February 16, 2002
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Dragon Curricula

AI veteran Roger Schank writes a hilarious analysis of Stories, Curricula, Master's Degrees, and Dragon Slaying for trainingmag.com.

At the curriculum-planning meeting, everyone agreed that each faculty had something important to contribute. The business faculty was concerned that potential dragon slayers understand how to finance a dragon-slaying expedition and know how to create a business plan to market the lessons learned from the expedition.

Schank outlines the failure mdoes of conventional curriculum design and proposes story-centered curricula would be a better guide to ensure that what is taught is actually useful and sufficient. An unusually candid look at the design of universities.

Master's degrees offer a great opportunity in the university world. They are the stepchild of the faculty and the joy of the administration...Since master's students are usually self-funded, master's programs are very profitable for universities, which is why administrators love them....Faculty members prefer the potentially brilliant Ph.D. student, who will be a protege, to the student who simply wants to earn a living in his field.

Thanks, Ken Tompkins!