Institutionalized Thinking Via Formal Education?

In this post, we’re gonna do something radically different — something so shocking, something so… so… well, anti-Barry and Heather that you’ll either smile big or frown in frustration.

Okaaaaaay, here it goes:

WE’RE NOT GONNA RIDE IN ON *OUR* SOAP BOX ON THIS TOPIC.

Instead, today we just want to pass along something that we saw in our new favorite magazine, The Week.

But before we do, we’ll first say that one of our Renegade Growth Pak teachers emphatically asked, on our live call with him, to anybody who feels they’re owed one: “Who are you to think you’re entitled to an education?”

And, ya know, his explanation for that stop-in-your-tracks question made what good ol’ Farmer John would call “some damn good horse sense.”

So, Dear Reader, what do you say?

Let us pepper (stimulate) your noggin first with what Michael Moynihan, a columnist at Reason.com, has to say:

* * *

From The Week

“Too many people are attending college these days,” said Michael Moynihan. It’s both “impolite and impolitic” to say so, but the modern idea that everyone should get a college education — emphatically supported by President Obama — is, frankly, dumb.

Obama is now planning a massive expansion of the federal Pell Grant program, making a college education another taxpayer-funded entitlement open to all. But, here’s the reality: More than two-thirds of U.S. high school graduates, a recent Harvard University study found, are unprepared to enter a traditional four-year liberal arts program.

Indeed, “more than 40 percent of students who enter college drop out before graduation.” Today, many young people enter college out of obligation, seeing it purely as a means to a higher salary. College makes great sense for those who truly value a higher education, and will make use of it after graduation. But not everyone is capable of academic success, and for those destined for “a management-level job training program at Hertz,” college is just an expensive waste of time.

What we want from you is this

Your commentary, thoughts, opinions and experiences on one, two or multiple aspects of the following (these are just to spark some ideas… you may have something else to say on the topic):

> How do you feel about this subject?

> Is your formal education (if you have it) important to you? Did/does it serve you?

> Are you currently working (or have you ever worked) in the same field as your degree?

> If you had to do it all over again, would you take the same schooling?

> Are societal perceptions of the value of institutionalized education skewed?

> Is it okay to you that the educational establishment wants you to believe that it’s responsible for all learning?

> etc, etc.

Lay it on us… the comments section is below…

Your Partners in the Quest For
Living a Life Without Limits,

Barry and Heather

(( Life Design Consultants,
Agents of Higher Learning &
Catalysts For Change ))

Filed under: Institutionalized Thinking/Formal Education

44 Responses to “Institutionalized Thinking Via Formal Education?”

  1. I could have had a college education if I so desired, but I opted for a Tech-school instead, got the same education I needed in 1 year (condensed) as a 4 year college, in business accounting. Realizing after 3 years of working in the field, I hated it. I was good at it, got bored, and have since had many other jobs in different fields and enjoyed them a lot more than crunching number in a stuffy office all day long, looking like a ghost because I did not see the sunshine.

    So I came to the conclusion: Just because you have a college education you might be making more money, question is will you be happy?

    I saved myself and my family a lot of money by not opting for the College loans. My youngest son decided he wanted to go to college, spent 2 years and took the classes he needed to take in order to learn the basics of what he needed for his field. He paid for it all with grants and scholarships. Does he have a Diploma from a prestigious College? No. But he learned what he needed to pursue his dream and he would not make any more money if he had the 4 years, a Diploma on the wall and thousands of dollars in debt.

    Final note, use your head, think hard at what you want to do and what you passion is. Don’t do it just because someone tells you, you should do it or have to have it.

  2. We’re playing an opposite of reality, an opposite of who we really are game. We are Eternal, Infinite, Indestructible Beings of boundless Love, Joy, Light, Peace, Harmony, Wonder, Freedom, etc. The game is to experience the opposite of this which automatically creates or attracts opposing illusions that we buy into.

    The main purpose of the educational system is to reinforce this game (that many of us have been stuck in for eons of illusory time). It is doing what it is meant to do. We are always free to create anything we desire including non-dualistic educational systems or not go to the established ones now.

  3. Heavy topic, and obviously would take more room than what is on this blog. I think it’s pretty obvious that we have dropped the ball, in the states, when it comes to education.

    Funding college for everyone really shouldn’t be the number one priority for the US right now and that should probably be handled on a state by state basis instead of a Federal base.

    The main issue is the same that it has always been, recycled learning in the public school system. Our schools are obviously, as was stated in the article, not preparing kids properly. There is more time spend repeating their education instead of progressing the education of our kids.

    As far as college goes, it’s not for everyone. I went to three universities and two masters degrees. I tried working in my field, but really didn’t enjoy it. I was one of those that were not properly prepared for college and didn’t realize that a formal education wasn’t something that I really needed to do what I wanted to do.

    At the same time, I could never replace the growth experience and social experience I received by participating in college, on the social side and being part of something bigger than I had previously.

    I think college works… if kids are prepared educationally, if they want to be there and if there are enough jobs to go around.

    I don’t believe that the educational system should be responsible for all education, but it’s people that are allowing it to be. Everyone has a choice to chose the education they receive, in their adult lives, and the choice to stop further learning after high school and college is actually the biggest stumbling block the people are facing right now.

    Going further. If the Federal government wants to allocate further funding toward education, instead of increasing grant funding for universities, they should be increasing funding for our elementary- high schools. Having more qualified teachers, better educational resources and beginning advanced learning at the K-6 level would allow more kids to be ready for the changing technologies and advancements in the world.

    Specialized skills are currently being learned for jobs that don’t exist yet, kids in college are learning answers to questions that haven’t even become real yet and the government has too much involvement in the educational system.

    The Federal governments J.O.B. (and they should have learned this in college:) is to protect, serve and fund the country… not to educate, be involved with marriages and family issues or tell our senior citizens how they are going to save for retirement.

    A change to actually give education BACK to the people of the US, would be better served instead of dictating the education of the people.

    That’s all I got 🙂

  4. I agree (somewhat) with what is said, but the following gave me pause,

    “…But not everyone is capable of academic success, and for those destined for “a management-level job training program at Hertz,” college is just an expensive waste of time.”

    The trouble herein is that most often no one and I mean absolutely no one, really knows in advance if someone is incapable of academic success. One usually has to try before one knows for certain.

    Secondly, despite the common wisdom that the better educated you are the better off you will be, reality says it isn’t necessarily so. When one considers the overwhelming number of very successful and prosperous people who were academic failures, one has to wonder about this “common wisdom” that so many academics tend to spout.

