Tag Archives: opportunities

Re: #DontStayInSchool: In Defense of the System

A few weeks ago my brother sent me the following video and asked if I could write about it on the blog. He challenged me to defend academia and promised that he would respond by commenting on why this video resonated so deeply with him. So, although I agree with many of the comments Dave from Boyinaband makes in his video, I’m going to offer you several reasons why our education system can be, and has often been, a good thing.

1. Our education system was designed to promote equality

In his video on the history of education, Salman Kahn explains how our contemporary education system was shaped by ideologies that valued class equality. According to Kahn, the Prussian education system, despite its faults, insisted on providing public education for all citizens. Meanwhile, even the “Committee of Ten”,  the group of educators who originally introduced standardized curriculum, were motivated by their belief that economic status should not prevent students from having access to “higher order” skills. Standardization of curriculum meant that every student would (ideally) have access to the kind of information that was once restricted to the elite.

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12 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Went to University

I’ve spent several years blundering through the university system. It’s only now, in my fourth year, that I’m beginning to feel like I have a clue how anything works. Alas, it is too late for me to take full advantage of this knowledge, but I thought perhaps I could pass on a few words of wisdom before it’s all over.

You know what they say about sharing…

Below I’ve included a list of things I wish I had known before I started. I wasn’t sure if I was the only one who had no idea what was going on for the first few years of their education, so I also posed the question to Reddit. I’ve included several of their excellent responses below.

1.Know What You Want to Do Before You Start

I know a lot of people who felt pressured to go to university straight out of high school. Then, once they made it to university, they had no idea what program to take. There are seriously A BAZILLION options. I worked for several years after high school, so by the time I started my undergrad I thought I had developed a game-plan. Even then it definitely wasn’t specific enough. I was so
overwhelmed by the number of choices that I ended up taking several courses that had nothing to do with my degree.

Redditor wolf2600 also suggests having a program, or even a career, in mind before choosing a school:

“Don’t choose a school/major on a whim. When deciding on a school/program, go to the school’s website, find their college catalog, and see what courses are offered in the department (along with their descriptions), and also what courses are required for the degree. Majors with the same name can have very different requirements at different schools, and the selection of elective courses can also vary widely.”

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