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February 2013
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Higher Education as a Huge Step of Social Transformation

“We don’t need no education,” Pink Floyd sang. Is that true? Not so much any more. It was true in the late 70s when the song came out though.

People were then stuffed with information rather than data. There was no room for students’ thinking in the classroom. The information was delivered in such a way and under such circumstances that it was impossible to think something new of it.

That’s why schooling was loosing its popularity during the last half of the 20th century. Schools were then meant to restrict people’s thinking and set frames on one’s mind. They were meant to, so to say, control the allocation of social statuses. It was the time when social structure and demographics were regulated by schooling. Everyone who went to Harvard or UCLA became a politician, and everyone who went to a state school became a blue-collar worker. Exceptions happened of course, but they were one in a million. After all, someone had to be at the bottom of the social structure. Someone had to go Vietnam and someone had to do the dirty job.

What we have now is a globalized world. Countries are coming together, and the borders are being erased. It is becoming increasingly easier to live in a country of choice. Ethnicities and cultures mix. People from the developing world are fleeing to developed nations just to start everything anew.

The purpose of education is changing as well. What was earlier reserved for working class individuals in now taken by immigrants. There is no need in creating narrow-thinking individuals for low-paying jobs anymore. Schools are no longer meant to keep an individual within a certain social category. Every country is now interested in its citizens being the smartest and the most educated people.

Colleges have become widely-available tools of social mobility. There is no lack of information of how to get into a good school and how to make it to the top. College is how you get where you want to be in the society. It is no longer a place, where social statuses are assigned. It’s the student who chooses which social category they are to acquire after graduation.

These days, schools are also more than just learning institutions. They offer a wide range of activities and personal development opportunities. The purpose of education has changed. People don’t just go to college to get a degree so to get a job. They go there to see the world and to develop themselves. College is now that ultimate transit spot, where a child becomes a man. Now students are supplied with raw information and are supposed to digest it themselves. They create their own thinking algorithms and create their own worldviews. The environment still matters, of course, but to a much lesser extent.

Campuses and colleges are now designed to create individuals, rather than robots. If you look well enough, you’ll notice that every parent worships college education. They know that today, it’s much different from the education they have gone through.

The main advice every parent will tell you is to live on campus. That’s the only way to realize what it’s really like to be a full-time student. And remember: it’s not about the institution, it’s about the person.

 Note: This has been a guest post by Steve Davids.

About the Author: Steve Davids is a freelance writer and a traveler. “I find education topics very interesting. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with people. I like helping people find answers to their questions. I cooperate with Evolutionwriters.com and help them deliver quality material to their customers.”

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1 comment to Higher Education as a Huge Step of Social Transformation

  • Karen

    I must say that as someone who has traveled for decades and has lived abroad for more than half my life, I find your perspective most..amusing. Additionally, the most educated people I know are also the most personally confused and too often too conservative for any progressive social transformation to occur at their instigation.

    Where is it you’ve traveled? With whom? And, my dear, what is “loosing”?

    What we need are free thinkers. Whether those are turned out by Mother Nature or by a university is really irrelevant. But to think that free and compassionate thinking is found after endless class hours or interminable paper-writing…well, I think you perhaps need to spend more time listening to the black birds than to professors.

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