Recently over a lively dinner conversation the topic of education came up, which it often does as my children are getting of age to start looking at Universities and colleges for their next leg of their own journey.
Today however higher education comes at a very high price tag and often results in children or young adults graduating and coming back home with no prospects of employment in their chosen field, many end up in careers or employment that has little or nothing to do with their dreams or field of study.
This is usually no fault of their own as economies and sometimes geography make the connections difficult, as has been quoted many times “life happens when you are planning other things” Why then does it seem to be more prevalent today than ever before, this was one of the points of discussion over dinner.
Today we have no lack of information, often even at a dinner table during a discussion anyone with a smart phone can jump onto the web and pull down a limitless array of information to settle an argument or perhaps ask the next question.
So It started me thinking about research and what does that mean today, often times it means Wikipedia and the web in general, granted there is a lot of information at ones fingertips, some of it is excellent but then again some of it like the food we may consume at a restaurant, may be filled with just filler.
Research is a form of building blocks, which is why playing with blocks was such an important thing to do as a kid, Lego changed all that as the Lego blocks stick together, so did the web with information. Research is forming opinion based on fact finding, building a case, understanding the under pinning and foundation of reason, seeing the faults and grasping the motivation.
Getting an answer from the web may be expedient but it does not buy you anything, there is no knowledge base, no growth, no higher understanding, results without foundation is akin to cheating on a test, you may pass the test but you have little or no actual knowledge.
Enter our current education system, everyone must excel, everyone must win, no one left behind, everyone must go to college and get a degree. These are noble aspirations but keep in mind many of the world’s great industrialists and entrepreneurs have never set foot into a university.
Oh my god what is he saying, I am not opposed to education not at all, I think it is important, but so is experience, technology has allowed us to gain information without substance, education alone is not enough without experience. In order to succeed you must fail, it is imperative.
The education system is failing our children by pumping them through no matter what their capability might be, not all together different from today’s medical coverage, a virtual conveyor belt (here is your prescription) few doctors spend enough time on your case to truly get to understand your health and well being (another topic for another day).
Why the rant, This dinner conversation brought me back to a heated discussion I had at a board meeting a couple of months ago, We had a controversial situation occur where our institution became a member of an organization with a questionable background.
I conducted some research and went into this meeting well prepared as I always have in the past (I never went into a business meeting, whether for a major contract or dealing with a calamity) without knowing what the outcome would be beforehand.
In order to be successful in anything, you need to understand the motivation and the level set of every situation. back to the board meeting, I asked questions that I already knew the answers too. Don’t most people?
The opposition met my argument with a simple (that’s not true) with no back story and no facts to back up that amazing and predictable declaration, but because no one else did any research of their own, most remained silent; you can’t speak to a topic if you don’t know about it.
That is what is wrong with our entire system, education, politics; many people just don’t know so they remain quiet and they move along en masse and are eventually led down a path of mediocrity.
People will make excuses for being unaware, I am too busy with work, I can’t dedicate any more time to this. Ignorance of the law does not work in a courtroom; it should not work in life.
Welcome to the Democratic Party…
As for myself I don’t profess to know everything or anything about anything, but I do my own research, my failures exceed my success’s but to me that is my greatest gift to myself.
We all learn from our failures, or we should.
To all of you that voted for and support Barack Obama this rant (if you will) is faithfully dedicated to you, you went along to get along, you spent your vote on a person not worthy of the price of that vote and the resulting failure is yours… WILL YOU LEARN FROM IT?