With a beginner’s mind, I am heading off to university in the Fall. But how would I feel if I had not been socialized to believe college opens doors? What if you hadn’t either? Would you still have your degree and merely wonder how your fingertips would tingle on a plane ride to Paris or Rome? Would you still have not written your dream novel because you were too busy studying, instead of doing?
I urge you, my reader, to get hypothetical. It’s dreadfully fun.
Imagine: no college allowed… we just can’t go. Period. No college is allowed because no college truly exists. Suddenly, we sit in a world where after high school, our options are dramatically different.
Since no world can exist without some silly social stigma, imagine that the hot thing to do after high school is to receive technical training. You do not have to be a plumber or an electrician; you can still be a lawyer or an engineer or whatever else your heart desires. After school, you sign up to work directly with a company through a shadowing program, hence you “watch and learn” instead of read, memorize, test, repeat. By emphasizing experiential learning, shadowing, and true “technical education,” perhaps we could skip the fluff and go straight for the main course of learning: hands-on discovery and training.
Some of you may still crave the classical “liberal arts” education. While on-the-job training is more applied and interdisciplinary than the modern collegiate experience, exposure to great literary works and mathematical proofs has great mental merit. Well, after being homeschooled for ten years, I learned that the classical education is easily attainable through individual motivation and inquiry. There are libraries and museums that one could spend the day at and learn more than one would in a lecture hall. That’s the thing about classical education: it’s ubiquitous, and often, free.
Too often in our modern world people do not value technical careers – programmers, security analysts, and other BAS and AS degree level jobs. Yet, if our culture shifted from the high school to college mentality to the high school to job mentality, we would not just have educated people: we’d have a trained society, one of workers who can follow their dreams with freedom directly after high school. We would have members of society who obtain classical education through public centers: libraries, museums, book stores, and community theaters. All in all, our world would have no unemployment and no meaningless memorization. We would have choices in our education system, as we would develop it ourselves.
Let’s take the blindfolds off of our children that have “go to college” written in bold inside; let’s put modern education in the blender and mix it up if we truly want to be interdisciplinary.
February is National Career and Technical Education Month, as proclaimed by Fla. Governor Rick Scott. Photo courtesy of the Public Domain.