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Old 10-28-2013, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Taos NM
5,349 posts, read 5,125,268 times
Reputation: 6766

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Quote:
Originally Posted by runswithscissors View Post

You're missing the point of education. It's not to glean something from books.

One of my employees said "At MIT they taught us to think. They teach the difference between test taking and everything else - including examination of alternatives to what we think are the correct answers."

Your brain stops growing when you're 26. You don't know what you don't know.

Find smarter people to hang around with to show you you're "not all that". Challenge yourself.

My first BF attended The Moore School of Electrical Engineering at U of Pa at age 15. They ran out of math for him in high school and undergrad.

There is ALWAYS A UNIVERSE OF INFORMATION YOU DO NOT KNOW. And someone to challenge your thoughts and teach you things. Not all lessons come from memorizing stuff.

Props to you, though, for not being willing to go into harsh debt. I applaud that tremendously.
I never said I knew everything there is to know. And yes there are people who go through life looking for grammar mistakes, especially on the education forum, but the point is I had a clear, concise, point that you understood. This isn't my resume, it's my thoughts.

About learning how to think at MIT, isn't that what high schools for? Isn't college supposed to give you knowledge for the career world?

About scholarships: need based, minority based, sports based and super duper academic based (I had a 3.8 GPA I believe) were out of the question so full rides were unlikely to out of state. College currently costs me $500 a semester.

But since school can't teach you everything you need know, how do you make learning things more attractive to people so they learn on their own?

Last edited by toobusytoday; 10-28-2013 at 05:57 PM..
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:18 PM
 
3,463 posts, read 5,658,098 times
Reputation: 7218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
As a person who is currently in his second year of college, I have to say that much of my knowledge has come from self education. I like to learn, certain things at least, and will research it on the internet. I paid attention in school, got good grades, and learned what the class was supposed to teach me, but sometimes school and your interests don't match up all the time. For instance, forum discussions have taught me a wealth about how to write quickly, effectively, and concisely. English classes did this too, but forum posts are like a bunch of little English assignments. Also it has taught me how to quickly see logical validity or flaws in peoples arguments.

So, from this, I am leery of putting too much emphasis on formal education. Do I have the potential to do well at a prestigious college, yep. Do my parents and I have the funds to go to a prestigious college, sure. Am I going to a prestigious college, no, because I don't want to be burdened down with debt to go learn something that I can learn if I just read some of the unassigned portions of the book.

About the job situation, I'm not sure how much the degree counts compared to experience, people skills, interview skills, and entrepreneurship in the work world.

So, the question I have is are we putting too much emphasis on formal education? I've heard once that the social benefit to the public of education diminishes greatly after about 6th grade. And are the people who really learn from college the same ones that would educate themselves if they weren't encouraged to go to college? Does lots of education for everybody really make everybody more knowledgeable?

You are already wise beyond your years. Education comes from many different places and life experiences. Institutional education is just one form of education of many. You will get a lot of resistance on your theory, but you are correct. Institutionalized education and certificates provided are no indication of how "smart" a person is. Go through life enthusiastically, be spontaneous, take chances, travel, meet lots of people try different hobbies, etc and you will probably find what you are looking for, and have a very fulfilling life doing so
Good luck, always travel through the universe with open mind and open heart
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:25 PM
 
3 posts, read 9,664 times
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I didn't read the entire thread but I agree with some of what I read. I believe what I have taught myself far exceeds that which I learned in class and believe without a doubt that is because of my formal education. Not to say someone cant develop these skills one their own but why bother when they have course writers and awesome new components that only make since why applied to the masses? Ya I love schoolin. =) Those with true drive can tune it into something great that does carry beyond the classroom, imo.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:01 PM
 
3,633 posts, read 6,170,524 times
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I have degrees in entomology and an old high school friend of mine who has never been to college considers herself quite the self-taught naturalist. Problem is, that without formal training, she has taught herself a lot of misinformation. She has no clue that for most kinds of insects, it's impossible for anyone but a specialist in a narrow group of insects to identify members of that group to species, for example, and that most insects and even many plants can't be accurately identified just by comparing them to pictures. Also, I post a lot of bird photography on my Facebook page and she's mistaken Cooper's Hawks for merlins, etc. I rarely correct her (though I have professional biologist friends who are ornithologists who do correct her bird misidentifications), because I don't want to be an annoying pedant, but I have to sit on my hands sometimes (she gets very defensive at any insinuation that she isn't just as knowledgeable as a college-trained biologist).

I don't think college is supposed to be a *substitute* for teaching yourself; ideally, you continue learning your entire life. There's nothing wrong with being an autodidact, but without trained teachers and tests, you may think your knowledge is correct when it isn't.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:13 PM
 
Location: WA
4,242 posts, read 8,772,742 times
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College gives you a framework for learning and thinking about a particular subject. You're not there to learn everything there is to know about any particular topic. But your teachers will give you a context in which you can add future knowledge that you'll learn later on.

