Higher education is optional, but to enter a respectable career, one must continue their education in order to achieve his financial and/or personal goals. Teenagers who attend college use their extended schooling to further obtain knowledge. The primary objective of higher education is to enhance one’s abilities for his future. A student can learn from school in numerous ways, but liberal education is not a way to attract students into further and higher education. However, students can learn a lot more through experiences that have affected their personal lives. I agree with author Mike Rose’s theory that education needs are reached to obtain a higher academic level by teaching students information that can be related to their personal experiences and mentality.
Supporters for liberal education, such as author Allen Bloom believe that college does not meet the country’s standards. In order to achieve a higher lifestyle, students must "sustain himself in the intellectual deserts he is destined to traverse" (3). Bloom agrees that students must not freely develop, and a structure of college life will lead them into an easier life. However, Books written by great authors such as Shakespeare are not enough to teach students English throughout their life. Bloom states, "No public career these days-not doctor nor lawyer nor politician nor journalist nor businessman nor entertainer- has to do with humane learning." (5) In order to success, people must learn through books that teach them directly at the subject. They must also take more of each subject so they can have knowledge of what they are going to do in their future. Bloom thinks that undecided students are an embarrassment because they have not formed their real potential.
A plan created to deal with the problems of liberal education, called the Cornell plan, thinks that other colleges do not have enough to teach their students for a full four years. The solution that was proposed to make use of what is already there in the independent departments (general education), forces the students to cover the fields. No matter what their majors are, taking more courses out of their major will help their educational goals. Schools agree that students should take a variety of subjects. By taking additional courses, students are encouraged to look around and see something that attracts them. Bloom does not only want students to take all the basic general education courses, but he think taking a variety of advanced classes will expand their education. However, he has not thought about the students who want to attend college and quickly earn their degree so they can start their careers.
I disagree with Bloom because he encourages the idea of taking extra irrelevant classes to achieve the experience of education. It usually takes about four years to earn a bachelors degree. There are many courses such as English, math, history, art, etc. that a student must go through before they get to start on the classes that concentrate on their intended major. These basic courses are part of a program called general education. After completing general education (which usually takes about two years), the students can then begin to study for their degree. Colleges should abandon the law of students having to take general education courses because the courses are irrelevant to their field of study, unnecessary and a waste of time. Instead of taking the extra courses, students can simply meet their needs of a degree in a shorter period of time. Also, Bloom not only that wants students to take general education courses, he wants them to further their education by taking advanced irrelevant courses. Therefore, in their future, they would have numerous opportunities for a better career. Because if a job is not right for the student, he would have other choices to obtain a new job.
Rose feels students should not learn from the canon books style. Students have an easier time learning when they relate to the subjects they deal with in their everyday lives. Most students cannot relate to Shakespearean literature like Bloom suggested because the events within the text are so obsolete. Rose states, "We need an orientation to instruction that provides guidance on how to determine and honor the beliefs and stories, enthusiasms, and apprehensions that students reveal" (25). Learning to speak and write English from conversation and socialization is considered easier than reading books about Shakespeare because there is interaction between one another rather than just comprehension. Rose proves a reason through his experiences. He prefers that education is not all learned from school. Rose never intended to go to college. He saw Shakespeare when he was young and thought it was snooty and dumb and not the way he would ever talk. He first took his interest though comic books, not school. Then he began reading science fiction novels, which lead him into chemistry. Rose barely wrote unless its school exercises and when his mother made him write letters to his relatives. The textures of his environment drew Rose to books. Then he was interested in learning and found ways to further his education.
I agree with Rose because his style of teaching makes it easier for students to adapt and learn. Rose states, "The richer your conception of learning and your understanding of its social and psychological dimensions, the more insightful and effective your judgments will be" (24). If an assignment is related to the real readings, it will be easier for the student to understand the ideas. If a subject is more analytic and has nothing to do with the context, the harder it will be for the student to understand. Basically, the more enriched your mind is, the easier you can problem solve everyday problems.
Not all work will have to deal with our lives, but it will be a lot easier if the assignment will be more accessible. "It is what we are excited about that educates us, " writes social historian Elizabeth Ewen (16). Rose’s idea will motivate the students more, and more teenagers will be convinced to continue their education after high school.
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