Friday, October 26, 2007

general education makes no sense

if i'm paying tens of thousands of dollars to studying something specific

why should some fat guys decide that it would be to my benefit to waste time on general(lly) unrelated subjects?

is this just some ploy to make more money? to force us to take more and more classes?

why should educational institutions make this decision for us? shouldn't we be able to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to take unrelated classes or not? and the marketplace should determine whether or not this was a successful decision - the decision should not be made beforehand by the status quo

- will you hire a psychologist who has spent 3 years studying nothing but his science or one who has spent 4 and half of it was full of entry level introductions to a variety of unrelated subjects? your answer to that question, by the way, ultimately shoudln't matter, because people should choose whichever they want. there needs to be more options, more reform, more experimentation in education. it needs to be more open.

gen ed = high school again

this rant is really unstructured (apologies) but for something more intellectually interesting try this text: deschooling society by ivan illich. easily one of the most enlightening things i've ever read.


crazygrampastuey said...

Well, not everyone knows what they want right out of high school and college, like all education programs, need to be designed for everyone. They probably need to be forced to take a few "gen ed" classes to get motivated into a major/minor. Also, I think that if every class you take is devoted to your major/chosen profession, a lot of people would go nuts. Sometimes studying something else can take the edge off...!

SnrIncognito said...

im going to go ahead and respond to this without reading the excerpt that the blog is about...

freedom and safety. im always talking about that. i think they're diametrically opposed. gen ed is a form of safety. it's designed to ensure that our populous knows something about everything. ive heard many say that our culture's knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep.

freedom is dangerous for everyone, and can result in the most wonderful and terrible of consequences. i think we've decided that gen ed is necessary safety. what if it's been years since high school? what if you get into your second year and discover you hate physics, but have no experience with anything else?

is it ok to let kids fail? should we trust our judgement more than theirs?

for my own experience, im glad for gen ed. in fact, it's saved my sanity. lots of things i would have never bothered to give a chance i did because i had to. it was a "well, i'd better make the most of it." because of gen ed i love history, literature and (playing) sports. and it's only college gen ed. i was too wrapped up in puberty during high school to give a damn about anything.

is it fair to say "well, you couldve foreseen that. you could have volunteered to do things you had no experience with, just to see if you'd develop a taste for them"?

anarchy isn't chaos. anarchy is still order. anarchy is a grand idea. but anarchy must be voluntary, and i'm not sure that anybody, especially kids, especially adolescents, are self aware enough and responsible enough to volunteer order and ballance.

i suppose a good alternative would be mandatory counseling... or maybe just voluntary counseling... but i always feel like the person directly telling me what to do is the person im least likely to listen to.