At What Point Do We Stop Learning?
All the time we are in Government School, we are looking forward to graduating and getting to our next place. What that place will be – college, trade school, a job, a gap year?
In theory, that is what you are trying to find out when we are doing that time. Are we seriously learning enough to help us get by? That is definitely up for debate.
Back in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and maybe the 80’s, we thought so. A high school education – and the diploma it came with – were supposed to mean something. It meant you could read, understand math, understand government and civics.
Somewhere in that time, someone decided that the US was falling behind in test scores and educational outcomes versus other countries (China? Japan? Europe?) and we came up with “The New Math”, Outcomes Based Education, No Child Left Behind and Common Core. All of course were designed to help us “catch up” to these other countries whose scores were better than ours.
And in the end, did any of it help? Are our test scores any better? Graduation rates?
I tend to put little credence on the primary education system. And unfortunately when you listed to the guidance councilors at the high school level, I do not think they do either. It seems that the only thing that they are preparing kids for is the College that the kids need to get into. So I continue to ask. What will they get in college?
And after 2, 4, 6, 12 years of college (and anywhere from $20,000 to $100’s of thousands of dollars), are you any more equipped to enter the workforce?
So Back to the Question of Actual Learning
I ponder a lot of these questions because I west through the education process myself. I graduated High School, Graduated College and went out into the workforce. My college did not do a very good job at ushering me into a career. Maybe it was because I did not connect with the right office at the right time. I took my diploma and ran.
As for further formal education, it was my goal to get a job after college. I was sick and tired of being a poor student. So after almost a year of searching, I found work. It was not directly in my field of study, but I could use what I learned. And frankly, I do not think it mattered to my employer. The Diploma was simply a ticket in the door.
I could have gone for an MBA, but I really did not want to go back to school. Any further education, I have done on my own.
How to Study as an Adult
You hear a lot about adults going back to school and getting an additional degree. Maybe its just a bachelors. Maybe its a high school diploma. Going that route, you are still following the “EDUCATION SYSTEM.”
For me, I have not pursued anything that would get me a degree. But I continue to learn.
I am an avid reader. Last year, I accepted a challenge on the website Goodreads. In January, I declared the number of books that I would read. It ended up being 35. I actually read 42 books, but I am not bragging. But honestly it was not easy. Reading that many books means 3 books per month.
I am always reading at least 2 books at a time. Some are long. Some are short. Some are research. Others just for fun. Some are rereads.
I also nosh out on television documentaries. The History Channel and Discovery are fantastic for this.
I see it as a choice we have in life.
I recently read this meme on Facebook that offers some thoughts and stats about reading. If any of the stats are real, it is an eye opening thought. We all have brains that we can use to better ourselves. We need to keep doing it.