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memyselfandi's picture

I think that at least one of

I think that at least one of the major problems with education in today's world is the societal perception of it. As in many of the quotes above and the observations in class, education is usually linked only with value as a means to success, not for its own sake. In addition, college has become a social necessity because it is assumed that if one does not acquire a college degree, then one will end up flipping burgers at Burger King or the equivalent. In particular, vocational schools are widely considered not to be a viable alternative to college, which can be a huge barrier to those who are not academically inclined but can do skilled labor very well. As a result, many people who are unlikely to succeed in higher education are nonetheless forced by their parents and/or societal expectations to go anyway. Then, when they do fail, the system itself is blamed instead of (or, I guess, in addition to) the root of the problem in societal ideas.

In particular in the US, some of the societal problem is that education is not highly valued or emphasized except, again, as a means to wealth and fame. Even then, one can point to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, both of whom dropped out of college, and say they "made it" without extensive education. The emphasis on celebrities (who are often home-schooled and/or don't attend college/higher education) and other items of popular culture further diminishes education as a priority; instead, school is something to get out of the way.

Because this is such an elusive problem, I don't believe it can be addressed directly, unless there begin to be more advertisements for alternative schools or something. I really don't know. I believe it will fix itself in time, but I don't know what the solution would be until then.

I would love to discuss vocational schools in more detail and athletic scholarships at at least some point during the course, if not next class. Athletic scholarships demonstrate the lack of focus on education that the US displays that I was discussing before. I think (though I may be wrong) that more athletic scholarships are given per year than merit scholarships. While some students definitely excel more in athletics, I don't believe they should eclipse those who want to go to a higher education primarily to study. The entire career of athletics rather boggles me, to tell the truth.

Basically, this muddled mess is trying to convey that I think that the problem(s) with education are in societal values and ideas.


Also, Jessica, I completely agree.


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