  5. I went to college, got a BS degree in Electronic Engineering, in the next 40 years, I worked as an engineer for 32 of the years. The reason is that engineering cycles through times where engineers are in high demand and times with thousands are layed off. Because of this and not getting a financial education, I would have to spend all the money that I had saved during the times when I was layed off. The final result is that I ended up with no saving, no retirement, as I only was able to lock in retirement benefits at one company and as I had not work there in the last 25 years, they “loss” my records so I didn’t get any retirement from them either. Would I do it again, no I would get a degree in something like teaching where I could get a good government job and have a retirement income. Or would have joined the military and retired in 30, without a degree.
    Did the degree help that much, I worked with many engineers that became engineers by moving up in the company from technicians, usually in less than the 5 years it took for my degree and they were making a living during their time with the company. In the past you didn’t need a degree to move into management with most companies and still don’t with many, so would I advise a young person to get a degree, it all depends on what they want to do with their lives. I would advise most to join the military and then decide what they want to do after they have been in for the first enlistment.

  6. I agree totally with Michael……..if everyone went to college where would we find the apprenticeships …. what would happen to all the basic skills learned….. I mean if everyone goes to college then does that mean that they won’t enter the worforce until they are 19 or 20 years old.

    Where will the taxes come from if all we are breeding is ‘managers’ white collar workers with little or no interest in manufacturing etc.

    Who will drive the buses, trains, pick up refuse, serve in our stores and resturants and so on.

    The other side of the coin is that if all you want to do in your life is grab the basic education and work for someone else for the rest of your life ….that’s fine.

    One of my taglines is “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that…..really counts!”

    It’s about balance in the socio economic triangle. Yes there are people who are more suited to college education and that factor is necessary but no less necessary to maintain a stable economy are the service providers who ‘oil the wheels’ as it were.

    I am convinced that if I hadn’t taken charge of my personal development and studied and learned from entrepreneurs who, some had had little or no education beyond high school, then I wouldn’t be working for myself.

    I may have graduated and spent many years studying at the taxpayers expense and still ended up doing what I’m doing.

    In a democracy …..it is all about choice…..sure make these programs available but realise they are not suitable for everyone.

    I’m from the UK but the same rules apply.

  7. This plan is more like subsidizing student debt.

    The average medical student leaves college with $130,000 in student loan debt which then forces them to practice in specialized areas of medicine in order to repay their loans.

    This then causes those Americans who most need medical care to have to go without because no doctor can afford to work for free or for the short wages that inner city clinics can afford to pay.

    Medicine is only one (and the most blatant) example of this backwards mentality.

    We, as enlightened entrepreneurs, (pedigreed or not) have realized that by helping those MOST in need can secure our own financial futures without subsidies or loans.

    We get out into the trenches, roll our sleeves up and don’t mind getting dirty. We’ve been where they are.

    I personally got a degree in Telecommunications and Computer Electronics and managed to work in the field for a couple of years, until the bottom fell out of that industry in the early 90’s.

    If I had it to do over again, I would study computer science and programming instead of hardware and infrastructure.

    The self satisfaction of bringing something from idea to fruition is so much more of a possibility in software than it ever could be in hardware. Thus my now chosen profession as an Internet Marketer.

    With organizations like the NEA dictating what our children learn in school today, it’s appalling to discover how much history has re-written itself (in school books anyway) over the past two decades. In that light, yes, societal perception of the true value of an institutionalized education is severely skewed and flawed.

    NO it’s not okay that the educational gestapo is forcing its will upon an unsuspecting and otherwise asleep population.

    Education begins in the home, period. While sitting in a classroom may train students to offer canned, prepped and expected responses, the principles, tenets and core beliefs about life and its effect on society are taught from the cradle onward.

    It’s our responsibility as parents and “earthkeepers” to instill the proper values and sense of responsibility in our children.

    It’s ludicrous to think that we would sit back and allow the gov’t to undermine our individual right to an education of our own choosing, whether that be in a classroom or on a Peace Corp, City Year or other “real world” education.

    Encouragement is one thing, but to invite young adults into the bottomless whirlpool that is “Debt” only perpetuates the existing money issues in this country. Who will be paying for those student loans after they’ve been defaulted on? You and I….that’s who.

  8. As an educator, I know that not everyone is college material–and, that is a good thing. I believe Obama wants us to improve ourselves and thus improve our lives and our country but he does NOT want everyone to go to college! I have heard him talk about the need for technical schools and the training they have to offer–it is often times the public school systems that put kids on a college track even if they are not college material; this needs to change! And, I find it very disconcerting that so many of our high school graduates do not have an education to prepare them for the rigors of college… what does this say about the “dumbing down” of our educational system the past 50 years or so?? Academic performance expectations have declined dramatically; many of our children are five years behind when they begin school because they are unprepared since their parents do not spend quality time to them reading orally, having conversations to build language skills, etc., etc., etc. (These early skills are difficult to instill after age 6.) The longer I am in education, the more I believe that 70-80% of education’s problems come from a lack of parenting than to teachers not doing what they have been entrusted to do; I am convinced that we need a nationwide “teaching parents to parent” agenda before we the people can get our educational system where it needs to be!

  9. “Education” in this country starts far too early and lasts far too long. And, for no good reason other than the situation is such that both parents must now work in order to support themselves and their offspring.

    Certainly, throwing more money at people is not going to help. Some people do not want to go to college or university, some don’t care, others want to socialize. Not one of those needs a Pell grant or scholarship.

    Beyond that, what ever happened to working one’s way through school? Having an education is not nearly as effective as earning one, and that applies both in and out of the classroom.

    I don’t wish for my tax dollars to go to a person who’s only reason for entering a school is cause Daddy said he had to, or big sister said you could meet a great guy.

    Other issues are the lack of support and even overt condemnation of home-schooling, the push to drop schooling age to 3 and make pre-school mandatory, mandatory civil service/education, and the comparison of Obama’s Youth Camps to those of Hitler in the last century…

    Lastly – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look at what is going on in government, from the park district and village hall all the way up to Capitol Hill and the UN, and figure that there has been far too much money wasted on “higher education” for a very, very long time.

    Nobody ever said that everyone was entitled to an education. Noone ever said that I should pay for it, either. Those who truly desire one have a way of getting one. The rest should go get jobs or create their own.

  10. What a subject. We are a society that pretty much sets back and lets the government dictate and decide for us in pretty much everything.

    Basically it is because we are pretty much to lazy to pick up the ball ourself and do something.

    We do a lot of whining that the Government has so much control, but when it comes right down to it that is about as far as we get… the whining stage.

    We as parents (usually by choice) have been given a major task in life and that is to become responsible adults and raise our children to the best of our abilities and help them in everyway we can to become well educated and resposible adults that can add value to the life we know.

    The school system is not all about teaching our children much anymore. Not the fault of the teachers, as we have some brilliant minds that are ready to teach and do everything they can to teach. Ok we do have some teachers that really need to get a life and realize they need to move on and let someone that really cares about educating children step in and take their place.

    I just had a 19 year old move in with me to help him graduate. When we went to his school to find out where he stood with credits we found a few of the teachers were pretty much ready to just let this young man walk away without a diploma. After all it wasn’t their fault he was not turning in his work.

