09 February 2011

College A Waste Of Time For Most?

"A report based on the book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses found that after two years of college, 45% of students learned little to nothing. After four years, 36% of students learned almost nothing."

Hmmm . . . seems like the longer they stay, the less they learn . . . or, perhaps better stated - they learn plenty - it's just that most of what they learn is wrong. ;o)
More here.


Scott Manning said...

Richard, I use to have a negative view toward higher learning. I have been able to teach myself enough to make a career in technology. When I graduated from high school, I frankly did not know what I wanted to do with my life and going straight to college made little sense to me, as I had no clue what I would pursue for a major. Yet, going later in life in pursuit of a history degree, I am learning a lot and enjoying it immensely. It also helps that I am paying for the education. Either way, I wish I had gotten the basics out of the way when I was younger.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Scott - don't misunderstand me. I am very much in favor of higher learning - I'm just not of the narrow opinion(not that you are) that the only way or place to get it is through college, especially today. Consider: one of the wealthiest men in the world (Bill Gates)dropped out of Harvard. Rush Limbaugh, whether you like him or not, revolutionized talk radio and revitalized AM radio and is extremely wealthy and successful. He went to college one year. Shelby Foote, one of the best known and respected CW historians of the 20th century, never earned a degree. Wikipedia says this about Foote:

"Interested more in the process of learning than in earning an actual degree, Foote was not a model student. He often skipped class to explore the library, and once he even spent the night among the shelves."

This sounds very similar to my own attitude toward my high school years as well as my one year in college. (I do have quite a bit of technical education training in the field of law and finance.)

But I LOVE to learn and am an avid reader - history, politics, theology, etc. (And now metal detecting and relic hunting!)

So don't interpret my frequent criticism and poking fun at academia as being opposed to higher learning. It's just that the current attitude among many that one has to have a degree to be successful and/or knowledgeable is simply not supported by reality.

That being said, college, like anything else, is what you make of it. Your pursuit of a degree in history is, I'm sure, quite interesting, challenging, and rewarding. I wish you the best at it. I've considered returning to "higher education" myself just to get a degree in history but, at 53, my life is so full of so many other interesting and exciting things to do, learn, and explore that I simply do not have the time.

Thanks for the comment.

Andy Vawser said...

I think one of the reasons we see them learning less is due to the fact that these days kids don't go to college to learn. Its all a big 4 year party for them. Secondly most colleges today are so full of pagan hot air that it is more of a detriment to the students learning than anything else.
Another person who did not attend college: George Washington. Though later in life he did have some regrets about not getting a higher education, it did not seem to take away from his leadership and eloquence. Since he did not attend a college he applied himself more to self study and came out a great and intelligent man. It is amazing what one can do when he sets his mind to learn it.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Andy. Yes, one could compile quite a list of high achievers who did not attend college, or never completed a degree. Thomas Edison is a great example. He was homeschooled for much of his youth and he hated math - but loved to read. He actually only had about 3 months of "formal" education. But he loved to learn. That's the key - not necessarily how or where you learn.

Thanks for the comment.