A college education is suggested to be the most heavily judged form of qualification to be looked at when looking for career opportunities. But what is a college education? Is it something you go out and buy at the most prestigious of College University’s? Do you simply hand over 25,000 dollars a year, and at the end of 4 years, give or take a few, you are handed a diploma that says, ‘Educated’? In my opinion, this is today’s view on what education is. It is less of a conquest of knowledge then it is just a stepping-stone towards a career.
John Newman suggested that all forms of education and knowledge are connected together, and that the subject matter of knowledge is united in itself. Each Science that we break our knowledge in to, complete, correct and balance the others. This is what John Henry Newman wrote in, The Idea of a University. This was written to discuss the idea of a Catholic University, so it has a large influence on how we get our education today. We take specific courses that educate us in our major, and a number of other core courses that help shape our ideas and views into that which we are learning.
If an education is confined to only one subject, Newman believes the individual’s work in life may favor the advancement of a particular pursuit or viewpoint over another, due to ignorance. This is the approach we take at Seton Hall and most other University’s in the world towards an education. But is this the only form of education that is valid? Jon Spayde believed that one could gain education in any way he wants. If biology was an individual’s serious interest, he could observe life throughout the year and justifiably educate himself that way.
Anything you had interest in, from biology to sociology, Spayde felt that you could self educate yourself in the subject due to your extreme interest and observations on the subject. Spayde said, “The American tradition? ?is improvisatory. There are as many ways to become an educated American, as there are Americans. ” Be that as it may, this form of education has very limited credibility. To pronounce one educated by observation and self-teachings is not nearly as favorable as someone who earned a college degree. So most of us conform.
We realize the daunting task of life in front of us and try to prepare ourselves as best we can. This means attending college, assimilating and conforming. Bell Hooks said in her story, Keeping Close to Home: Class and Education, that the only way to get an education is by assimilation. She believed that you would have to conform and mold to the ideals of those in charge and in power. She herself however, strongly believes in staying in contact with her past. Hooks says that many people feel what they learn and their learning separates them from their past.
When entering into a school of higher education and opportunity to advance in society, she feels blacks and other minorities are forced to conform with those of different ethnic back rounds, forgetting their own. Hooks talks about how to prevent this and I think its now being avoided. Through my own first hand experiences at Seton Hall, people of different back rounds and ethnicity maintain there own moral and cultural individuality but hold a respect and friendship with those from other ethnicity.
To me, true education sits somewhere in the middle of learning what you love, paying for an education and keeping your own individuality. I agree with John Newman that the broader the education you get the more knowledgeable you will become in all areas of your study. However, I also think that it isn’t necessary to pay for a college degree to be truly educated. The problem is you have nothing to show for or prove your intellect.
In today’s competitive society everyone wants the best, and if you don’t complete a college education and have your own individual flares your going to have a much harder time landing a job then perhaps someone you are smarter then. You can’t just be the best, you have to show that you are the best. It seems that if you can throw 100,000 dollars away on a degree today, you probably will have a decent job waiting for you when you graduate. So the individual with the advantage in society is the one who loves what he paid to get educated in. Education in a field that you love is the only true conquest of knowledge.