Archive for August 9th, 2012

Purpose of school

I’ve been thinking a lot about the purpose of education these days. And I’m not the only one. Every year thousand of people think about it, while they are taking entrance exams, trying to get into the best school they can. Then again when they’re taking professional exams. Trying to learn as much material as they can to go work in certain professions. In my view, the purpose of school often gets entirely lost.

Think about it. The purpose of education is to learn and to get access to more information and opportunities. Not only job opportunities but opportunities to travel the world, learn about new cultures, and explore new ideas. To find your passion, not only professionally but also academically and culturally. And in the end, to come up with new ways to contribute to society.

But today, more than ever, that is being lost. Today, every one of us is forced to think longer and harder about loan papers and assess how much debt we have to pay back.

We feel pressure to land six figure jobs to stack up with our classmates or at least lead us into the Promise Land of status and wealth. To go into finance, law firms or the best hospitals in the world to ensure that school was a good use of our time. Dont’ get me wrong, all that is great – competition, rigor and some level of screening.

But that’s not the purpose of school.

Given the time and money being invested, not only by students but also by taxpayers, we should be thinking more about this.  Every student and parent should be pondering. And every taxpayer should be chiming asking about it.

What is school for? Are we doing it right?  Are students learning? Are we better off? Or is the hyper-competitive system burning out some of our best and most independent thinkers? 

Truth be told: I don’t know the answers either. But if you’re not at least thinking about it, maybe you should be.

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Thursday, August 9th, 2012 Business School No Comments

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Jeremy C Wilson is a JD-MBA alumni using his site to share information on education, the social enterprise revolution, entrepreneurship, and doing things differently. Feel free to send along questions or comments as you read.

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The contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect the views or position of Kellogg, Northwestern Law, the JD-MBA program, or any firm that I work for. I only offer my own perspective on all issues.
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