For example, in the entomology example above: You're not going to learn everything there is to know about every insect in a college entomology class. But you will learn the anatomy of insects, which will help you with their classification. You'll learn about behavior patterns and reproductive strategies. So later on, when you find a new insect, you'll already know how to identify it, and you'll have an idea of what all the words mean when you read about it's behavior and biology.
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Old 10-29-2013, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Volunteer State
1,243 posts, read 1,146,333 times
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I teach my students that the best teacher they could have is... themselves. If I could pour info into their heads, that would be wonderful - if they were ever on Jeopardy. But information is not necessarily knowledge, and knowledge isn't necessarily wisdom. I give them a practical example.

I watched my teacher do a di-hybrid cross in HS biology. I saw what he did, and then went to my paper to do another example. I was blank. I had no idea what to do. Then I watched him do it again. "Oh, that's how you do it!", I said, then went back to my paper and tried again. Nope. Something was missing. I went home and metaphorically banged my head against a wall and wasted lots of sheet of paper trying and re-trying this problem... until I got it. and now I knew exactly what to do! It was like what Edison had said: "I didn't fail 2000 times, I simply found 2000 ways not to build a lightbulb."

When I taught myself something, I OWNED it. It was knowledge that was mine and I wouldn't likely forget it like I might something else someone had once told me. So, yes, being able to teach yourself is so very important. It would be easy to underestimate how important it is.

But like Ivorytickler stated, when teaching yourself, you are likely to be limited by the teacher's knowledge on a topic. You can't teach what you don't know. And if you don't know that you don't know, then you're screwed when it comes to teaching yourself. That's where a good teacher - someone other than yourself - comes into play. They facilitate that which experience has given them and passes it onto the learner. College is good for this. And although you may be successful in backyard, shadetree engineering, you aren't likely to learn enough engineering on your own to work for Dow, Dupont, or Eastman. Nor will you have the parchment needed to get those jobs.

And while I would hope that I'm slowly becoming smart, I would never make the comments I've seen in here from some pretty arrogant posters. You may think you're intelligent - and you just might be - but to me, that's nothing compared to being wise.

Let me rank it for you (from lesser to greater inportance) from my personal perspective of teaching for 20 years:
  1. Intelligent - having knowledge; playing and beating everyone in Trvial Pursuit, Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Gillionaire, etc.
  2. Smart - knowing what to do with that knowledge: applying it to real world situations to solve real-world problems, and being successful at it.
  3. Wise - knowing when - and when not - to use your "smartness". Usually comes with age, experience, and lots of failures from which to learn.
Please don't confuse your intelligence with being smart or wise.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:22 AM
 
4,449 posts, read 4,615,223 times
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Quote:
As a person who is currently in his second year of college, I have to say that much of my knowledge has come from self education.
You know in my opinion you've just learned something about so-called 'formal' education. And I think it's helped you find the keys to future 'kingdoms'. In my opinion, formal education gives discipline to learning and knowing what thoughts went before. I think it's essentially an introduction to ordering one's future quality of life. So in the future you're knowledge will come from all the formal education you've picked up PLUS all the information and knowledge you've gathered through your efforts in whatever you're studying. Ostensibly, formal education may seem kind of a straitjacket but really it's a way for one to help learn about the world intelligently. I believe it's really needed and foolish to dispense with.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati near
2,628 posts, read 4,297,237 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
As a person who is currently in his second year of college, I have to say that much of my knowledge has come from self education.
I have a PhD and 90%+ of the knowledge that I use every day is self taught. That is the way it is supposed to work. School can inspire you to ask certain questions, but all of the learning has to come from yourself.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:05 PM
 
535 posts, read 966,775 times
Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
So, the question I have is are we putting too much emphasis on formal education? I've heard once that the social benefit to the public of education diminishes greatly after about 6th grade. And are the people who really learn from college the same ones that would educate themselves if they weren't encouraged to go to college? Does lots of education for everybody really make everybody more knowledgeable?
Your questions ring with the unschooling philosophy. What is Unschooling? | Unschooling.com

I think that for someone like yourself: motivated and interested in learning; unschooling is a viable alternative to traditional education. My entire career was in education and I've often questioned the necessity and wisdom of pouring a vast number of subjects into a person's head, only to then encourage them to specialize in one career field. Teaching a core curricula of subjects that overlap all fields is essential, for example reading and writing is wise. But to require two years of algebra and one year of geometry may, and I repeat MAY, not be necessary for all, nor the best use of educational resources.

Your question, Does lots of education for everybody really make everybody more knowledgeable? When I look back on my own career, when I earned my PhD and became an Assistant Dean of Education, my educational focus narrowed.

I once talked to a neurosurgeon who performs delicate gamma brain surgery, but had no idea how to replace the dome light in his car. Does his inability to change a light bulb indicate he's educationally lacking?
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Old 11-02-2013, 03:16 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
8,396 posts, read 9,440,045 times
Reputation: 4070
Default I think I've taught myself as much as school has taught me

Congratulations!

One of the most important things that many fail to gain in their education is the curiosity to learn more than the absolute minimum.

Obviously, you're one of the minority whose inquisitiveness has been sparked.
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