Sense and Nonsense: Educating for Souls?

Opinion by Aysha Bagchi
Oct. 8, 2010, 12:05 a.m.

Sense and Nonsense: Educating for Souls?About a month ago, a professor asked me: why is it important that students develop and cultivate internal realms? He meant to get me to reflect on my belief that fostering earnest, including critical, self-reflection in all students should be a paramount aim of a Stanford education. Here goes.


To put his worry in more concrete terms, imagine the Wall Street Journal headline: “Stanford Says Students Must Challenge Their Values.” A skeptic might legitimately wonder: “If a student does not want to soul-search during her time in college, isn’t that her prerogative?”


In the simplest