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The Value of College Education?
Posted: 30 April 2013 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I think education has changed too much since the 50s and not for the better.  It’s a source of jobs for educators, many of whom are not very good at it and it seems a lot of best ones quit.  But those that stay behind keep dishing out the same old propaganda.

Psikey, this statement is pure BS. Despite the current problems we’re having in the field of education, e.g. Lack of funding, state standards skewed more toward placating corporate interests, classrooms filled to capacity, and the proverbial helicopter parents, it is far more educationally productive than the 50’s. I know, I was a product of 50’s style education. In that era teachers didn’t even need a college education. Technology hadn’t entered the classroom and teachers had a book and a chalkboard. Memiograph machines were just beginning to be used and there were NO visuals. Today’s classrooms come complete with smartboards, computers, DVD players, much better lighting and better educated teachers who no must periodically update their certification by going back to college not to mention the state mandated workshops that are ongoing annually. And if you want to teach in the classroom today you had better be “good"at it as some states are tying student performance to merit pay. hell yes it’s a job source for educators, elswise why would you spend all that time and money to get a degree? And it’s not as easy now as it once was. During the four years you spend to get one you must perform periodic classroom observations and student teach for a semester in a regular classroom with a mentor teacher who has the authority to send you packing back to college. Your performance is reviewed by a professor and if you’re given a bad review the college recommends that you choose another field. As to propaganda, each teacher is given a limited control over what is taught in his/her classroom but it certainly better NOT be propaganda! Once again the building administrator must review a teacher’s performance and in conferences discuss each teacher’s strengths and weaknesses. This is annual BTW,and ongoing throughout the teacher’s career. All this while learning discipline skills and writing endless lesson plans, grading hundreds of papers, and periodic meetings with parents not to mention balancing the needs of special students. Yes, I stayed behind to do this for 36 years because the pay is wonderful and the working conditions were perfect! No, I did it because I was passionate about kids learning the subject I am passionate about as have my colleagues. And believe me, the slackers are being weened out, leaving only those who are committed to the job of teaching and inspiring kids to learn. In other words, those who can’t teach choose some other profession.


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Posted: 30 April 2013 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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A college (university) education in this country will continue to be deemed a necessity (though a false one), by a large proportion of the population until people stop seeing it as the only path to the respectable economic classes and, anything less, such as a trade school, as a path to a less intelligent, down-market class. A college degree has no intrinsic value and in a majority of cases is practically wasted.  But the race to a degree by any means by most high school graduates will continue until it ceases to be a class issue. Employers, too, will have to stop requiring a degree for positions that don’t actually require one.  The population has been sold a bill of goods when it comes to higher education and it has had the result that should have been expected: when nearly everyone gets that overly-expensive piece of paper by any means possible, it loses its value in the marketplace.  Many kids coming out of high school would do much better by learning a trade or getting an entry level job than attending college for the same number of years.  But nothing will change as long as a college degree is seen by most people to be a key to respect in the community, no matter how useless it actually is on a practical level. Perception is everything, especially when it’s wrong.

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Posted: 30 April 2013 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I don’t think a degree is useless at all. It doesn’t make people smarter, but smarter people do get better and more education. And that’s what it’s all about. It would be easier and cheaper to test people’s IQ instead, but IQ tests don’t measure conscientiousness. Education does. Most people who’ll get a PhD are high in both conscientiousness and intelligence. Also, many people will meet their future spouse in college. Worth every penny if your plan is to have children who are intelligent and high in conscientiousness. Or you can do it the other expensive way: an egg from a beautiful, tall woman with a PhD can sell for up to $60,000. Perception is everything, especially when it’s right.  grin

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Posted: 30 April 2013 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I’m a firm believer in Thomas Edison’s well worn maxim that “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. it really doesn’t matter what degree or skill you attempt to master, without the motivation you’re going to fail. Having the intelligence to attend a college or trade school is only part of the equation. And no, a college degree is not the end all be all of success and happiness unless you work hard for it and find a field with job openings. I never encouraged a student to attend college until first determining what they wanted to study and what potential jobs were available to them in the near future. But as Lois points out there are many positions in the real World that require certification for a non academic job. The tech college where I teach offers training for over 130 skilled jobs from nursing to welding, carpentry (I could use that one) to cosmetology. Personally, I like the European system wherein you are able to be tested for aptitude in one of the two career paths at age 16. It’d sure eliminate this idea that college is for everyone. There are several ways out of poverty and the economic lower class. But once again, it all boils down to motivation. That, and a smartphone with an etrade app, just kidding, really. On second thought, who knows? There are clever kids who play the market.


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Posted: 30 April 2013 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 30 April 2013 11:37 AM

Personally, I like the European system wherein you are able to be tested for aptitude in one of the two career paths at age 16. It’d sure eliminate this idea that college is for everyone.

