Badges, Socrates, and Education Today

Badges, Socrates, and Education Today

The following comes from a book called The End of College by Kevin Carey which is background information for the internet-based learning environment.

One of the struggles in the changing world of education is the recognition of alternative methods of learning. In each of the traditional Universities and Colleges and Junior Colleges there is a degree. In the vocational or technical school setting there is a “journeyman” standard applied. With the internet-based learning programs none of these are available.

In the book Carey talks about the digital world and how the evidence of learning throughout an individuals’ life will be maintained. “People will control their personal educational identities instead of leaving that crucial information in the hands of organizations acting from selfish interests. To earn a “degree” you had to accumulate credit hours. As Carey says “The creators of the credit hour didn’t mean for it to measure how much students learned. The colleges used it that way anyway.”

Robert Hutchins, of the University of Chicago wrote, “the intellectual progress of the young is determined by the time they have been in attendance, the number of hours that have sat in classes, and the proportion of what they have been told that they can repeat on examinations given by the teachers who told it to them.” Hutchins also predicted that rapid rise in the cost of college and university. He said that the schools would start competing to attract students and would build all manner of facilities that had little to do with learning. He was very outspoken about how the schools operated. He said “You pay no attention to what you teach, indeed to what you investigate. You get great men for your faculty. Their mere presence on the campus inspires, stimulates and exalts. It matters not how inarticulate their teaching or how recondite their researches, they are, as the saying goes, an education in themselves.”

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, who for a time was the President of George Washington University. He understood something crucial about the University. He understood that “people will pay extra money for the feeling associated with the name brand.”

I want to leave off here today, because there is a lot to digest.  There’s a great deal more to come over these next weeks, as we take a close look at education and learning.

The time is NOW.