As it is apparent from the title, the chapter under review, “Purposes” by Derek Bok, elaborates upon the purposes of undergraduate education. The reference to the previous writings on the topic, the historical perspective, and the real-life examples make the composition more illustrative, hence persuasive. The aspect that is of special interest to me personally is the analysis of the frequent mistakes in identifying the purposes. I find it essential to have a clear view of the educational goals as well as the reasons for them because otherwise, it is impossible to organize the entire process of studies appropriately.
Besides, I have read the section devoted to critical thinking especially carefully, as I consider its subject the primary skill to acquire in the course of learning. Meanwhile, according to the author, many educational institutions teach problem-solving instead, which is useful as well but doubtlessly not sufficient. Awareness of that would help me as a college student to differentiate between the two approaches and, consequently, decide whether the curriculum is proper or needs reorganizing, on which I should inform the administration.
I did not notice any statements throughout the writing with which I would have disagreed. Bok is reasonable and relies on logic, providing arguments for each of his assumptions and commenting on the cause-and-effect relations that he describes. Such a coherent presentation of his well-balanced view enables maximal persuasiveness. In my opinion, it would be relevant to regard the composition itself as a guide to critical thinking to use in schools, colleges, and universities. In addition, it enlists the major functions of educational facilities and contains useful tips on how to set goals correctly, due to which is outstandingly helpful in improving basic learning skills.