    After learning a little more about this young man we soon found out it was a huge lack of comprehension of what he was to do. Instead of trying to find out why he wasnt getting things done. he was just labeled as kid on the road to failure.

    Of course the parenting was not up to par either in this case… and the school was allowed to just let him fail.

    This young man just graduated… and now has a high school diploma and if he stays on course plans on attending college for cullinary arts. He now has a chance.

    I have adopted special education children that may or may not ever see college. If they do awesome… if they dont… Awesome. But what I do care about is whether or not the school system is doing everything they can to teach my child. But it is my responsibility as a parent to step up to the plate and make sure this is happenning, and when I see that it is lacking… I need to be responsible and do everything in my power to see that it happens.

    If my child can’t read should I just set back when the school says that he probably never will be able to read any better than he does now and accept that?

    I think not. If he never is able to read any better than he does now then it wont be because he was given up on. It wont be bacause the parent said OK to the school and let them slack off on teaching my child with any means possible.

    I know most dont think we have a lot of power left when it comes to making sure our schools are teaching our kids. OH BUT WE DO! WE JUST DONT USE IT.

    We just set back and say Ok to the school when they tell us there is no funds to do the things we are asking of them to do. And we slink away and give up when the school tells us if they do that for our child we will be taking away from another childs learning. If that is the case I guess it is time for the other child’s parent to step up to the plate and be there to ensure their child gets the education he/she deserves.

    We just say things lik: I dont have time, Both of us work so there is no way I can possibly make it to school functions or to parent teacher conferences, I am a single parent what am I to do, the school has no funds to teach my child, etc… It is easier to make excuses and then to lay the blame on our children’s poor education, teachers, and government.

    When I found out my child that was in the 8th grade was pretty much watching movies most days just because it was easier for the teachers to handle the class I stepped in and helped.

    The teacher was in a class room setting of 20 some special education children with a couple part time aids and they were trying to manage all the behavioral issues, and just make it through the day. This is unacceptable. Teachers fault? What were they to do?they had to get that classroom safley through the day, and teach when they could. The teacher was awesome, She was just not being given the proper chance to teach. it was just behavior management.

    I went to the principle and the teachers and said My wife and I would love to help, so we went in and volunteered in the classroom.

    The next year the child I was just talking about was pulled from the school and was brought into our home along with a teacher to teach him one on one.

    I now have that same teacher I was talking about above that was pretty much just showing movies to the kids just to get by in my home teaching my kids. She is brillaint and she is now given the chance to do what God has called her to do… TEACH!

    My son has went from pretty much failing in the eyes of the school system to catching up with the regular education students. and is even taking foriegn languages and all regular education classes.

    The school was fine with the label of special Ed and said that was probably all that we could expect from him… I guess kids will pretty much do only what we expect. How about the parents not setting back and excepting. It is time to be a parent. A parent makes things happen for their child… and does not stop until that child is at full potential and is given the chance they deserve in life.

    Or I guess the next best solution is to turn yet one more thing over to the government to handle. then we will have someone else to blame instead of ourselves.

    It is easy to blame and criticize… But it is much more rewarding to see the results of a child that is given the best chance in life that they can get.

    Jeff Wellman

  11. I guess my ranting kind of took me off subject. I guess I needed a college education to help me stay on task.

    Well I did not have a college education and I am excited I never did. I did do some vocational level schools that helped me for awhile but soon lost interest as life took me new directions.

    One of my kids started college and soon dropped out as life took a new direction for her.

    My son enrolled in college and decided he would be wasting everyones time and never did go. He knew college was not the setting he needed to properly learn.

    Both of these children are very productive adults and live very comfortably.

    I guess my last post was basically to say that no it is not the education systems job to ensure we are educated. At least not alone. It is a combined effort of the education system and the Home to ensure that every child is given the chance they deserve to be educated.

    When that child reaches the age of decision making and is given the opportunity to proceed with college or to not. they deserve that chance to go if they so decide, or to say it is not for me.

    I have to agree with Bob Yeager above who said, “going further. If the Federal government wants to allocate further funding toward education, instead of increasing grant funding for universities, they should be increasing funding for our elementary- high schools. Having more qualified teachers, better educational resources and beginning advanced learning at the K-6 level would allow more kids to be ready for the changing technologies and advancements in the world.

    Jeff Wellman

  12. I teach in a technical college. I agree a lot of students do not have the ability to complete a rigorous academic training program. The problem in education is lack of real guidance counseling for our children. I quit school and got married at 16. A divorce and two children later, I realized that unless I wanted to spend my whole life on welfare, I needed to get enough education or job training to make enough money to support my children since I could not count of my ex to actually give me any money.

    I got some great advice when I decided that I needed a career. I was told to find something I like to do, that I am good at and that someone will pay me to do. Please note: the first thing was something I LIKE TO DO. I have always liked taking things apart and fixing them. Since I had no money, but did have a slight disability, Vocational Rehab paid for me to get an associate’s degree in accounting. I wanted to study electronics but they wouldn’t pay for it because I was a girl and it was the late 1970’s.

    I worked at accounting for a year but I hated it so I quit and got a job fixing vending machines. About a year later, my boss suggested I go to engineering school (my children were 3 and 4 years old when I started engineering school). I took his advice, got a pell grant and other assistance, including welfare while I was in school and graduated with a BS in electrical engineering. Next I took a job that required me to get a master’s degree that my employer paid for.

    After 15 fields in the field, I started teaching computer networking at a technical college.

    I love working with computers and networks. As far as I am concerned, I have spent the last 20 years playing with really neat toys. I see my classroom as my private playroom where I can explain how my toys work and then share them with all my new friends (students) so we can all play with them.

    I have been successful in my career not because I went to college, but because I have spent my life doing something that I love. I get up in the morning looking forward to going to work. I know most people cannot say that.

    We need to help our children find a career that will provide them with satisfaction in life as well as earn a reasonable income. My cousin can barely read and write but he can build anything. He has had a successful career as a carpenter and he loves his work and takes great pride in everything he builds. He went to a trade school and then did an apprenticeship.

    If you love your job, you will be successful no matter what you actually do. If you hate your job, you will be miserable no matter how much money you make … period.

  13. > How do you feel about this subject?
    I personally found college to be boring. Completed a double degree in two years and a double post-graduate degree in one year.

    My observation at the time and I’ve not seen anything different is that grants and scholarships are wasted on students who haven’t proven themselves. Most return home within the first quarter and in the process waste what money was invested in them to get them there.

    My granddaughter is about to attend college. Something she believes she is “supposed to do” because she’s intelligent. However, I’ve tried to talk her out of this because college will only strip her of her innate intelligence.

    I believe that O’Drama should be the poster boy of college education gone wrong.

    > Is your formal education (if you have it) important to you? Did/does it serve you?

    My formal education isn’t any more important to me than the check I receive for consultations I conduct. It was just a way of tracking my progress and testing myself.

