It found the same thing I picked up (and wrote about) during the News Cut on Campus tour: that more students are turning toward working for the social good.
Fourteen percent of this year’s senior class at Harvard applied to Teach for America, a nonprofit organization that sends graduates to work in low-income urban and rural public schools. The proportion was 9 percent last year.
“There’s always that push to make money and be comfortable, but the financial crisis made me think that there’s a lot more in life than going to get that corporate job,” said Matthew Clair, a Harvard government major who will spend the next two years teaching at an Atlanta primary school. “It gave me a good excuse to take some more time off to do what I’m really passionate about.”
But the situation brings up another question: To what extent are graduating seniors heading off in this direction out of a sense of altruism, and to what extent are they heading in that direction because that’s where the jobs are?
All of which brings me today to this week’s News Cut pick of the week of all the offerings that came out of your radio. It’s Thursday morning’s Midmorning appearance by Dacher Keltner, the professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, and the author of “Born to be Good.” Pay no attention to the misnamed headline on the page (“The science of emotional survival”) because the heart of the show (zip ahead about halfway through the audio), was the discussion of altruism, and why we’re good (mostly).
It even took on last week’s appearance by Richard Dawkins.