Most people who know me from my blog recognize me as that crazy lady who homeschools ten kids. 😉 What many people do not know is that I have an 11th child who is in college. Makes sense. This is a homeschool blog, so there’s really no need to mention it.
Today, however, is going to be different because my inspiration has come from some things my eyes have been opened to since he started college. Up until this point, his experience has been mainly pleasant, but there is one thing that has been hanging out in the back of my mind that I really need to bring to light.
Why do colleges require students to participate in- and pay for- classes they will never need?
Have you ever thought about that? Why are there “core classes” which are mandated to be completed that may have absolutely nothing to do with a person’s chosen occupation?
Isn’t that just a waste of time and money? My son is majoring in creative writing. Why, then, is he required to take math courses? He covered all of the math he’ll ever use in life while still in school, so, really, what’s the point?
Going even further, why is he required to take a science course, or even a social science class? Shouldn’t he be focused on, well, writing?
Common sense would indicate that his days should be immersed in an array of English classes, not in a lecture about what parallaxes are, or what the difference is between nihilism and materialism. Not only is this a waste of precious time, but it’s a waste of money, as well.
I know there are people protesting, He’ll be a better writer with a well-rounded education!!
I completely disagree. If the average person thinks back to their days in school, they don’t remember much besides the basics. Sure, they were exposed to many, many topics, but how many of them made an impact? How many of those lessons actually stuck? I’d wager it was only those for which there was a need (like the basics), or those which they found to be interesting.
Years ago when I was in school, I probably would’ve fallen for the same line. But now as an adult, I know better.
If I want to know more about something, I look it up. I go to the library or research it on the internet. I ask people questions who may know something about my topic of interest.
Formal education is not the only way to learn things.
In fact, from my own experience, I’ve found that it is one of the least effective ways in most areas.
So, the argument that a well-rounded education is necessary for: insert your choice of words here, falls a bit flat.
Although this post isn’t about homeschooling, I will say that shedding the preconceived notions about learning I was taught in school has really made me aware of some of the ridiculousness in what our society deems “education.”
There is only one reason that I can assume would cause an institution to force its students to take and pay for classes they don’t need.
Money. Plain and simple.
Doesn’t it always come down to that?
Several years ago, I used to jokingly tell people that I hoped that someday homecolleging would be the next trend in education. While I know that will never happen because there aren’t many parents out there with the knowledge to train their kids to become doctors or physicists, I do believe there’s something that colleges and universities could learn from the homeschool movement.
True learning lies in indulging the interests and needs of the learner.
All of the extra “core subjects” that have nothing to do with a student’s major should be set aside for only the students whose majors actually require them.
Not only would college be more effective if this principle were implemented, it would be more affordable, and hence, more accessible to other people.
It’s time to take the “business” out of college and let it be a place of true education. Now what could be better than that?