Eclectic Curiosity

Does College Matter?

Posted on July 15th, 2005, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Uncategorized. No Comments

One of the most compelling debates surrounding specialism-generalism pertains to education. Education vs. learning. In that discussion we inevitably we come to the crossroads young people face when choosing which career to pursue, which schools to attend, which courses to take. All of these decisions are narrowing, specializing, and the best one can hope for is that the choices made ultimately match their passions.

Kathy at Creating Passionate Users presents a thoughtful essay that questions the relevance of college. Is it an institution that fosters lifelong learning or that delivers information that expires in 18-24 months? Is it a useful form of socialization or is it merely a very expensive distraction? Is post-secondary education keeping up with the times and offering something worth its cost and time commitment? If a single lifelong career is a thing of the past, does college matter?

The conventional wisdom says that the specifics of what you learn are much less important than the fact that you’re learning the fundamentals, and you’re learning to learn–things you’ll need to maintain your skills and knowledge in a quickly changing world.

The problem is, you virtually never hear a student say that. It’s always the parents or someone speaking on behalf of the educational system. When was the last time you honestly heard (and believed) an actual current college student claim that the true benefit of their formal college education is in learning to be a lifelong learner?

(via Cultural Canaries)

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