Education: The Idea of A University
It is true that every human being should have the right to a formal education. A great majority of parents send their children off to Kindergarten (or preschool if they should be so fortunate) in the hopes that someday they will watch their child receive his or her high school diploma. And the dream continues in the form of college. And who are these people who are privileged enough to receive such an honor. Just that...the privileged and the honored. The ones who are embarking into higher academia are the ones of the upper and middle classes; the privileged; the honored. The ones who might not have the money; but have the grades or physical talent to obtain scholarships. And what happens to the rest? For some kids, high school is where it ends. Some will go on to work for a family business, get a job in a drug store, travel and see the world or get married and have a family. Some will not be so fortunate and may not even make it out of high school.
The kindergarten class where all of these youngsters started out together has now been divided into two groups: the educated and the uneducated. The effects of poverty and life circumstance have made their way into people’s lives transforming them into the "people that don’t go to college."
Having defined these two distinct groups of people, it is time to examine their relationship. How do, more appropriately how should a society and a university interact and relate to one another? In answering this question I would like to examine two notions. First, how it is that people learn and become educated. Second, how can these people, belonging to both the "university" community and the "common" community, be linked together. I would like to begin by first taking a closer look at the line that divides the educated from the uneducated.
Throughout a person’s life they acquire an education. Some people attend school for a good part of their lives and obtain the academia that every student aspires toward. Other people have little or no formal education but still manage to get through their lives with the "street-smarts" that they have learned through daily living.
Jon Spayde brings about an interesting point in his article entitled, "Learning in the Key of Life." He poses the question of what it means to be educated (58). How is it that society learns? And do "street-smarts" and formal education have the same value in society?
There are so many ways in which society is gaining knowledge. From computer competitiveness to 12-step programs to alternative religious preferences, it seems that many people feel that school did not prepare them for the real world. Spayde does not disregard the idea of formal education but, instead, speaks of the line that divides the educated from the uneducated (60).
From the above examples, it is easy to see that education does not all happen in the classroom. It also happens when people walk out of those classrooms and...