In today’s world, theoretical education is arguably the most highly regarded institution in the world, aside from religion of course. We take out loans large enough to buy homes to purchase theories on everything. This is not to say that all education should be valued equally. The progress of science/engineering through education is undoubtedly valuable; however, we need to evaluate what is going on with theoretical education and why we pay so much for it (in the US).
Educational institutions are very powerful. They have huge investments and tons of highly sought after patents which earn great amounts of money. They have thousands of students paying thousands of dollars to consume concepts, intangible assets that can now be easily shared online through the internet.
I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the graduation cap and gown and that of a priest in religion. I watched the famous Steve Jobs commencement speech again at Stanford, and couldn’t pull my eyes away from the ridiculous caps and gowns everyone was using. In Jobs’ speech, he undermines the university system as a whole by sharing his story of dropping out of an expensive education to pursue the things he actually wanted to pursue.
Many of the great thinkers of yesterday and today have similar stories. They don’t believe in paying for an education. They don’t want their parents or themselves to be indebted to an institution for the majority of their career. They don’t want a piece of paper telling them that they are capable of something. They want to do what they want to do and not have to pay for it.
Today education is changing. It is in the beginning stages, but education is becoming something that people can explore, rather than pay for. It is a huge development in the equality of knowledge and the development of genuine interest for everyone.
Many people hate the job that they were able to get by means of their education and their expensive diploma. Not only do they hate their job, but they are also in debt from the very thing that got them the job – their education.
As we all know, religion has caused many upsets/wars/conflict around the world. I’m not suggesting that paying for theoretical education is causing as many issues, but what I am suggesting is that you think about what you want to do rather than pay someone to tell you what you should do.
I always have admired my mom’s ability to maintain the value of practical and personal education in her first and second grade classes. She builds gardens with the kids, incorporates physical activity, and allows students to draw and sing to enable students to develop in healthy ways and to focus on things that they love to do.
We don’t go through each day selecting the ‘right’ answers from a selection of ‘A through E’ options. We choose to do things because we follow our intuition and passion. ‘A through E’ test questions limit our ability to create anything at all. It is very admirable that my mom is able to still allow her students to focus on intuition and passion in and ‘A through E’ education world.
I can’t recall one single multiple choice question I had to answer from my university education – and there were probably thousands.
UPDATE – view – NPR Article on Student Debt
Check out WeAreThe99Percent
If you want to read more in depth about the debt issue with education read this article.
Take a look at the Khan Academy to see how theoretical education is being spread for FREE today. Wikipedia.org is also a part of this change obviously. It is a start, there is still much change that is needed.
Thanks to my step dad that has always introduced forward-thinking websites like the Khan Academy and Ted.com.