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Thread: Education versus learning.

  1. #1

    Default Education versus learning.

    This is something that has always irked me, why is the idea in our culture that you need to get an education in order to be successful, so prominent. I don't understand the need to pay large sums of money to graduate from college when you could just as easily learn the stuff without attending a university for the cost of books. I understand that some people do benefit from attending universities, but why are others forced to jump through the hoops, if they want a high paying job?

    So, what I'm asking is basically, why does it seem that our culture values an education more than learning, when they would have the same results?

  2. #2

  3. #3


    IMHO, unless you also have someone who knows what they're doing, you'll come to a false conclusion when only presented with a book -- it's the same principle behind churches vs. the bible, but much less controlled. I think if the government stepped out of this and left education to private companies, we'd get a slightly better quality, but much fewer people actually being proficient.

    Also, homeschooling is (I think) always an option, if you actually understand what's in the textbooks from which you teach your kids.

  4. #4


    Since we don't live in a small village where everyone knows one another, a more objective means of determining who knows what is needed. I know very well that some pretty dim bulbs manage to graduate from various programs, but I still think on average that's going to turn out more efficient when screening job applicants to be able to refer to specific levels of learning rather than having to invite everyone in and talk to them.

    If you come up with a good, efficient alternative, I'd be all for it. I'm a big believer in the effectiveness of self-directed learning.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    If you come up with a good, efficient alternative, I'd be all for it. I'm a big believer in the effectiveness of self-directed learning.

    I think that sums up my feelings about the issue. The problem is we live in such a large society now...especially since there have been global/international connections. There has to be some way to keep it all organized, and one way to do so is use various educational degrees.

    I do agree that there's a false mentality about what "success" means, though. Keep in mind that there are plenty of careers out there that someone can earn a decent living by doing that don't require university degrees. Sometimes they can even earn more money than jobs that you need a university degree for (not that money has to be equated with success).

    So I do agree that there's a false mentality that you need to go to college to be successful, and that irks me a lot too. However, I don't relate that to learning.

    The other thing is that learning does not necessarily have to be equated to a career or pay. I don't think people should have the mentality that the only reason to learn things is to use them for a job or to earn more money. I personally have no problem believing that education can be used to get someone prepared for a career while learning is something that everyone should do for personal enjoyment, satisfaction, and just to be a knowledgeable citizen in society.

  6. #6


    Yes, it's all about credibility and verification. How can an employer know what you've accomplished without a degree, etc? My daughter is the assistant director for E Portfolio at Virginia Tech. On that sites, students and faculty build their own web pages. They are interactive, and have links and headings. They can illustrate their many accomplishments, and others can view that information from anywhere in the world. Finding jobs is very competitive, particularly in a world economic collapse. However, if you don't want to go to school, I know of people who have made $100,000.00 a year laying tile. There are always alternatives.
    Last edited by dogboy; 02-Mar-2009 at 22:56.

  7. #7


    I think education is necessary, especially for certain jobs. How can you be a doctor, if you've never went to school to learn how to administer medication, or diagnose diseases or whatever?

    I do think that field work, and practical experience is key.

    In my city, for the nursing program you can go to the university, or the college. It's the stupidest thing ever. You receive a bachelors in either program, and each is 4 years long. But they are separate. My mom teaches nursing students who do their orientation on her floor (psychiatry) and she's told me that the students who come from the college know what they are doing, and as a whole, they are confident about the work they do. She said the students who come from the university are idiots who know how to do nothing but follow the nurses around, and recite things from their books. The difference between the college and university is that the college kids get twice as much practical experience that the universities do.

    Basically, I think that you need an education, but you need practical experience just as much as you do the book smarts.

  8. #8


    I find education to be quite important, because it could as well make the person realize the need to learn new things, some of them relevant and important, others not as much. But there's no point in educating someone if such person is not learning anything from it, IMO.

  9. #9


    Within our society, education is indeed the basis of getting a high paying job (most of the time). It should, like how Abby said, be based more on experience, because it is experience that is going to get you somewhere.

    For our culture, an education serves as "proof" that we have "learned." The real question is: have we learned anything? I always considered it ironic that we, as a nation, need "proof" for certain things, such as education, and then we dismiss "proof" when it comes to religion (if you know what I mean).

    All in all, it is based on culture and society's view on education. Sorry, I kind of rambled there, but I find the subject interesting : )

  10. #10


    i think a lot of people tend to over-estimate the extent to which a college degree is necessary. you'll find that in the working world, employers have a fairly realistic conception of whether or not a given candidate is qualified for the job they offer. someone who has less education but has extensive experience working in that field and a good reputation is going to be a lot more qualified than someone with a lot of fancy college degrees but no practical experience.

    it's a lot more about who you know and where you've worked in the past than about how much money you spent on your education. anyone who tells you otherwise is probably living in a parallel universe where money can buy you anything.

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