How I might change increased training
In previous posts, I’ve said how I would switch elementary school, physical education class, medical school, and school in general. Today I am going to tell you how I would change higher education – colleges and universities. This has been the most difficult to write so far because the “purpose” of the college is so open and far-reaching.
What is the purpose of the university? Is it to train people to get good jobs? To have a career? Is the goal to help students find out who they are and what they believe in – find themselves? Is it a great filter, an opportunity for society to establish the “elite” and separate it from the others? Or is college the great balance, an opportunity for everyone to receive a quality education and to find their way around the world?
It can’t be everything and yet it tries to make it work.
This is where elites go to become elites.
This is where children from poor backgrounds can stand out where your background no longer matters – just your skills.
Here you will experiment with substances, subcultures and belief systems.
Here you buckle up and work hard to get ahead.
This is where you go to party and make friends for life.
Are these different goals and identities sustainable?
This is why it is so difficult to make blanket recommendations about college. College is many things at the same time. However, if I were to change higher education, making personal responsibility the highest guiding principle would be a safe start bet. No guilt. No guilt. Yes, responsibility would underpin everything the school has done – professors, administrators, and students alike.
Responsibility over guilt and guilt
The blame puts the problems on “these people”. It removes you from the equation and turns you into a kid who can’t do anything but whine and point fingers. Even if “guilt” is right, it won’t get you anywhere. Accusing others releases you from the responsibility and, most importantly, the ability to change the course of your life (or the world). It allows you to hit and complain and that’s it.
Guilt feels like it’s enough. Guilt feels like you’re doing something, but you really only feel sorry for yourself. Nothing moves forward. When you are feeling worse, you are less likely to make positive changes or take steps forward. Often guilt is also guilt in disguise.
Responsibility is the answer to almost all diseases.
The nice thing about it is that it takes care of itself. When you simply stop blaming others or indulging in your feelings of guilt, you naturally take responsibility for your thoughts, actions, and your future. If wallowing in unproductive guilt and guilt is not an option, all that remains is to take responsibility and take the reins.
Eliminate unnecessary general requirements.
As far as I remember, everyone, regardless of their major, had to take basic courses in literature, math, biology, and other sciences. It sounds good, doesn’t it? We all want well-rounded individuals with a broad knowledge base to enter society. Right?
Well, that’s not how it works. Children end up taking classes that don’t really interest them and often go over things they went to in high school. Either that or the introductory courses are also “weeder” classes that make the material so cumbersome and boring to filter out the people who are into the subject who don’t really have what it takes. It filters out people who aren’t serious about actually being an English major, but it also makes students who take it just to meet a Gen Ed requirement lifelong haters of reading (or biology or the arts, etc.) .).
Incorporate physical culture into the college experience.
Instead of meeting the general requirements, students are required to take at least one sports class every quarter or semester.
- Teach boxing or jiu jitsu.
- Have a wide range of Olympic lifting, weight training, sprint classes.
- Bouldering and climbing and abseiling and parkour.
- Dance of all kinds.
Imagine, instead of just packing the freshman 15 and binge drinking every weekend, college students also delve into the pursuit of physical culture. Exercise sessions before tests. Walking lectures. You can’t really end the party, but at least you can try to balance it out with healthy physical activity.
The ability to move and strengthen one’s body, expand its uses and improve its aesthetics is the most common human requirement of all. Higher education shouldn’t neglect it.
I’ll never stop beating this drum Move everything outside. Move entire classes outside. If COVID persists, moving classes outdoors would reduce the spread (and likely eliminate it for the most part) and improve innate immunity. In addition, it has been shown that learning and working outdoors improves people’s ability to pay attention and enables them to focus more easily on the task at hand.
Further internships. Paid.
The medical school has a great internship system. You actually work as a doctor as part of your training. You do what you go through school to become. This is an obvious requirement when training to save people’s lives and decide how to approach matters of life or death, but I would argue that this is part of all majors.
An internship would throw people right into the fight to see who actually fits well. Students who aren’t great students but who do a great job in a realistic environment would rise to the top. Students who are unsuitable for the job are identified and given the opportunity to switch paths before delving too deep.
Do it more like technical or business schools.
In a technical school, you learn the skills or abilities and then drop out. They are there to learn a skill and prepare for a career. After completing your studies, you often have a job guarantee. Employers have close relationships with schools and promote and support the curriculum. This would work with other disciplines as well – not just auto mechanics and computer technicians.
The “mystique” of the “college experience” is important, but not for everyone. Some people just want to learn a marketable skill and join the workforce.
I will not go too deep into how we can cut costs. There are entire books on the subject, and I’m not going to try to put it all together here. But the price of college education has risen dramatically since I applied, either making college unaffordable for people who could thrive there or forcing people to take on massive debts just to get a degree. Here are a few ideas:
Blame colleges for some of the student debts. If a graduate is 200,000 in the hole and has no signs of being able to pay it back, the education they received likely wasn’t very good. College should bear part of the burden. This sounds “unfair” and would initially be an incentive for better lending. This could go hand in hand with job guarantees – the student doesn’t get a job within the allotted time frame, the school begins to take part of the loan.
Eliminate unnecessary red tape. A huge chunk of a college’s education budget goes into paying administrators who have little to nothing to do with the actual delivery of education. I would like to see colleges become more spartan institutions focused on teaching and research rather than building an ever-increasing number of administrators.
Change government sponsored loans. A government loan is a free license for colleges to continuously increase tuition fees as the most powerful entity in the country will always be there to pay for it. I would suggest taking accountability measures on the shoulders of academic institutions that accept government sponsored funds and limiting tuition increases over any given period. As it is, it remains largely uncontrolled.
Make it easy to start a university. Make more offer and the price will fall. A bonus is that it also introduces more interesting, innovative institutions. I’m not talking about scam universities taking your money without providing adequate education. I am referring to legitimate, accredited institutions. More of that.
Perhaps colleges should be broken down into smaller schools that specialize in certain disciplines. Each major becomes its own technical school, possibly loosely linked to other schools, so a student can take an elective in a different discipline if they so choose. I don’t know if this would remove the institutional bloat and sluggishness, or just rearrange it under a different name, but I think it would be a step in the right direction.
As always, the devil is in the details. These are large elements that would need to be worked out in a forum beyond the capacity of a blog post.
But one thing comes to mind while reading this post: maybe we should just blow it up and start over. The university is ultimately a medieval institution – not in the bad sense, but in the other sense. It was created for a world that no longer exists, a world where knowledge was secret and bound in physical books. If you wanted to have access to this knowledge, you had to register and be accepted. Nowadays knowledge is cheap and conveniently available out of your pocket anywhere. The existence of the modern university, however, presupposes the presence of secret knowledge, which can only be obtained through direct physical access to exclusive study halls.
Is College Still Relevant? I don’t know anymore Can it be kept? Probably, but it has to change.
What do you think guys What would you change in higher education?
About the author
Mark Sisson is the founder of Marks Daily Apple, godfather of the Primal Food and Lifestyle movement, and the New York Times best-selling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, which describes how he combines the keto diet with an original lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is also the author of numerous other books, including The Primal Blueprint, which is credited with the growth of the Primal / Paleo movement in 2009. After three decades of researching and educating people about why food is the key component to achieving optimal wellbeing, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real food company, the Primal / Paleo, Keto and Whole30 friendly kitchen staples manufactures.
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