time explaining why we won't explain. These haphazard approaches to learning are frustrating for several reasons.

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