Since late last year, I have been working on my Masters in Management and Organizational Leadership in order to bridge a few knowledge gaps that reside in my brain.
I am what you would consider a life-time learner. I have a considerable library of a wide-range of topics and interests. In fact, when I read this quote from John Waters in Austin Kleon’s recent book, Steal Like An Artist, I got pretty excited: “Nothing is more important than an unread library.”
So, even though I am a life-time learner and dedicated to learning on my own, why would I choose to go to school? What do I hope to gain that I otherwise could have figured out on my own?
I’m choosing to go to school to fine-tune my individual learning process.
I’m challenging assumptions. Pruning dead branches of thought. Pushing myself to grow by submitting to the authority of an instructor.
I’m not going to school to get a piece of paper, a title, label, or degree. I’m not expecting anything from the end result, but from the journey.
I know, it’s cliche to say: “It’s all about the journey, not the destination.”
However, over-emphasis on the perks of the destination create a drive for shortcuts and a thriving culture of entitlement.
If we as a society want to redefine education, it’s should no longer be something we do in order to get a better job. Education is not about creating like-minded individuals (clones), pumping out a culture of competition based upon the spewing of facts quicker than another.
Education is about having a better life. It is something that you can do on your own if you are driven. It occurs when people are gathered together. It happens when ego and arrogance is set aside for the greater good.
In order to redefine education individually and culturally, we must no longer accept a standard built upon a lack of critical thinking.
Education is about challenging thought, deconstructing habit, and realizing change.
It’s simple in theory. But the more we accept a culture built upon bullet points, PowerPoint slides, tweets, sound bites, and 24 hour news channels, will we even care about learning and thinking for ourselves?