What Is College for?
What Is College for?
In the article, “What Is College For? (Part 2)” written by Gary Gutting we see a description of his ideal vision to improve education and the intellectual culture of our citizens. Mr. Gutting emphasizes that preparing students for employment should be the job of the elementary, middle and high school rather than college. He argues that higher education is basically unnecessary for the practice of many professions.
At the beginning of this article he states “colleges and universities are primarily vehicles for the preservation, development and transmission of our intellectual culture (scientific, humanistic and artistic). ” He then goes on to explain that we expect colleges and universities to provide students with the necessary skills that they need to find well-paying jobs but the humongous cost of education leaves most of these students with burdening levels of debt.
He says that college prepares students with basic intellectual skills like the ability to understand complex instructions, write and speak professionally, or as in his own words “earning a college degree shows that you have the ‘moral qualities’ needed for most jobs”(Par. #3) However; he argues that it is unnecessary to go through years of college to obtain this sort of knowledge; he affirms that this is rather “the sort of training that ought to result from good elementary and high school education.
” (Par. #4) He thinks that college should only be for specialized occupations like medicine or accounting, or for those who would like to gain intellectual culture, we would “see college as the entree to intellectual culture for everyone who is capable of and interested in working at that level of intellectual engagement. But an adequate high school education should be of sufficient quality to make graduates competitive for a wide range of meaningful jobs. ” (Par. #11) Mr.
Gutting also makes a point that teaching is not the profession of choice anymore, the best students go for professions with more prestige and better pay, therefore only those who don’t make the cut, with the exception of a few, become teachers and this is not a good thing for students to learn from. I was a little thrown off with this explanation of teaching professionals, “Now that these professions are much more open to women, we have come to accept that pre-college teachers will, on the whole (and with admirable exceptions), be our less successful students.
” (Par. #8) I could not understand why this point was in the context, I didn’t get the connection between this and the point that he’s trying to convey. After reading the article several times, I finally came up with my own interpretation of it, I think he means that since less students would be going to college, less college professors would be needed, therefore more money available to provide a better incentive to the new teachers recruited after a vigorous search for high school educators.
He then adds that in order for or Nation to accomplish this we would need to use the same sort of selection criteria for pre-college teachers as we do for other professionals such as doctors or college professors. He believes that this would allow for a cutback on unneeded teaching positions to focus on more efficient teaching strategies allowing to recruit the best students as teachers which as he believes, it’s a necessary condition for successful education.
In the article, he explains that while he understands that raising high school to this level and opening college to everyone who would like to pursue it, would be very expensive and very difficult for the government to provide the means to ensure an appropriate education to all students that will match up to their aspirations regardless of family resources, but the intellectual culture of the citizens of our Nation should be a priority since it would improve our national well-being.
As a college student who worries about the future and the burdening amount of debt that awaits me after graduation, I personally do believe that our education system needs some type of reform to help alleviate the cost. I also believe that professors have an essential role in our education and there’s nothing more educating than to receive your knowledge from someone who knows what they are doing. However; I firmly believe that most people at the age of 18, after graduating from High School, do not possess the maturity necessary to perform highly demanding jobs where reliability and responsibility are so important.
College, on the other hand, allows us to have some extra time to grow up and mature into responsible adults. I have to admit that I have immensely changed since my graduation from high school, I see the world with different eyes, in a more responsible manner, when I finished high school I had no idea where my life was going, my tastes and choices were not very clear to me, the solution? Two years of college, it took me 3 semesters to realize where I wanted my life to go.
Therefore I wouldn’t have too much faith in Mr. Gutting’s proposal. These are the reasons why he believes that college and its debts could be avoided by many, making high school graduates excellent candidates for well-paying jobs for example in sales and service industries. Having good, qualified teachers in high school who would prepare us for life’s endeavors would be sufficient to enter into the work force right off of high school graduation, according to Mr. Gutting.
Still, I stand by my point of students not being mature enough. Growing is a process, it does not happen overnight, and it has been proven that the best school is the school of life. Experiences overtime make us who we are. This is why I highly doubt that high school graduates would be ready for many jobs right after they finish high school, even with the best education provided, because the maturity level has not reached the necessary experience to survive in the responsible and reliable work world.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 30 September 2016
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