Reader’s Choice: Plan of Action – Education

I responded to questions that the lovely @stylerepublik brought up over the past few days to culminate my thoughts. I truly believe there are a few things that must be central to our progression in the political realm AND development as people. The most central tenants we need to focus on are self-improvement, group accountability, awareness, and not letting helplessness or apathy set in. We can do it.

Originally this was going to be one post but the sections got so long that I decided to write my thoughts about each of my target improvement sections: Education, Media, Religion, Financial, Entrepreneurship, Political, Healthcare, Community, Self, Family

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Education

The most important piece to any battle (metaphorical or literal) is intel. Intelligence is information about situations, circumstances, and necessary knowledge needed to accurately make choices with the least amount of consequences. We must develop clear and wide-spread abilities on gaining knowledge now.

For generations, having a college degree was nothing more than a distant dream. Now, we have generations of black men and women that believe that school isn’t for them and drop out. This is not to say that a person’s value is linked to their education status. Quite the contrary, I believe we should evaluate worth completely independent of an arbitrary educational measuring stick but humanity. The process of learning and thinking needs to be foremost in our goals.

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Problem solving ability takes a level of ingenuity that has been devalued. College does not make one an expert in their field. Most people with college degrees do not remember the majority of their coursework. What college should teach is how to seek answers, analyze outcomes, effectively communicate, build networks, properly identify causal relationships, and modify behaviors to get certain outcomes. These skills can be learned in any field and should be first priority outside of just, “getting a degree”.

We severely lack these skills. Instead of us saying that business classes are not where my skills lie, we say school is not for me. I changed majors five times between 2005 and 2015. Each new set of classes I came up against the, “I’m passionate but terrible at this”-classes, the “It’s too easy, so I don’t take this serious”-classes, and the “I’m doing this only because I’m good at this” -classes. The worse one came afterward with the, “I don’t know what else to do with my life” -classes. These are typically the feelings students I run across have and it inevitably causes them to quit school.

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A lot of time, it’s the subject that defeats us. I experienced it myself in undergrad. I was a psychology pre-med major. I wanted to be a doctor since I was a four or five. Science was easy growing up but I hated organic chemistry. Human Biology was amazing. Genetics was a personal favorite but Organic Chemistry bored me to tears. I switched from Psych/Pre-Med to ENGLISH to avoid it. I eventually switched back because I loved writing but did not love it enough to study Mary Shelley for six months. I still didn’t have it in me to pass organic with a high enough grade for medical school, but I did not want to really do psychology to that level. I liked it and enjoyed a lot of the topics but not enough to deal with it for the rest of my life.

Fast forward an academic hiatus, two more majors changes, and I finally found something I loved, Political Science. I liked it enough to pay attention in class, write papers on it, and get the grades that I felt I deserved. All that time, I was too blindly focused on my “dream” to see my calling.

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We often fail our kids with their education. We believe so much is dependent on getting a god job in a field that pays a lot (medicine/law/computers/finance) will make us happy. We take the courses because we feel an obligation to get a good job as thanks to mom and dad. That’s not where we should focus. We are doing a disservice to ourselves.

Try as many courses as you can until you find something you are passionate about, not something that is just easy.The problem with people saying school isn’t for them has to do with not putting in the effort for success and blaming it on the classes being hard. If school truly is NOT for them, we have to still put that same time and effort into making it another way. If you want to do music professionally, you have to spend six to eight hours a day honing your craft. Whether its basketball, fashion, art, photography, reporting, music, graphic design, or investing, etc., you must treat it like you are still in school.

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We must start looking at education differently if we want to survive and improve our communities. We are not going to get anymore help and we are heading to dire straights. We produce so many successful intellectuals but the amazing thing is that we can produce more. What made them so amazing is not what they learned but how they thought. We must encourage critical thought and new ideas. These new ideas will change the makings of our communities, but we have to let it.

What are your thoughts about the current education system? Have you felt trapped in a personal expectation of what the focus on? Have you found a side project that your are will to work on full-time? Have you followed your passion somewhere different? Where did you end up? Leave comments, questions and other things in the comment section below. 

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Author: MilesMichael

I'm a little dreamer with big dreams that wants to be far from ordinary and go anywhere that's not familiar. The Lord is my guide as I attempt to improve, not just my own, but everyone's quality of life.

5 thoughts on “Reader’s Choice: Plan of Action – Education”

  1. This is such a hard post to come to terms with as I do my PhD and prepare to be a college professor. I came out of interdisciplinary majors that focus on developing research and critical thinking skills that I think are transferable to other fields. However, I definitely don’t think college classes are as practical as they could be. Financial literacy is one area I wish colleges focused on more but that is especially difficult when elite institutions offer curricula with a bias towards upper middle class and wealthy students whose parents may not see the point of such courses. This post really has me thinking a lot. Will share more as I continue to process it.

    1. I have a post in the works about a “New Common Core” for schools. I think the theory behind schooling has changed since the beginning of compulsory education. At one point in time, school was to prepare students to be productive members of society. Now, it’s to prepare students to be workers, not citizens. It makes a huge difference. Continue to keep me updated on your thoughts.

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