Higher Education

September 17, 2010

After anxiously waiting two months for this book to become available from my library, I finally am reading Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes. If you have never heard of it, it is  a cutting edge story of “reclaiming domesticity from a consumer culture.” Hayes talks about the role of our economy in our lives, men and women’s roles in the workplace and at home and how by reclaiming the home as the center of the family life we can return to our familial values and purposefulness.

There is a part of this book that really caught my attention:  ” The purpose of higher education should be to prepare students to perpetually teach themselves, cultivate their interests, talents and skills, and ultimately use them to serve their communities in a meaningful way.”

I had to reread this comment a few times due to the sheer honest, plain truth of it. Isn’t this what education is all about, to find and fulfill your potential, use your talents at their best to find your place in your community?

The reality is that we, as a culture, have steered so far from this plain and simple idea that many of us graduate from university without a clue as to what we will do. We go to school in the hopes of finding something we want to do and then enter the workforce looking for a purpose.  How many continue on to Graduate school just to keep going, as if it is a race you must finish without a clue as to what they will do afterward.

I know many, many friends and family members that cannot teach themselves. They wonder how you can learn something new on your own, with a book or with a friend. It is this ability to self teach, to be interested in something new and be able to learn without being spoon-fed the information that will make us a viable culture in this ever increasingly consumer world. The more we depend on others to teach us and guide us toward by-the-book learning the more we lose the ability to adapt ourselves to the creative learning process. If we cannot be self sufficient in at least learning then are we not merely sheep?

So, that being said go cultivate your interests! Learn something new!!


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