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7 Responses to “Coming Avalanche?”

  1. Barnabas says:

    ‘Self-supporting sustainable communities’ responding ‘appropriately and proportionately’ with ‘technology and resources’

    A healthy journey of transition and growth from personal integrity to business management and leadership.

    Individuals ultimately sharing their business rather than limited to offering their labour.

  2. Tom Nesler says:

    IIRC, this has been discussed before. The main reason students go to school today is to get noticed when they search for a job. With jobs being more scarce (for various reasons) a diploma has less value. We can talk about the quality of education all day long, but if the result does not better a student financially, the “quality” of the education he receives becomes moot.

  3. Mike Metzger says:

    Tom: Agreed. That’s why we’ll explore more effective alternative models next week.

  4. Biz Gainey says:

    Thanks, Mike. Hits home as Melissa and I are considering other options than our local public schools down here for the year to come.

    We have already begun discussions with our oldest child, who will be 17 this year, regarding his continuing education and what options might be available beyond our traditional system.

    How about Clapham U?

  5. Carl Creasman says:

    Great post as usual Michael. Funny you posted this because on the next day, April 1, I posted something similar (though written a few weeks prior):

    I have been writing about this coming avalanche since at least 2010. Sadly, I can’t get most of my peers to believe it; many mock me as Chicken Little, arrogantly assuming that nothing will ever “touch us.” I keep reminding them that the horseshoe makers and ice delivery men from 110 years ago said the same thing.

    Can’t wait to see your next column.

  6. Carl Creasman says:

    And I would quibble a bit with Tom’s point. It sounds like he is making the same argument I hear from many—“the point of college is to get a job.” Now, perhaps he is not necessarily saying that (so forgive me Tom if you are not), but that idea is part of our problem in the first place. I am a historian and a pastor, and so I have tried to make this study purposeful for myself. I wrote about that here:

    But the gist is that education historically has never been about getting job, but rather about becoming learned. With the expansion of the mind, that idea of the Liberal Arts, then yes, those people were indeed getting hired into good jobs…but not necessarily because of their degree type but because since they had been in college, the expectation was that they were of a critical mind.

    We lost that idea somewhere in the ’50s, perhaps even earlier, but regardless, many now assume College’s one purpose is to get a job. That is what has contributed to the misguided “college as industry” approach and leads to, among other things, students who are very disinterested in learning and merely want the credits to get the degree. We have divorced college from its purpose, and since it thus becomes purposeless, students don’t really care and professors often don’t seem to really care either.

  7. Mike Metzger says:

    Carl: If you mean the 1850s, you are correct. That’s roughly the period when Horace Mann introduced the Prussian model of education. Its primary purpose was to produce workers for America’s new industrialized society. The Prussian model replaced the British model, a liberal arts approach to education featuring theology as the “queen science” with meaning and purpose as the main end.

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