Right, although it’s at 14, not 16. Basically, what’s the point of torturing kids (and wasting everybody’s money) through high school education if they don’t cognitively have what it takes? Does a welder really need to know algebra and the history of the fall of the Roman Empire?

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Posted: 30 April 2013 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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George - 30 April 2013 11:51 AM
Thevillageatheist - 30 April 2013 11:37 AM

Personally, I like the European system wherein you are able to be tested for aptitude in one of the two career paths at age 16. It’d sure eliminate this idea that college is for everyone.

Right, although it’s at 14, not 16. Basically, what’s the point of torturing kids (and wasting everybody’s money) through high school education if they don’t cognitively have what it takes? Does a welder really need to know algebra and the history of the fall of the Roman Empire?

It would never work here.  Most public school parents would be up in arms saying THEIR child is being denied higher education,  that the test us unfair to begin with and doesnt take this or that factor into consideration (poverty, dyslexia, ADD, race, ethnicity, poorer schools,  first language is not English, you name it, they will find it).  Parents inthis country simply wouldn’t stand for a system that cuts out THEIR child, no matter what the reason. They will take it as a personal affront, unfair tests or outright discrimination.  And they will expect the educational system to make up for any difficulty their child demonstrates, no matter its source—because, of course, it is never attributable to the child).  Few middle-class and wealthier parents will ever admit that THEIR child is not college material.

LL.

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Posted: 30 April 2013 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 30 April 2013 07:42 AM

Today’s classrooms come complete with smartboards, computers, DVD players, much better lighting and better educated teachers who no must periodically update their certification by going back to college not to mention the state mandated workshops that are ongoing annually. And if you want to teach in the classroom today you had better be “good"at it as some states are tying student performance to merit pay. hell yes it’s a job source for educators, elswise why would you spend all that time and money to get a degree? And it’s not as easy now as it once was.

Yeah, technology companies want the income stream from the education industry.  How many 10th graders can explain what an electron is?  Shouldn’t nearly all of them be able to do it?

To a reasonable degree.  We don’t need wave equations.

Harvard graduates not being able to explain winter and summer.  And that was 20 years ago.

How do college graduates not notice economists saying nothing about the depreciation of hundreds of millions of cars decades after the Moon landing?  Let’s face it, in the 50s no one had a clue when the Moon landing would occur.  Was the 50s standard of education acceptable?  I have seen more than one article about tablets killing off smartboards. 

And why the emphasis on jobs over accounting?  Are the schools indoctrinating kids to be workers even if white collar ones?  What would the average Net Worth of Americans be if accounting had been mandatory since the 1950s?  Nobody knows.  Who in the educational system has been discussing such a thing in the last 50 years.

A really curious thing is that in 1930 John Maynard Keynes was talking about a 15 hour work week by 2030.  I guess he was smarter than most people say but that comment is not mentioned a lot.  I think we should have been on a 3-day work week in the 80s but our college graduate economists can’t notice Demand Side Depreciation since Keynes died.  What about depreciation of computers?

http://www.nber.org/chapters/c0876.pdf

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Posted: 30 April 2013 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 30 April 2013 11:37 AM

I’m a firm believer in Thomas Edison’s well worn maxim that “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”.

The man who invented the electric chair as a propaganda ploy to scare people away from AC current.

Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, who, more than a century ago, engaged in a nasty battle over alternating and direct current, known as the “War of Currents.”  Both men knew there was room for but one American electricity system, and Edison set out to ruin Westinghouse in “a great political, legal and marketing game” that saw the famous inventor stage publicity events where dogs, horses and even an elephant were killed using Westinghouse’s alternating current.  The two men would play out their battle on the front pages of newspapers and in the Supreme Court, in the country’s first attempt to execute a human being with electricity.

blogs.smithsonianmag(dot)com/history/2011/10/edison-vs-westinghouse-a-shocking-rivalry/

I went to college for electrical engineering and didn’t hear about that.

Who decides what “education” is?  Want to know electronics:

papers.xtremepapers(dot)com/Edexcel/Advanced Level/Electronics/Resources/Gibilisco - Teach Yourself Electricity And Electronics(dot)pdf

www(dot)freebookspot.es/Comments.aspx?Element_ID=1313

A 7th grader could start with the first book.  Maybe an 11th grader could begin on the second.

Why shouldn’t nearly every American kid know something about electricity?  Is Shakespeare more important?

But now we have these:

youtube(dot)com/watch?v=3o8_EARoMtg

youtube(dot)com/watch?v=7vHh1sfZ5KE

youtube(dot)com/watch?v=ZrMw7P6P2Gw

psik

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