borisfowler

4.0 GPA and Captain of the Football Team? So what?

In Education on December 8, 2010 at 12:29 am

As you readers well know, I have some issues with education that have yet to be resolved. I have tried to express them, and to an extent I have. However, it occurred to me the other day where my problem really stems from.

It is no secret that times are changing.  Businesses are using social media to drive sales, we have iPad only newpapers and magazines, smart phones are only getting smarter, and we have an African American President. But our education has not changed. Curriculums are not changing. I am being taught roughly the same material that my parents were learning in school. Here is the problem I see with that:

1)  It was great for my parents because it was what the times demanded, but now because of changes in every arena of life, our education needs to address these changes.

2)  Gen Y is entering the work force and is shaking things up.  We are not going to work the same way as our parents did, do people really expect us to learn the same way?

3)  Being captain of the football team and having a 4.0 GPA no longer sets you apart from anyone.  Employers want to see work experience.

My experience in college, from an education perspective, has been negative.  I have not been taken out of my comfort zone by Arizona State University and I am not being challenged academically.

Are you being taught as someone who will enter a changing world, or are you being taught to enter a world that no longer exists?

I propose reforming the system so that students still learn to balance school and engage it on a level that teaches them to form good habits, but at the same time, there should be a greater emphasis on learning outside the classroom.  Universities should cultivate and instill in its students a drive to learn and a drive to make things happen for themselves.

Demanding that students read and learn material from a text book is not empowering to students.  Writing a research paper is a poor form of learning.  Here is a suggestion.  In one of my classes, I was given the option to write a research paper, or to do a project pertaining to social media.  I chose the project.  In doing so, I ran and operated a social media campaign for the company I work for.  Then, I wrote a paper based on what I learned and why that was important. I think this is how professors should approach education and assignments.  I learned a lot from that assignment and wish there were more like it.

This is just a small way I think schools will be able to cultivate a drive for learning and a the responsibility it takes to do so, while placing students in a real world environment.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this suggestion.

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How do you feel about your education?

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2010 at 12:31 am

I contacted the author of this post and asked if I could share with you all.  She willingly agreed.  Enjoy. -Boris

How do you feel about your education?

My boyfriend is always talking about “education,” which is kind of the inspiration for this post.

Why do we need it? Why do we go to universities only to be thrown into the work force without the tools and experience we need to be successful? Why not just work?

In a lot of ways, I share the same frustrations that he does. I rage against professors who take 1 hr and 15 minutes of our time without saying ANYTHING. I despise the “getting-the-grade” mentality. Why can’t I just learn? Why is everything a number? Why do I need a degree to work if it only means that I was able to write a couple papers without reading the books (essentially worth nothing)?

Presumably, then, you really don’t need it.

However, there is something to be said about persevering through school. Yeah, maybe you’ll never use your degree, but if the only reason you get it is to show resolve and determination, it is well worth it.

To me, education builds a complete person. A person who knows how to think… and really, how to learn on his own. Because isn’t that just it? Sure, you can look at your education as a flop and useless. You can rail against your teachers and say they don’t TEACH anything. You can argue, “I can write a paper without reading a book!! This class is a joke!” I make the same complaints all the time. But, that IS just it. And it is something I just realized. I can do nothing; I can learn nothing. But it’s time to take responsibility for my own education. I can go through life not reading ANY book, but it’s always going to be up to me. Just because I don’t HAVE to in order to pass a class doesn’t mean that a class is garbage, it means I have to choose to read it. I have to put in the effort myself, and I bet I’ll start to learn; I bet I’ll start to enjoy my classes. This is a tool I can take through my life.

When people say you can get the same education anywhere, I agree. Why? Because your education is up to you. You get out of it what you put into it… just like most things, right? You might’ve had easy teachers in high school, and so you might have cut corners in their classes. (For this reason, I cannot do a lick of chemistry). You might have had hard teachers in high school whom you hated BUT learned a lot in their classes. Well, that was high school. Now it’s not the professor’s job to make you do anything. Sure, it helps but… bottom line: Take responsibility for your own education. Yes, EVEN if no one is going to hold you accountable but yourself. THAT shows character.

Offended Easily??

In Uncategorized on November 28, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Throughout my high school years, I learned to accept and appreciate criticism no matter how brutally honest and blunt it was, and I am a better person because of it. It really bothers and makes me wonder why some people are unable to hear negative things about themselves or something they are doing without being offended. Don’t they know that they will be better if they heard the truth? I have realized that if I feel uncomfortable “calling someone out” or correcting them, there is a problem. I believe this to stem from 3 issues:

1) Pride: If a person is too proud to hear a constructive criticism and take it at face value, that person will either A) self-destruct in misery or B) become bitter towards people, alienating himself even more.

2) Unapproachable: If someone is unapproachable, “calling them out” will do no good, because they will just shut down and become unresponsive.

3) Overly Sensitive: This refers to environment in which one lives or was raised in.  When a person has never experienced peer to peer accountability, constructive criticism is overlooked and never taken seriously.

I want to stress that I am referring to constructive criticism and not pointing out faults and errors in a mean spirited manner.

At the end of it all, people need to chill out and not get offended so easily.  I think they will all be better because of it and everyone will be happier.