What do you believe the true purpose of a college education is today? What do you think it will be in the future?
Do you believe colleges have a responsibility to teach concepts like “global understanding” and “cultural diversity and expression”? Why or why not?
If you have already completed some of your general education requirements, what did you take away from the experience? If you have some left to complete, what do you hope to get out of general education at Excelsior?
Week 1 Discussion: College Education
The modern education system in colleges and universities focuses on imparting students with knowledge that can ensure their career development and assurance regarding future employment. It arms candidates with the tools and skills that will prove beneficial when they enter the competition. There has been a rise in the number of institutions in recent years that are based on utility ideology.
Therefore, utility ideals currently dominate education, but as we progress toward the future, the utopian ideal will gain dominance. In the long run, the individual requires freedom of thought because the ultimate goal is not just decided based on “value” but “values.” As stated by Appiah, these are two visions where the former is focused on “building human capital,” and the latter is concerned with the “house of virtues.” As we move toward the future, we need to include “values” in the education system to ensure human development and happiness (Appiah, 2015b).
Gary Gutting reflects on the same issue and argues that a society’s core ideals cannot be determined by capitalism only. He states, “We must separate education for instrumental knowledge for its own sake.” According to him, the main objective of teaching is to accelerate the “intellectual, emotional, aesthetic, even moral experiences” instead of just imparting knowledge and skills simply required to do a job (Gutting, 2015).
People are growing more mobile with the fast progression of technology and transportation. As a result, workspaces now have people from different cultures, religions, and ethnic backgrounds. If people remain unaware of these factors, it will create conflicts that can slow down progress. Thus, I believe it is the college’s responsibility to teach concepts like “global understanding” and “cultural diversity and expression” so that individuals can become culturally competent and understanding. My journey through general education has helped me gain awareness and ponder deeply upon the topics that affect life. I look forward to learning more because I want to develop the proper perspective free of prejudice and fallacies.
Appiah, K. A. (2015b, September 8). What Is the Point of College? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/magazine/what-is-the-point-of-college.html?_r=0
Gutting, G. (2015, September 11). Why College Is Not a Commodity. The Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.chronicle.com/article/why-college-is-not-a-commodity/