In all my classes at the university, without a single exception that I can recall, I learned more on my own, from outside sources, than I ever did in class, with assigned readings. What was the point? What is the point?
Human young would learn more -- and better -- if there were no institutionalized system of learning at all.
Our entire system of learning is based exclusively on the exploitation of fear.
Learning should be done for its own sake, not to pay a ransom for good grades.
There are far more people than there are jobs, and the proportion is only going to grow worse in the coming years. What are we going to do about this? Literally half of all recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed. Half. What are we going to do?
Our beloved schools take what would otherwise be very worthy subjects and drain them of everything that is interesting and worthwhile in them, and present what is left over in the most boring and tedious way imaginable. Why do they do this? These "professors," curriculum architects and textbook contractors remove just about everything interesting about the subjects and kill them. It is no wonder so many of our young people hate school!
There is no longer such a thing as organized education in the world. Or at least there won't be for long. In the modern system, you're either doing something vocational or you're not doing anything.
There are very, very few even decent books in the academic curricula. And in truth I can recall only one class, out of my entire academic career, that had any real value at all. What this means, of course, is that the truly valuable information about the world is not shared at any point in any school.
Every able-bodied worker could be trained directly by employers, so that they can learn exactly how to perform a given set of job functions. Instead we have a kabuki dance in which one has to accrue a slew of artificial, arbitrary criteria merely to get an interview. The reason for this kabuki dance is to regulate the applicant pool of the job market -- without these ridiculous motions there would be a total glut on the labor market. "Education" at our precious institutions is meaningless and worthless, in itself. It's just a stupid game.
The modern education system exists solely for socioeconomic purposes. A child in any nation needs no educational infrastructure to learn how to speak a language fluently. Likewise, any human individual can learn all he or she needs to know about the world completely outside of any convoluted institution -- which purportedly tells them how to do it -- by the age of twenty. It is presumed that outside of school, an individual would exist helplessly in a vacuum and would learn nothing without it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
If a person learns anything at all of value in the modern educational system -- including our universities, perhaps especially -- it occurs despite the system, not as a typical or direct result of it.
It's babysitting through high school, and now whatever was good about the collegiate system is shot to hell. It's very nearly impossible to get a decent education in our society, and if you want one you have to be smart enough to give it to yourself.
The university system began in the feudal Middle Ages, and worked well as an instrument of education -- of intellectual and spiritual enrichment -- for many centuries. It would seem, however, that today it is a bastard, merely fulfilling the role that capitalism gives it. The system is no longer really about pure education at all.
Education is a form of cultural hypnosis.
The schools can keep their knowledge. I won't pay.
The essence of why our modern educational institutions are constituted of such utter bullshit is that they principally try to keep success away from the student, who must jump through arbitrary, ridiculous hoops to have any chance of gaining access to it. Grades are held for a ransom, which can be paid by doing what some "professor" thinks might be worthy. The whole thing is really quite farcical when you step back and see it this way -- which is to say, as it is.
The university system is a machine, a for-profit industry -- and the student figures appallingly narrowly into the agenda.
Learning is interesting. School is uninteresting. Perhaps this means that real learning is not going on at our schools? I think, in fact, that it is quite true that it isn't. Furthermore, what is happening is happening for monetary reasons. There is no honor or honest search for the truth in academia at all anymore, at least for all practical purposes.
Headline: "10 College Majors That Will Make You Rich Quickly." We live in a shabby society.
I feel that I would be smarter and better informed at this stage of my life if I had never attended any of our educational institutions.
School works for some people and not for others. And that's it. Unfortunately, we live in a society in which those for whom it does not work are usually left behind. Personally, I've never heard of a school that opened a door that I would in all honesty want to walk through.
The primary defect, sociologically and culturally, of both organized religion and the modern education system is that they both prescribe how and what people ought to be thinking. People should be enabled, by whatever society in which they happen to live, to arrive at particular memes on their own after optional exposure to any and every idea they care to think about. For themselves. Culture and its subsidiary technology would be every bit as potent if the entire formal education structure were abolished tomorrow. Learning comes naturally and forcefully to humans. We don't need these authoritarian strictures at all; certainly not anymore. (Of course, this implies that education and religion have ulterior motives for existing, and I leave it for the reader to examine that topic as he or she sees fit).
The problem with the education system is easy to understand -- it is no mystery. It is not the exams, the teachers, the curricula, the administrators. It's not any of that. It's the kids! Young people these days are fucking stupid.
Most of the really interesting stuff you will not find in any of the schools -- except completely by accident.
Not too long ago, one could get a general, liberal education and expect to get a good, well-paying job upon graduation -- and do just that. Those days are clearly over. Nowadays, the expectation still exists (irrationally) -- but the reality is that it is inevitably, and across the board, met with disappointment and frustration.
And what will we do when graduate degrees no longer get you a job?
Kids are playing the game, doing what they are supposed to do -- going to school, expecting that it will get them somewhere. And today, an undergraduate degree doesn't go very far. One has inevitably to go to graduate school and get hopelessly specialized to be, not even guaranteed or assured, but merely eligible for a well-paying job. The picture is bleak, and a major sociocultural-sociological shift is going to have to take place sooner or later. What are we going to do with all these people?
