The Value of Education 

At some point, in good or bad situations, many of us have asked ourselves before: Why do we go to a university to learn undergraduate and graduate education? most people might first answer: to make more money! Other responses might be: to gain social and peer respect, to fit our social circle, to make our families happy, or I do not know… Given our current scenario in which every high school student is expected to complete undergraduate education, educators need to help students to find the answer to that important question.

Educators should provide students with more than facts related to their area of focus. We should promote and discuss the social role of the academic program. This can be achieved by providing a historical perspective of the profession and highlighting the importance of integrating personal feelings to the professional practice. Students will change their how they value education once they are guided to think about the non-academic contextual environment of their professions. This will help our students to be happier, be critical of institutions and systems, and perform better their professional duties in society. Ultimately, students might understand that getting education goes beyond making more money.quote-it-is-not-so-very-important-for-a-person-to-learn-facts-for-that-he-does-not-really-need-a-albert-einstein-365866

14 thoughts on “The Value of Education ”

  1. The question you pose in your first paragraph here is one I often wonder about. Sometimes I view it from a slightly different perspective as well, thinking, “Well if you don’t care or want to do the work, why are you even in college/grad school?” For college, the answer is probably either 1) money, like you said, or 2) it’s what people think they’re supposed to do. I think a goal in education should be to get students to look beyond the money they could make and instead focus on contributions they could have.

  2. When I first decided to go back to graduate school, I decided to go back because I wanted to have a larger (or better?) impact on society. Money was in mind, but I am also a poor graduate student, so I “lost” money in a sense too. (My job paid quite a bit more than being a graduate student, imagine that!) But when I worked in industry, I felt like something was missing – not enough significance in what I was doing – which is why I choose to go to graduate school, so I could work in academia when I am done. There’s nothing more rewarding in my opinion than when you see a student who “gets it”, or find something important in research, or for me, work with a farmer and solve a problem. Anytime we can get people to look past money, I think the world will be a better place. Happiness doesn’t have a price tag. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Guided by Freire’s idea of critical pedagogy, I believe that education should be a tool that empowers students to be socially and politically aware, recognize authoritarian and dominant tendencies, and raise voices against them. Instead of teaching facts, education should enable students to interact with it and transform it.

  4. I agree with a number of things you mentioned and honestly there are very few students who don’t put money as their number one motivation for college. Part of that is that our society (locally and internationally) values education (which is good) and those that have the credentials get paid more. Another point you mention that I often think about is how biased our classroom teaching can be some times. Biased in a way that we (the students at some point in out lives) just blindly follow what others say (some even do it now). Which raises the question for me is that are the teachers even aware of what they are instilling in their students? probably not. By the way good post : )

  5. Good post. I can say that I originally picked my major because I was good at math and I liked solving problems. I couldn’t go into a softer science major as that is seen as a lesser degree, so I chose engineering. I feel that more and more students would shy away from or towards different majors and outlooks on life if they were provided with the background as to the field they are entering. Our highschoolers will sit on their computers researching and watching youtube videos to figure out how to ‘hack their iphone’, but when it comes to college and choosing a lifelong career, you just look towards the rankings and go with the best you can.

  6. Ideally, I agree with your proposal, but I’m skeptic of its effectiveness. In the states, “making more money” is the dominant factor for most American students, with specific reference to the college debt that many of these students face after leaving the academic setting.

    1. Ross that’s a really good point about getting students to not just think about education = mo $$$.

      I think it is our job as professors to understand that that is a lot of students motivation for being in college, and to try to motivate them with things other than money. Focussing on an interactive classroom and problem-based learning may go a long way in showing them that you are excited about what you’re teaching and they should be too.

  7. Thank you for sharing! Something that was proposed to me from a student perspective is, What are the aim(s) of education? and What are you hoping to obtain from it? I believe having students think about those questions assist the instructor in utilizing methods or instructional strategies to create intrinsic motivation through aligning activities or assignments that are authentic and meaningful to the student.

  8. I really enjoyed your post. I think for this entire semester I have struggle with the question of why I came to graduate school. I didn’t come to make more money; I came to find a path to a career, but it gets hard to keep that in perceptive at times especially when I’m a struggling students. Education and learning can sometimes be tricky to keep in focus and perceptive, because there is a lot of pressure and expectations. And nowadays, there is no guarantee that you will leave college with a job. Sometimes, I look at higher education as a gamble and that’s why people find themselves going to college for the wrong reasons. They didn’t think about the whole picture before they came to school and there are times in education when the concept of “making more money” isn’t going to work because there is no guarantee. That’s why it’s important to remember the reasons why you love to learn or consider what is it beyond the money that is pushing you through school.

  9. So true! I joined college because I needed a degree to make money. This idea of course changed over time as I started to understand the impact I can make on society. I feel that a key idea is for students to realize that they can make a difference in the way we live and they can take part in the efforts to improve our quality of life. School is just a place where one receive training of thought to innovate ideas that make their small community or society as a whole a better place.

  10. Thank you for your post. I liked your post and I agree with what you said. People should definitely think about why they are going to college (and grad school) instead of stopping and starting a business, which might end up making them more money. It all depend on their view of life and what their long term goals are.

  11. I really like your post! I sure think this is a common question for all of us why we need education?
    Each educator I believe has at least the responsibility to make that clear to his/her students that what he/she is teaching and why that is important. How it will impact society and the general life? That also motivates students to be connected to what they are learning in the class.

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