    It hasn’t helped me in the least. In fact it was determental to me.

    In my case I’ve always had a business of my own. As a child of seven, I collected pop bottles for deposit money (before most of you were born), I collected newspapers for recycling, I babysat, I mowed lawns, etc…

    College ruined my innate ability to make money. It instilled things I was “supposed to do” as a business owner. Taught by people who had never owned a business. People who could only teach theories and not speak from experience.

    If they should have experience they were not true business owners. Instead they were people who “bought a job” and thought they owned a business when in reality the business owned them.

    It took me awhile to rid myself of the “supposed to’s”. Once I recovered, I found that success once again came easily.

    > Are you currently working (or have you ever worked) in the same field as your degree?

    No, my degree is in psychology and family counseling. I tried to get licensed as a psychologist but was unable to because none of the professors I spoke to seemed to know how this was accomplished.

    Although I attended prestigious universities the professors couldn’t tell me how to get a license and the universities had no program for showing me how to set up my own practice. Two things you would think would be important to benefit from the education I just paid for.

    > If you had to do it all over again, would you take the same schooling?

    I would simply because I enjoyed the energy and enjoyed learning. If I could attend without having to attend classes I believe I might return.

    > Are societal perceptions of the value of institutionalized education skewed?

    I believe so, I don’t see any connection between level of education and income level. I believe that survey themselves are skewed to discover what they expect to find and that it is not an actuality.

    College is simply a placeholder to place a part of the population until more jobs can be found. Few people get jobs in the area they went to college for and most settle for jobs below their educational level.

    The problem is that our government has done everything possible to ensure that there are no jobs. They’ve sent the jobs overseas, paid for jobs and companies to move overseas and then wonder why there’s no jobs?

    I’ve never met any business owner (My specialty is consulting with small business owners) who had a business which directly benefited from their college education (if they had one). Those who took business management or business administration are sorely illiterate when it comes to the “real world” of business.

    Even the SBA is based upon theories which simply don’t work in the real world. You have a case of the blind leading the blind. Most of the SBA consultants have no idea how they were successful. They can’t replicate their success.

    > Is it okay to you that the educational establishment wants you to believe that it’s responsible for all learning?

    No, and I were them I would be too embarrassed to suggest such a thing. Our educational system has been dummied down to the lowest denominator. Intelligence is not rewarded. Sports is. Our educational system is set up to reward a small percentage of the population who may have some minor athletic ability at the cost of those who are intelligent have something to share with the world.

    A H.S. I taught at when I first graduated from college was very proud that it had spent a million dollars on a track area which could also be used for football games. None of the students were allowed to use it. Only the track and football players. That same school couldn’t afford computers or teachers or for better social areas. They couldn’t find the money for 98% of the student population but could always find money for the small 2%.

    Two years ago I was helping my grandson with a math problem he was having difficulty with. My IQ is relatively high. His is equally so, but he simply couldn’t figure out the answer to the problem. The problem was not with us it was in the way it was stated. It was stated in very abstract terms when mathematics is precise. I spoke to his teacher about how she was teaching the students. She confided that she was just as confused as her students and if it wasn’t for the answer sheets she would have no idea what the right answer would be either.

    She was teaching in this manner because this is what the school board decided upon. They wanted to make sure that the children with less intelligence were able to keep up. In other words sacrificing the majority of the student population for the few.

    Our whole educational system is rather sad. I don’t really see any reason for schools or teachers when computers, the Internet and software can easily replace most of this. The one function that school could be of value, socialization, it fails at because it doesn’t want students interacting with each other and ruining the quiet and orderliness of the school.

    Sad.

  14. Although I am a college graduate, I believe we have placed far too much emphasis on the need for a college education.

    My formal education is important to you, but only in the sense that it provided a foundation for what I believe is truly important – life long learning.

    I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a builder. I designed my college curriculm around that goal.

    If I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t change much, if anything.

    I believe strongly that societal perceptions of the value of institutionalized education skewed. I believe we need to place equal emphasis on skilled trades. The construction industry in this country is facing a serious shortage of skilled labor to build the homes and building we need.

    If the educational establishment wants us to believe that it’s responsible for all learning, it needs to accept responsibility for its failures, and I believe it is failing our students. We have graduates who cannot balance a checkbook, who don’t understand the wise and proper use of credit, who don’t understand the value of saving and investing.

  15. I was so looking forward to the soap box but this is an interesting group of thoughts. I would be curious as to whether or not Lenny is college educated based on his queue.

    I believe that college education is best used by those who are dedicated to a life of career limitations. It should be a requirement that if you are going to spend the money for college you should be given the education to pay for it without having to rely on getting hired by big business or top medical centers. I wish entrepreneurship 101 was right there with English and math as far as required credits. I think we would find a caliber of young people that would be years ahead on finding solutions instead of finding jobs.

    I also believe that the 2 years following high school should be required “service to others” educational opportunities. This would be projects and opportunities like the military and world peace organizations, including our own elderly and inner city groups that are in need of assistance. If a young person had an opportunity to see “the world” before deciding where they might fit in…it could make a tremendous difference in the direction they may be moved to pursue.

    A wound cannot be healed until it is seen and it seems that the way to find healing is to let the young people see the good with the bad and then pick their intentions. If it means a college education is in order than by all means, serve it up. Paul Chek says if you don’t grow, you die and my observation is that there are a lot of walking dead college grads that are lost and confused because somewhere along the way, they thought that going to college was their “service to others”. The real world is not looking for text book scholars…it is looking for problem solvers with vision and motivation. On the other hand…the educational system is looking for money and is preying on young people who have not had a chance to see any part of life outside of their high school neighborhoods.
    Leonard is right. It is sad.

    Enough from me.

  16. Post this comment – the people need to know the truth.

    I put my self through 12years of night and weekend classes, to get a 4 year college degree.
    It was very hard on me, my wife, and my kids, but I wanted a good future for me and my family.

    Then others started getting master degrees, jobs started getting hard to find. Now I’m laid off, no pension, used my 401k to pay living expenses, and
    I am very Fracking Pissed-off. All that work and not a damn thing to show for it.

    The CEO layed me and others, off to save money, and his pay went from 10 million a year to 28 million a year. (this is NOT a lie)

    I was smarter than the CEO, when I was in grade school. Who gave him the right to steal my life.

    College – what a giant scamm on the people of USA.

  17. Education. A subject that I seem to be very passionate about.

    There is so much bureacracy that surrounds education today. The layers and layers of people that you must push through to just get your voice heard is made next to impossible, yet a feat that I refuse to give up on and so that is why I am replying to this blog. This is not for me but for our children, for our grandchildren, for our future generations. Will we listen to our children crying out for help or will we continuously allow the government to take control of our teachers, our society, our children and keep us all in fear.

