Editors note: While the subject of education is widely debated, one thing that is certain is that forms and methods are changing. The original design of college has morphed into something else. My generation was born into a mindset that you went to college after high school, because that's just what you do. Things have changed. There's no guarantee that your college degree will get you that job you're hoping for. Because of that, we need to be willing to rethink how we prepare for life and career as well as how we prepare the forms and methods that will impact the next generation. With that, here is another post by Brent Sears on education.
When was the last time you set out to learn something without any help? And by learn something I mean went from not knowing something to acquiring the knowledge or the skill you were looking for?
In the age a Google there is no reason to be unable to learn something new – a basic answer to any question can be found in a few minutes. Now this doesn’t make you an authority, but it makes it a lot easier to find out who wrote the song stuck in your head, or how to make stir fry like a pro.
Our current education system is set up on the idea that someone else can tell you exactly where to go and what to learn. Start out and do what you are told. From there you will be granted a certification, title, degree, or some other form of permission to do something.
The pace is measured, your classmates have been selected, and if you make people happy then you’re on the educational track. The funny thing is that often people just do whatever they have to in order to get by. Have you ever crammed for a test, but to forget everything before you sat down to your next meal?
The sad part is a lot of people think this is the only way to learn things. The reality is that you can follow a blog from a world-class authority in a particular field (for free) and be on the cutting edge of what is happening. Read a book a week on a subject you like and you are an International authority in seven years – and most library systems will purchase books they don’t have if you request them.
Education is expensive, but learning is fairly cheap. You just have to have the guts to cut the chord and go out on your own. If you fail, you can always go back and get another degree.
by Brent R. Sears