Let's face it -- school sucks. Teachers are basically traffic cops. The system is a cold, soulless rubber-stamper. Whatever learning transpires does so because of the student's initiative, not the teacher's. It is in essence more the student's task of learning for himself than the instructor's task of effectively teaching -- which, in general, he or she doesn't do anyway.
I can remember two teachers, out of all my years in school, that actually did the job well.
Unless one plans to learn science or mathematics, there is no reason to go to university. You don't need some jackass who calls himself "professor" telling you which books you should read. Even worse -- which books you must read.
Our educational institutions function mainly as a way to indoctrinate pupils according to our culture's official stand and to teach people not what they ought to know, but how to be obedient.
The fundamental problem with the modern educational system is that it forces young people to learn. Learning shouldn't be forced; it should be undertaken naturally and for its own sake, or for the sake of some end which is not itself forced on the pupil. Moreover, "learning" is not so much about really improving one's knowledge about the world but about gaming a system in order to get good grades. More than ninety percent of what is crammed in before an exam is forgotten, being only stored in short-term memory for a decent grade. The entire approach is appalling. You may say there is no alternative, but I may say you are not imaginative enough. Even if there is no viable alternative, the criticism clearly remains valid.
Our schools, and especially our universities, take what would otherwise be interesting and stimulating subjects and turn them into drudgery and total unpleasantness. This phenomenon is systemic, and it led Einstein to remark that if any curiosity is left after one graduates it is a miracle. I agree. Our professors turn rewarding fun into boring work, focusing not on what is really interesting but instead on excruciating minutiae and a dull curriculum. If there were no schools at all the populace would be better educated.
There are few things worse than having to read a boring book.
An education is a good thing. Schooling is not. Reading interesting books can be very stimulating. Studying what you have been assigned for an exam cannot. Gaining knowledge and seeking truth are two of the finest pursuits in life. Angling for an A is not so admirable. Learning is fine, and there is a little of it going on in the classroom, at times. But most real learning has to be done on one's own. For the most part school sucks.
Making learning something that has to be done is a kind of rape of the mind. The pursuit of knowledge should be undertaken for its own sake, to seek out the truth. Forcing pupils to study under threat of bad marks which will remain indelibly on an academic record kills the entire essence of what it should mean to learn new things. Our entire education system is a travesty, and many very good and worthy people are victimized by it.
Truth be told, we don't need a compulsory education system. Quite naturally, people will learn what they need or want to learn, when they need or want to learn it. Pre-school through high school is a baby-sitting session. The universities -- at least at the undergraduate level -- are mainly useful for basic indoctrination and instilling a sense of obedience; not much real learning goes on there. It is a kind of rubber-stamping process, if you will. I attended and graduated from one, and I had in the entire course of my curriculum only two classes that were of any discernible value at all. The universities and colleges also serve a primary sociocultural function: to keep people out of the workforce for as long as possible. The number of people outstrips the number of jobs by quite a margin; without our current educational setup there would be a crisis (or, rather, a more serious crisis). All in all, one is better off learning the truth by oneself, thinking and learning independently and freely. No one needs to be told what books to read by someone who calls himself "professor."
A university education has become more about preparing for a job than about producing a well rounded, well informed individual. And to this end, its true sociological purpose is to regulate the job market and keep it under control, as without this function there would be far more applicants than jobs. Because of this, graduate school is becoming more and more necessary. Twenty years ago you could get a much higher salary straight out of an undergraduate program than you can now, and even those who had no college education had appreciably more options than they do today. In order to avoid a rather catastrophic situation, our educational institutions have morphed into a reductive valve for the economy. The higher-paying jobs you could get before now require a graduate degree to even be considered for a position. Extrapolated ten or fifteen years down the line, you'll virtually need a Ph.D. to be a manager at a McDonald's! It is a real problem that no one seems to want to talk about, with the exception of a select few. By forcing individuals -- who previously might have only opted for an undergraduate degree -- into graduate school, you delay their entrance into the economy and therefore stave off higher unemployment and a messy situation that would be very difficult to manage. Eventually the system will no longer be able to regulate the job market in this way, and then.... What?
If going to school is all about work, shouldn't we be paying the students?
In paying for our exorbitant educations ourselves, most of us are paying into society for the privilege of being enslaved to this or that master.
One can find truth at university, but none probably that is particularly relevant. Many people go through their entire academic career without reading a book of substance until afterward.
In Latin, the word for trade guild is collegia. I think it is clear what has happened to the university system under capitalism.
It doesn't seem right to blame young people, and have them suffer, for not knowing exactly what they wanted to be straight out of high school.
There seems to be a fundamental dichotomy in the educational practices of Classical Athenian vs. Hellenistic Greece -- a dichotomy that comes down to us today. In Classical education, one attended an academy in which grades were not given and in which philosophical mastery was considered the ideal. In Hellenistic education, one attended a gymnasium, which was primarily engaged in physical pursuits but was also a place for engaging in intellectual pursuits. They key feature of the gymnasium was competition. The Athenian academies were primarily interested in learning for the sake of knowledge and philosophical sophistication; the Hellenistic, in competitiveness and marks. This is a relevant spectrum today; many feel grades and grade-based examinations and competition serve to trivialize education in practice. However, an argument in favor of the Hellenistic model is that it may be the only practicable approach for the modern education system. Clearly, the Classical Athenian model is more appealing.