    I know I have heard the cries of my own children. I am a mother of two teenage children, 19 and 17 years old that were diagnosed with learning disabilities. My journey started 16 years ago the day that my children stepped into the educational system. My story is long. My journey has been laborious, upsetting, and downright mind boggeling to say the least. I have spent thousands of dollars to try and fight a system that continuously puts the blame on our children, on us and are never held accountable for the money they say is being used to educate our children. I do this out of Love. I do this for I need my voice, my Truth to be heard. I do this for we deserve much more than what we are receiving. I do this for the future of our world.

    Doreen

  18. Hi there:
    I totally agree that each one of us is entitled to be educated. We have educated people;however, unskillful.
    We have caring parents and again ignorant in tackling aspects of life.
    I think that parents as well as thier offspring should be taught from the beginning:
    1- How to approach people.
    2- Basic of respecting self and others
    3- How to be skilful
    4- Basics of psychology
    5- How to be independant as we as reliable
    6- How to be a leader from inside out.
    7- Enrich oneself with dreams
    8-Intellectual people should go down and meet students as well as parents to update them and keep them involved to have a better , healthy environment.

  19. Geez Barry/Heather… I leave you alone for a couple of days and look what you started 🙂

    Jeff Wellman well said my friend.

    To HarVey

    Truly sorry to hear about all that shite that went down after working so hard in school. I put myself through quite a few years of college myself.

    Left home when I was 17, had cancer from 19-27… was homeless for two of those years… in a wheel chair for two years after… got married the day I found out I was in full remission… went on Welfare the day my daughter was born.

    Then… the day she began to talk, I stopped blaming and started taking action.

    That’s all I got, but to leave you with this. Your family, is lucky to have you, let you be lucky to have you and get moving forward my friend 🙂

  20. Wanna be rich? Learn how to fix things and save $50K or more in a lifetime. Wanna be rich and happy? Learn to spend 90 percent of your life mastering yourself rather than political science, business administration or philosophy. Wanna be rich and happy and efficient? Find a mentor who can teach you the ropes.

    Education only begins when you realize that what you think you know is only one ingredient of hundreds you need to learn before reaching even the base camp of enlightenment.

    College has become so expensive that once again it has become, like it was in the original academies of Europe in the Middle Ages, an enclave for the rich and landed classes.

    Teach children about money, its value, and its accumulation from kindergarten onward and millions more of people will realize by adulthood that being rich and happy is as Wallace Wattles said, “Doing things in a certain way.”

    Both dummies and Harvard graduates rise to the top in the business world, so for most people the wiser choice would be to “Work more on themselves – their character – than on their job,” as Jim Rohn says.

  21. He’s 100% correct. This is true even if the student or his (or her) family pays the tuition. And if the government (taxpayers) have to foot the bill, it’s really inexcusable.
    John

  22. I have three bachelor’s degrees… Don’t use any of them, and I’m still paying a 10 year old student loan! So, no, college is NOT essential, but it WAS fun.
    I think that college is a great and fun experience for those who don’t know what direction to go yet. However, if you know what you want to do, then just get to it in whatever way you need to!!!

  23. Requiring everyone to have a college/formal education is like telling Adam and Eve not to eat the apple. It simply will not happen. The government is foolish to mandate it.
    The value of the education depends on the student and the professors. I have taught at the graduate level to students whose primary concern was the grade not the subject. Would I hire those folks, not likely.

    Education comes in many formats today and it is important that people learn to follow their hearts and to form their hearts with substance rather than the latest fad.
    I would study English and Psychology and Philosophy again with a triple major. I would study Counseling again and wish that the folks in the field would stop worrying about credentials and focus on results.

    When education raises the quality of life it is valuable otherwise it is an exercise in getting a credential that will open doors but is no guarantee that the person is capable of critical thinking, dancing with the elephants or solving problems on the fly.

    This topic is one with many facets and education when utilized and executed properly polishes the facets of the student into a shining example of what is possible with education. In an information intensive world it is essential to find the truth as a person sees it through all of the noise and nonsense. I know I still have much to learn and my teachers continue to appear. I am enjoying the ride.

  24. Speaking personally as a person with a disability, I can honestly say that my very good education helped make the difference between a good career and absolute drudgery. I have been pleased to work in higher education for more than 30 years as a college counselor with mostly economically disadvantaged students. True, many really weren’t prepared to follow through, but so very many blossomed and recognized that they can make choices to end the cycle of poverty and disadvantage. Actually, what we should be spending money on as a society is preparing young people to assume roles as responsible, motivated, passionate, engaged adults. Whether through apprenticeships, the military, or technical or academic education, it seems that an increasing number of high school graduates don’t know how to make realistic, positive choices about the future. Perhaps money management and parenting skills should be mandatory subjects in high school. I graduated from high school with office skills I didn’t use, but I’m glad I had those skills. Yes, I’ve wandered all over the place in this post, but, honestly, I wouldn’t trade anything for my education

  25. No one is entitled to anything. That kind of thinking is what creates unreasonable expectations, anger and frustration. Everyone is entitled to strive to achieve what they want in life, and everyone should go for education if that’s what they want – just not at taxpayer expense.

    I have never directly worked in the field of my degree (which was quite non-mainstream and therefore – on the surface – impractical), however my education has been and continues to be something I benefit from. I went to a prestigious university and received a top notch education, both because the instructors were great and because I went to school to learn, not to get a degree that would get me a job.

    No one can know the future. We are told that we should love what we do and do what we love. I believe that is true for education as well. Forget the degree. Love the learning, then go out and gift the world with what you gained.

  26. We do not have such thing as education on planet Earth nowadays in colleges, we have endoctrinement. Gandhi was answering a journalist asking him:”What do you think about education?”I think it’s a very good idea.” But we can get it if we’re really hungry for it. I’m sure many people who went to schools make a good living and are happy they did. I’m 54, french and living in california, I went to school in swizterland and I’m very grateful I did eventhough I did not use my studies cause I choosed to do something else but I remember my history teacher who started his 1st class by telling us:”History is a lie that nobody contest” He did contest. Even if our leaders don’t want to give us an education many men and women want us to have it and nothing and nobody can stop them today. We’re living a great time, today we have access to great documentations and informations for the ones who want it. Thank you for your site I love it!!!
    Eliane.

  27. The education system, as it is, creates emotionally distant, conformists.

    The nicest people I meet were home schooled and the most creative steiner-waldorf schooled.

    Everyone should be educated in how the world is, but not how they are now.

  28. Everbody has said what needs to be said about education. I do not need to write a long letter on what I do or do not agree with. I have a few comments.

    I have four degrees two Ph.D.’s . One from a conventional College and three correspondence online. Since I could set up my own course of study on line I got more out of it. This was over a 25 year period. I was in business for 20 years after my BA. When I entered thew fiel d of Psychology at age 40 I paid my way through college. I feel people learn more and appreciate their education when they pay for it themselves.

    When I began my entry into the Psychological field, I learned more from working with my clients than I did in college. The govt. wants to control everything including the states. I feel people are going to very disappointed in Obama and his plans in a few years. We need less fed control and more state control.

