Saturday, October 22, 2016

What I think is the point of college

When I get an angle on something I tend to run it into the ground and in my opinion the point of college is to learn how to learn, versus simply being taught, which is what happens for most in school before college. So I say, that college is to teach the meta of learning itself, so the point is meta learning.

And that's my opinion, and now going to talk a LOT about that opinion for the rest of this post. Where will note that most people don't seem to want that, and if you get a high school diploma or equivalent in the US, you can do quite ok with the rest of your life without an intensive educational environment teaching you how to learn while teaching you lots of others things. Like you can get a job, have a family, set goals and live a great life, which raises the question of why do others take a different route?

Curious I did a search, and not surprisingly found myself with information displayed from Wikipedia, which said that 31.96% of Americans aged 25 or older get at least a Bachelor's degree. That search was:

what percentage of Americans get a college degree?

And that is copying and pasting and italicizing, where I probably figured I'd do such a thing so I did it that way for effect. And Google search just displayed the info I gave here, where the reference given was: Educational attainment in the United States

Plenty of people just want to get on with that being an adult thing, while college at its most intense, where you are there at the college or university as a full time student, means deferring on full adulthood. And college students are kind of like, um, looking for a characterization. Let's just say, college students are not functionally considered fully adult by society, which lets them work still on learning, while usually being legally adult, as in the US that just happens at age 18.

Of course college teaches actual knowledge, but technical school does that as well. But along with knowledge itself, college I say, teaches you how to learn, which can give the additional flexibility later in life, of approaching the subject of learning itself in a certain way enabling greater facility at moving into new areas of knowledge. Whew. I like those kinds of sentences.

Which means that scientists usually need college as being a scientist is a lifelong quest of learning how to learn better, I think, so scientists I suggest never fully grow up.

My opinion of the point of college am sure contrasts with those who think it's about getting a well-paying job which raises the question of, why would it be so associated if my opinion is correct?

Which I think is about the greater flexibility that learning learning itself, so that you are a meta learner, gives greater facility at moving into new areas of knowledge, which can have a greater monetary value, in general. Yeah, still love those kinds of sentences.

Lots of people maybe just want someone to tell them what they are to know, like to do their job most effectively. Or they already know what they need to know to achieve life goals.

Like, if you're great at business, know LOTS of how to do business, and just get at it, you can do very well, and become extremely rich, without ever having a college degree, which plenty of people have done.

That roughly 1 in 3 Americans feels a need to get a Bachelor's degree and get that done is something I find intriguing. To me, roughly 2 in 3 Americans then end up doing that adult thing without grabbing that level of accomplishment of completion from a place that pushes them to learn how to learn, if they do bother to do the adult thing.

But you can learn meta learning without college I'm sure.

From my perspective as a meta innovator, I feel like meta learning from college is just so convenient, and maybe helps to lay those foundations with a solidity that is hard to get otherwise. But is not impossible.

So do you need college? In my opinion it's the kind of question that in answering most people end up deciding no, at least in my country, and for those who answer yes, it's maybe about an inner child that isn't necessarily understood as such, which to me makes it even better. I only recently accepted that maybe growing up is not so bad, but am still working on it. That adult thing? Is so hard.

James Harris
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