Purpose of Education…

October 15, 2008 | NeW Staff

Since I am finishing my fourth (and final !!) year of undergraduate studies and deciding whether or not to begin a graduate degree, I have been reexamining my motives for pursuing education and evaluating what I’ve learned these past four years. I found a mildly depressing, but at least thought provoking article, by a Kent State reporter, in which the President of the university, Lester Lefton,  offers his input about what the purpose of education is:

“Isn’t it the point of a college education, to create well-rounded individuals who are not uni-dimensional, who can see the world through different lenses?”

Thoughts? I had always assumed I was at a university to study actual ideas and facts, not to be made into a multi-dimensional person with a broad world view. Now given, the last three and a half years have been formative for me, as were the three years before that, and before that. There really are so many opportunities at a university, but this mentality of “creating an individual” makes me nervous. If students give the college the responsibility to “create” them they will not only miss out on learning some amazing things by becoming passive in and not taking ownership of their own education, but also, this gives so much power to the board of their university to promote whatever agenda they have. 

I am all for “well-rounded individuals”, but is that why we go to college? When one is paying several thousands of dollars to get a degree, I think it is important to for her to ask what she is getting in exchange for her money. Why do you think we pursue higher education in the United States with such vigor?

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