    I do not think anybody owes me an education or a job. I have been self employed since 1967. It is my feeling there is to much I am entitled to a job an education etc.
    We are losing our freedom fast to Govt. control

  29. Look up the definition of a cult which describes the whole of institutionalized education.
    As far as critical thinking it seems that the areas of you brain lights up for both pain and crtitical thinking.
    I’m 58 dropped out of school at 17 but went back every 5 years for a year or two always for something different, the last time at 51.
    None of it ever advanced my career.
    But I did enjoy the experience.

  30. I quite agree with all of what Lenny said.

    We’ve been here in the temporary dreamworld matrix called reality for eons. We are actually chewing the chewed.

    There are so many branches of education-science,arts,engineering and so on but very few about the knowledge that will make us happy eternally.

    The different maturities we acquire in the process will determine the path we choose.

    We should just attract whatever truth we are inside ourselves. If we are sincere, then we will attract the truth in that sense. If we are delusional then we will attract the situation for us to fool ourselves.

    I guess Barry and Heathers purpose in this earth matrix is to make us realize that we should think carefully of the intentions of governments and religions for control or to make us more pleasant beings?

  31. I always felt that I had to have a college education to be taken “seriously” in business. My mother told me often that I didn’t “need” it, that I could succeed without it but I didn’t believe her.

    Despite her words I went to college to get my AA in Business Administration and ended up finishing 18 months out of the 24 to get the degree. Life and work took over and I just couldn’t manage to the time committment to the last six months. I often think about going back to finish it…for my own sense of accomplishment, not because I feel I need to degree to advance my career.

    I have fourteen years of actual Business Administration to my career and never ended up needing the degree to succeed. My mother was right after all.

    That being said, I have an 18 year old son that just grauduated and plans to go to college to be a lawyer. I stand behind him and know he will see it all the way through. He loves to learn and and isn’t overwhelmed by the commitment he is making. My second son is 16 and I would never ask him to go to college. School is difficult for him and he struggles with the whole learning structure even though he is very smart. It just isn’t his style of learning. He is much more visual and hands on.

    The point is I think education is valuable and important but I also think traditional education it isn’t for everyone. Each person has to find what works for them, even if it isn’t the expected route of learning.

  32. Dear Heather and Barry,

    I don’t believe that any one institution is responsible or capable of teaching me everything I need and want to know.

    I believe, if a person wants a higher education, he/she should have the opportunity to do so.

    Yes, my formal education is important to me. So is my non formal education.

    My parents paid for my tuition to a University the first year. I worked part time to pay for books and any extra experiences or recreational expenses. I took Anthropology. However, my father did not perceive this as a viable profession and would not foot the bill.

    I moved back home and agreed to an associate degree in Commercial Art, for which he would help out. And, yes, I worked in the field for many years.

    I knew nothing about such things as grants at the time. I wish that I had.

    About ten years ago, I became a counselor, a profession to which I am much better suited. I have considered going back to get another degree. However, I have found that book theory and reality are two very different things. Just because someone with alphabet soup after their name, proposes a theory, doesn’t make it effective.

    I have three six foot bookcases full of non fiction books. I am one of those strange people who have actually read them. Plus I have participated in workshops, trainings, and I have both personal and professional experience.

    However, unless one has that degree, professional choices are limited and it is a trial by fire to be regarded as a competent expert.

    Never the less, there are other areas of study that I also find interesting. I love learning. While I can learn about astrophysics and particle physics by reading, I would need some formal training to figure out the math equations that support the theories.

    But since that pursuit would be for personal interest, rather than for my livelihood, I wouldn’t expect or pursue any assistance should I choose to take some college courses.

    I don’t think anyone is entitled to go to college just to have a fun experience. However, I do think everyone who is serious about pursuing a higher education for their chosen profession deserved the opportunity, and some assistance when necessary.

    Not everyone has the physical stamina or mental fortitude to exist on three hours of sleep per night while they work at least one full time job, (and perhaps another to afford the expense of a higher education), and go to school full time.

    Without some form of assistance, a person who is only qualified low paying employment, must overcome huge challenges and obstacles to earn the money for their education while taking care of their basic living expenses.

    The result would be that only the people whose family can afford a higher education are entitled to it. Even when it is just to have a fun experience.

    Of course, college is not for everyone. Some people prefer a trade school or a technical school. But in general, most people who have some sort of education or training beyond high school are able to make a more comfortable living.

    And everyone who is willing to apply themselves deserves the opportunity to improve their life through training or education.

    Lauren Kennedy’s last blog post..The Cancer Without and Within

  33. Interesting question. In many ways i think telling everyone they needed a University education and that the world would be theirs was an appalling con job, forcing first class technical institutions into becoming 5th rate so-called universities.

    Only the top 5% of academically gifted students attended universities when I began my first degree and those of us who graduated could pretty much walk in and out of jobs if we chose. At that time there was this quaint idea of intellectual rigour about. Universities trained you to think and reason, and except for professions like medicine, engineering, physics etc, classics, languages and the various Arts degrees did just that. My thesis for my first degree was longer than some required for many Masters and higher degrees now.

    When you start telling everyone that they ‘need’ a university degree and begin lowering standards so no one can fail then you have a society in deep trouble.
    First class tradesmen and women, and all sorts of other jobs don’t need degrees. I wince when I see the subjects some of the applicants for positions on my staff have. Useless rubbish, while at the same time they can’t write a sentence or spell a word correctly, have no math skills at all, know absolutly no history about anything in any logical sequence and still believe the world owes them everything, resenting it when they discover the world doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t.
    Then again I get a trifle irritated when someone with no real knowledge about an academic subject which requires it thimks 20 hours of superficial training makes them as competent as a university trained specialist.

    I like my brain surgeons to have been properly trained, just as I prefer mechanics working on my car to know what they are doing, and engineers who have sufficient expertise to build a bridge that doesn’t fall down. In my country you can no longer tell someone they have failed anything and will never ever pass in a thousand years. They are ‘not yet competent’

    Horses for courses I think. Young men with Classics Degrees ran highly successful and honest Empires: clever people with no degrees made and still make fortunes. Why not value the best in everything without demanding college or university degrees for everything?I once knew a girl with a Ph.D. in Welsh Bardic Poetry who waited tables as no one else in the world was much interested in Welsh Bardic Poetry but her. She was brilliant, but virtually unemployable outside a University.
    Equality of opportunity is what is required not equality of outcomes, which produces mediocrity. We should value excellence where we find it and not demand degrees for everything and expect other people to pay for them.

    I was disappointed when I went up to university: I expected communities of scholars debating scholarly matters. They were just people, albeit brilliant people. I have used my degrees. I earned them, & either paid for them or won scholarships. Not everyone is meant for academia, but it has its place. Without knowldge and knowledge keepers we do not remember where we have come from or where we will go, but the craftsman that makes a beautiful table is as valuable as any scholar at Oxford. What we ‘owe’ to the next generations is literacy and numeracy and the chance to be what they want. In turn what is offered them is a privilege, earned by struggle and determination. They don’t have to be eternally ‘grateful’ but using their opportunities to the best of their abilities would be a great idea.

