Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Sharing news and commentary about education, careers, investing, and life.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The importance of education

So, one day, about eight of us were standing around in the cooler doing whip-its, when I said, “Flounder, what are you doin’ workin’ a [bad] job? I mean, your parents own two businesses. They must be doin’ pretty good. You don’t need the money, do you?”

Flounder replied, “No, we don’t need the money. I don’t want this job. I hate it here. My dad makes me do it…. He said he wanted me to know what my life would be like if I didn’t get an education.”

This post from the Steve Olsen blog makes a great point - education is a huge enabler in our society and is, of course, very important. It's tough for many young people to see the importance of delaying present satisfaction for the sake of a (hopefully) higher future satisfaction. That's why it's so important to have a good support system around each student.

And related to this, I just became aware of a new schooling trend - schools in malls. Namely, these schools are for students who dropped out while they were in high school and want to get their degree. While I applaud the efforts, and more people getting their degrees, I was appalled by the test results statistic:

So how does the Judson Learning Academy measure up? According to the Texas Education Agency less than 40% of Judson Learning Academy students passed all of the Texas state exams, last year. But it also reports no dropouts in the 2004-2005 school year, and a 100% graduation rate. That's a lot of diplomas, and that's the kind of results, TPS hopes to duplicate.

So while getting your degree is important, I think it's even more important to develop a desire for lifelong learning. Innovative learning methods help and I was surprised to hear Kaplan has developed stripped down SAT quizzes for the iPod. From a business perspective you can see why Kaplan created these programs - you pay a fixed cost to develop the software, say a couple thousand, and then reap the royalties without having to spend more money on the product. I wonder how effective these mall schools and iPod learning programs might be in improving results?


Steve Olson said...

Thanks for the mention. I believe we are all born with a keen desire to learn. Somewhere... for some of us... that desire is killed. Sometimes it is at home, but more often it is at school. IMHO the goal of all education should be to protect and nurture one's natural desire for lifelong learning.

Rafael Corrales said...

Steve - I agree! It's one of the saddest things that most people don't notice and sometimes it seems like our society is drifting towards a pervasive attitude of anti-intellectualism. I wonder if the pursuit (and pressure) of grades hurts one's desire for lifelong learning...