Undergraduates and the crisis of cognitive authority
I just read and enjoyed this paper by MaryBeth Meszaros, “Who’s In Charge Here? Authority, Authoritativeness, and the Undergraduate Researcher,” in Communications in Information Literacy, vol 4, no. 1 (2010). It paints a more pessimistic picture of GenY students than we usually see. I wonder how GenY optimists would respond to her argument. I tend to agree with her and think she has pointed out a real problem, although I don’t know the extent to which it is truly pervasive. I think a geniune GenY optimist should respond by pointing out that her observations can be looked at from the perspective of the “new epistemology,” where intellectual authority is just something we don’t need to worry about, part of the old paradigm. Fine. But how many who hold that view are ready to deal with all of its implications?