    Without some basic skills in reading and writing and math you can’t even function at the most basic level in society and you don’t really need a cuniversity education for that.

  34. Like several people posting here I got a BA in Marketing where I ended up working for ten years before I realized that I hated what I was doing. While I was doing my undergrad I had tutored several international students learning English who told me that I should become an English teacher because I was really good at it. I entertained the thought of changing but financially it was too difficult. (It took me ten years to pay off that debt–and I was only supporting myself while doing it).

    When I realized business wasn’t for me, I decided to try volunteering teaching English as Second Language (ESL) to see if I really liked it or not. After 6 months the teacher I volunteered with said she’d kick me in the pants if I didn’t get my ESL certification because I was able to teach effectively even though untrained. If I hadn’t taken the time to volunteer, I’d probably still be working in an office and hating it. Everyone who’s asked me for advice about work has gotten that story. More volunteering programs in high schools would help kids get the experience they need to decide what kind of job they like which, in turn, will help them understand what kind of education, if any at all, is needed for that job.

    This was supported by story after story of students I taught in Japan. There was a big romanticized vision among young women of being ground staff at the airport. Several of my students tried it as part of a job placement program and hated it. Thankfully they were able to get out of the course and change into something else.

    My financial advisor just took on three students from his alma mater in order to give them real world experience in the financial field. He told me that he was setting up a program of what they were going to do, including training to cold call for customers and actually cold calling. Friends’ experience has shown me that not all job placement situations are as proactive as this though, which is a shame.

    After having taught for ESL for four years I actually decided to go back to school and do a Master’s in Applied Linguistics which I am currently almost finished doing. It has led me to realize that I really want to do a PhD also because I love doing in-class research but none of this would have happened without my volunteer experience.

    Teaching nurtures my spiritual side as well because I feel I am following the career path that feels natural and makes me jump out of bed in the morning with excitement but also I feel I am contributing to world peace. Peace comes from understanding, understanding comes from clear communication, clear communication comes from having the ability to communicate. I encourage my students to share their cultures when they learn English and not just abandon it and adopt whatever country’s culture they admire (I really saw a lot of this in Japan).

    Also, as an ESL teacher I know that there are lots of ‘training’ programs that aren’t worth the paper they are written on. The one-year certification I took was harder than my entire undergrad degree. However, unless an ESL teacher gets in with a school board, most end up going abroad or if they stay in Canada (where I am) working in private schools that bring in international
    students for lots of money but pay the teachers a pittance.

    So, end recommendations for me are: encouraging volunteering for everyone and job placement as part of all programs.

    Thanks Barry and Heather for such a great blog.

  35. I agree with a number of the commenters that college, (and for me our present system of education) are highly overrated because it has very little to do with learning how to be a conscious, integrated human being.

    Educational curriculum’s are mostly designed to keep you sequestered in your left brain and away from your intuition, superconscious, Soul Identity.

    The left brain is incapable of discerning Truth, so you can be manipulated into believing anything is the “Truth.”

    When I was able to integrate both aspects of my “brain” and have direct access to all the intelligence centers in my being, then I was able to start the true education of knowing Who I Am, what I came here to “do,” and how to do it.

    I call such a human being “Homo Spiritus,” a Divinely Embodied human being, and this is where I see all of us moving towards as the next step in our collective evolution on this planet.

    Let’s keep Awakening out there!

  36. I have a BS in Accounting and a MBA. I’ve worked in accounting and finance. I love the projections that I learned in the master’s program and I’ve done some of it for a living. I did not enjoy being in a CPA office which does require a degree. The biggest thing I got from a higher education was basic set of knowledge. I had to learn some Math, Science, History and English to name a few. I find it easier to understand many concepts because of this education. I do not believe that this is the only way to get such and education nor do I believe that all schools teach as broad a program in there core requirements. I do believe that it is easier to get this type of education in college. I do not believe that everyone should go to college and I know there is a place for the shorter cources that train you for a job and leave your real education for you to take care of.

  37. I agree with you about the large percentage of our students that are not well prepared for University level education, but that does not mean that pursuing higher education is not a good choice.

    I believe that the government should focus on improving elementary education, so when our kids go to high school and university, they are prepared. Our country needs to follow education models like those that Holland has; they prepare everyone for what they are good for. The biggest problem in American society is standardizing everything. We need to recognize differences and determine before a students finish high school if they should go to University or a technical school.

    I can imagine the people reaction saying that this is unfair, well is more unfair to have so many dropouts from university and a society full of people that does not know what they are good for.

    We are failing on the basis of the education system, we are loosing international competiveness and we will continue until we understand that a big change is needed.

    Thank you!

  38. This looks like a thought provoking discussion, but I have not read all of the responses.

    I did the course work for a doctorate in education, in instructional design and technology, spent about three years in the field after investing in eight years of graduate work before deciding I hated the computer industry – even though I was really good at design and made lots of money.

    However, I spent lots of money too – astronomical dry cleaning bills and a professional wardrobe, way too tired to cook when I got off work so I ate out a lot and bought too much prepared food so not-so-great diet, tons of stress, long hours, etc. – AND nearly 40K of student loans.

    But here’s the deal – I do not regret my education at all and feel it was worth every penny. I learned tons about myself, about my beliefs and how attached I was to earning approval, how desperately I wanted *Success*, etc. and as a result I got over a lot of my “stuff.”

    I also received a first class education and got to interact with a lot of fine minds during my educational process and meet many fine friends. So I now have three degrees – two undergraduate degrees in fine arts, a master degree, and then ABD in the doctoral program. I realize that a lot of people may think that is a waste – but to me it is not. My education was and still is part of my path. I’ve grown on all levels, and I feel it has been a good thing for me – despite the enormous student loans I am still paying back (of course there are lessons in that!).

    So the point I would like to make is that I think and feel that everyone who wants to go to college – for whatever reason – ought to be able to do that. I would vastly prefer that everyone is able to do that like they do in Spain, for instance, where college is gratis on the state. The USA falls behind in lots of arenas like health care and education – many other countries do it better (but then I am also glad that I live here). Many other countries offer tech training gratis as well, which I think is a very good idea.

    I believe that people should reach for their aspirations and desires. I imagine that most of us will make “mistakes” – but I wonder if in the big picture if any of it is really a mistake. We all do the best that we can do at any given moment in our lives – we make the most relevant choices that we are capable of, given where we are at, who we are and where we would like to go.

