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Start with the end in mind

Student first get a job with a company and then go to study for a relevant degree that matches their aspiration and work.

Photo of Denny Wong
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Photo of Caitlin Sikora

I think this makes sense, but I also believe that students' end goals can change over time. Perhaps, in the United States, we are too patient with indecision.

Photo of Denny Wong

@Caitlin, thank you for your comment. Yes, often the end goals will change. This is why the learning cycle should be shorter and focus on hands-on while complemented with theory and coaching - and more importantly its should be contextual and situational.

Imagine a one to one personalised program of continuous learning with a constant moving objective (end point at evolve - stage by stage. Sort like a games of different level except it is self directed.

What do you think?

Photo of Caitlin Sikora

That sounds great to me! It may not lead to the advancement of knowledge in the classical sense. It appears to me that students' goals are not necessarily to gain and expand "knowledge" in the way that a traditional university might have intended. I think that as universities have expanded to include a wider ranger of socio-economic groups, their missions have adjusted to address the goals of the new group of consumers, while trying to maintain the traditional goals of propagating knowledge as well. I'm not sure that it would be good to completely abandon that traditional goal, as I believe it is appropriate for some students/thinkers and useful for society as a whole. Maybe we need to create different options for students with different goals. I think this could take the shape of different types of colleges, different types of degrees, or different tracks within the same field of study. This already exists at the graduate level (master's vs phd), but undergraduate education is still one-size-fits-all.

Photo of Denny Wong

Thank you for your comments.

Yes, you are right that there is a difference between the work of 'purposeful' advancement of knowledge (ie. think Phd or research work - even more distinction between applied science and fundamental research) AND hands-on 'education' with the purpose to enhance the life of a student (again IMHO there is a nuances between propagating knowledge versus education).

I agree with you it is not one or the other but rather making it clear which is which - and even better if we can take a holistic approach by (re)putting the interest of the student in the center. One of the contributors shared this TEDx talks - which explain this well : Designing a university for the new millennium: David Helfand at TEDxWestVancouverED

I believe if we put the student's interest in the center and adhere to the latin meaning of education, we would stand a higher chance of getting the right focus. In this case the research and knowledge propagation is 'subordinate' to the interest and well being of the students - not only doing for doing sake.

One your last point, I agree that it is not one or the other - at this stage I believe in providing options for student to choose - the 'evolution' or natural selection (vote with their feet) would somewhat select a model or models that work for one but maybe less for the others.

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