    So if someone wants to go to college, then they should go. If someone wants to drop out of college because it seems a mistake – I applaud their insight. If someone chooses not to go to college because it doesn’t seem relevant – that too is great. Seems like everything in life is on a continuum and we all fall at various unique points on those continuums. We make “mistakes,” but hopefully we learn very important, even treasured, lessons from our mistakes, realizing that it all furthers. I just don’t think we can second guess the outcomes of everything in our lives, and that when it comes to decisions about education, we can only give it our best shot – just like everything else in life.

    Also, as a related aside – some of the most brilliant and fine minds I have ever met or read did not go to college or have much education at all – but then some do.

  39. Thank you for posting this blog and thanks to everyone who has posted their thoughts here. For so long I thought something was “wrong” with me because I had a lot of resistance about attending a formal college. After graduating from High School, I went to a trade school for the field I wanted to work in and now, I’m no longer working in that field. Like many others, a formal college education would have been a waste of time and I’d probably still be in debt from it now.

    A college education has become very overexaggerated and more “the thing to do” over the years. The idea is put out there like a college education is the only way to have a “good life” and to be “successful.” That’s not to say that it’s not like that for some, but the idea isn’t put out there in an unbiased, either/or way.

    I’ve been resistant to college for a few reasons: One the outrageous amount of money that it costs . Two: I’ve never been enthuiastic about school (the education system the way it is). Three: The idea of college feels so inflexible and binding to me.

    I don’t label myself an artist, but I do practice art. For a while I had an internal tennis match to whether or not I wanted to go to college for an art education. I want to improve on my technique and gain more artistic confidence and I thought that going to college for a formal education was the ONLY way to do that. When I was at the point where I had convinced myself that college was the way was when I came across what I really wanted, continuing education classes. Classes that I can take that will give me what I’m looking for. They’re shoter, way less expensive and they seem more geared towards polishing me up to my own shine vs shining me the way someone else wants me to shine. My point is, there are other ways to get “there” wherever “there” is for everyone. College isn’t the only path. Learning happens regardless of whether it’s in a classroom or in your best friend’s kitchen.

    In closing, for those of you at a educational crossroads, just know that you have more options than you may have been told. If college is the way for you, then go for it. If not, walk another path.

    Thank you for reading.

  40. College opens minds, broadens beliefs and gives us an opportunity to grow beyond our dreams. Its not for everyone. Common sense, hard work and imagination can also get you there. But college worked for me! I loved it and I love my job! I’m making more money than I could have before college (national statistics have proven this) and I can travel abroad to discover the world and see my culture from the perspective of others. Priceless.

  41. Interesting comments. As a Tribal, Frist Nations, person I have always felt the educational systems was skewed.
    It was through the use of the “educational” system that our children were taken to be raised in a “civilized” manner, to eradicate our indigenous knowledge. We have been left with a legacy of loss and generations have been impacted by historical trauma.
    No, I did not receive a formalized western education. Has it adversely impacted my life? Yes and No. Yes, if you determine worth based on a certain set of values. No, if you can embrace the idea that education can be found and measured outside the western construct.
    Ealrier in my life, it was circumstance that prevented my participation in western higher education. Later, it was by concious choice after working with academia and finding a narrowness that was not congruent with my cosmology.

  42. I used to think education was solely founded on going to school, university, college…you know the conventional stuff. I was told that if I wanted to be a “success” or “make it in life”, I had to get an education.

    Later in life after I got married and had children I realized there was a HUGE deficit in my ability to manage life. Nothing I learned in textbooks dealing with math, physics, chemistry,…etc. prepared me or helped in managing the numerous challenges and problems that exists in a family or dealing with relationships.

    Human Life is SO COMPLEX, on all levels, whether it be physically, mentally, psychologically or spiritually. Unfortunately, education has done almost nothing to solve the problems that exists in these areas.

    Look at all the advancement in technology, science, physics and chemistry that has transpired over the centuries. Has anything really changed? There is still disease, mental, psychological, spiritual illness, wars, divorces, famines, and government oppression. That’s certainly not a “success” or “making it in life”.

    I have seen a lot of unhappy graduates and PHDs. Educated lawyers and law enforcers break the law. Doctors are sick themselves. Pastors and priests fall into pornography and fornication.

    Education can be dangerous if placed in the wrong hands. Education can block creativity because one get used to thinking in a box. I have seen AMAZING musicians who never went to music school and don’t practice much. On the other hand I have also seen music graduates that stumble on pieces they have been practicing for hours.

    I’m not saying that those math, chemistry and physics subjects are wrong. However when I look at all that is happening in the world, there is something definitely amiss, something wrong.

    For these reasons, I would like to conclude that:

    Unless knowledge can help destroy selfishness, pride, bitterness and bring love and happiness between relationships, relieve the misery and cure disease on all levels in the world, I don’t think it is true education.

  43. I have been a teacher for most of my adult life, earned a Masters and taught full-time for 14 years. Then I had a couple of babies and decided to take a hiatus to be with them. As they got older and I was ready to go back, I found that door had slammed shut.

    I am now considered overqualified to be a realistic applicant. The new hires are the 20 year olds with little to no experience. Many just spent their college days partying like fools. I’ve watched a trail of them get hired in my place regardless of my experience and credentials. Those kids are good for the budget you see, can be hired in at the bottom rung of the ladder.

    Even if I were willing to negotiate a lower salary (and at this point I certainly would) the school districts will not discuss it. You see, once in a similar situation a teacher who had agreed to a much lower salary than her credentials deserved worked for a handful of years until she was tenured and then sued the district – and won. The district then had to not only adjust her salary by a LOT but also pay back pay for all of those years at such a low salary. I know this story first-hand, and you can bet that it got around to administrative and human services personnel though not one will admit it.

    So this is how we ‘value’ education in the US. We discriminate against the very educated and experienced while we actively recruit those with as little background as possible to teach our young, then mouth off about how much we ‘value’ education and encourage a college degree as though it is the answer to all. I already have several of those, thank you very much, worked my butt off to put myself through college and paid dearly for every degree and certification myself.

    As a teacher, I am very gifted and passionate about my work, very dedicated and take great pride in that career, in doing all I can to make a difference – even in the face of a lot of government imposed standardized nonsense. The politics in the public school system is thick. Note I use the present tense above even though I am now unemployed and am finally accepting that I may never walk into another classroom again. Meanwhile I am still a teacher, earned that title with integrity regardless of the nonsense of treating the educational system as though it is some for profit capitalist business. Teaching is in my blood as what I was meant to do, have trained to do well my entire life, because I chose to seek such.

    I do not take those silly words about how we as a whole ‘value’ education in this country very seriously anymore. If we cannot value those who ARE ‘educated’, then how can we speak intelligently about why being educated even matters?

  44. Dear Sir
    I looked through a little bit of this article and it does go along with what I think about education.
    Institutional education is nothing more than indoctrination that conforms to a set of beliefs about the physical and material world.
    It will not give you any understanding on your spiritual nature and the power you really are.
    The last thing the establishment wants is for you to find the truth of who you really are,your full potential because it is a great threat to their ego power. These ego power is losing it.

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