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  1. #61
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    University is not exclusively about providing education or getting people to learn. At least the case is such in the United States. In the United States, the University must offer the kind of services that the public will be willing to pay for, otherwise it would not survive as the government is not willing to offer ample support for such an institution.

    What is the majority of the public in the United States willing to pay for? Obviously for whatever they deem to be important. What exactly is it that they deem to be important? That is what Keirsey may describe as SJ values. First of all making money, having a high status in society. In order to do that, genuine and deep learning is not necessary. What is necessary is having some very basic skills and knowledge that will make it believable to most superficial, ordinary people that you are quite skilled and knowledgeable. By the standards of the contemporary society, having genuine knowledge isn't important, it is only important to ensure that other people think that you do.

    Since the students make the payments that keep the Universities in business, it is important to provide the kind of a program that they will want to enroll in. That is, one that does not lead them to do any genuine learning but only forces them to learn to do things in a one simple, straight-forward way. This is desirable by the students because it will convince most people that they are knowledgeable.

    Today, most people are not accustomed to learning, they would much rather memorizes a number of rules regarding how to do things and mindlessly implement them till the very day that they retire. (No wonder so many seniors in this country suffer from the Alzheimer's syndrome) Since these people are the ones who are calling the shots with respect to what must taught at the Universities, there is no reason to expect for such institutions to be devoted to learning.

    Most institutions are mere bureaucratic organizations as most people find them easy to deal with. To do away with bureaucracy means to force people to think for themselves. No-one is ready for this. If you want an institution that is devoted to learning, start a private school of your own. You are not going to have an easy time finding a University where learning is one of the main institutional purposes. Making a genuine effort to get people to think for themselves is a subversive and a revolutionary proposition at this point. Most Deans would find the suggestion of making people learn instead of earning an income for the institution or making the public happy by giving them the educational program that they want earnestly baffling.
    While you make some valid points, given that around 3/4 of profs are N, your premise that the SJs are the ones running the universities is grossly unsubstantiated. Sure, there'll be some SJs in there, but the population from which the committees are selected are distinctly N in the first place. I know for fact that my dean is INTP (I took 15 credit hours with him while he was teaching), I know for fact that my university president is an INT(probably INTJ), etc. I have suspicions about some of the other key players being N, but I don't know them well enough to argue those ones. Besides the point, given that academia is so N-heavy, the SJs in there would be willingly aligning themselves with more Nish values (knowledge for knowledge's sake), not vice-versa. I'd suspect that a lot of the NTs would be more pragmatic about the business end of it than a lot of the SJs.

    You wreck your argument by overstating it. It surely has its merit, but your conclusions do not ring true in my personal experience, and they do not align with the population sampling of MBTI statistics from the university environment.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  2. #62
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    In college you learn about yourself. You also learn about others.

    Unless your an engineer, or some other crazy math or science major, you don't learn that much of anything.
    That's a good way to put it.

    Networking and making social connections would be a huge benefit of University/college if it weren't for the fact that these days students rather socialize on the internet, text on their cell phones, and listen to their iPod, rather than talk to the other college students who are sitting right next to them.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    What is your objective for university--is it to obtain a good job and career, or to gain knowledge for knowledge's sake? You mention engineering friends, but this is not university studies as per the definition I used in what you quoted me, that is vocational training that occurs under the umbrella of a university institution.

    Those are two very different aims with two very different definitions of learning. How do you define learning? In undergraduate (I was only talking about undergraduate) studies, science and math students tend to learn what is put in front of them, whereas liberal arts students generally get a lot more free reign with the papers they choose to go into depth about. When you go exploring on your own, you generally retain far more understanding 20 years later because you were interested and formed a complex mental schema (structure).

    This doesn't mean that liberal arts students learn more or less, it's just a different goal. Aside from a few upper level courses, I've never heard of an undergraduate math or physics major getting to choose the direction of their studies (i.e. their marks are based off of midterm and final exam performance, based off of what the prof deems is important for the whole class). When you're following someone else's decisions on what to learn, then it is more business-y and you're less likely to retain this knowledge unless you're applying it in your vocation. (This is why I wasn't including graduate studies--because then students get to choose their interests instead of meeting the predetermined expectations for an undergraduate degree.)
    Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant in your writing where I quoted you.

    Whether legit or not, I think there is a perception that liberal arts can "Free ride" or "fgree load" more. "Hmm, this anti-disentasblishmentarianism sounds involved and stuff, and goodness knows I'd rather drink than think, so I'll pick something else easier to write my less-than-fully-impressive papers about"

    Math, physics, chem, and engineering [and maybe bio and more as well, I wouldn't necessarily know] all have fundamental backgrounds upon which all else is built. Especially the last two. To get into any depth in them involves knowing there basics. You can't build a foundation on nothing here. None of this "I don't really like linear algebra, I'll just not learn it. No no no, much advanced math uses linear algebra all the time, so you can't just skirt away from it.

    Yes, the majors I listed above all tend to have little flexibility course-wise. [sidenote: i think math would have the most flexibility due to different reasons for taking it: HS or GS teaching, science major, go on to math grad school, statistics/actuary ops research, other]. But that is because "those in the know" have deemed said topics the fundamentals of the field and what anyone coming out with a degree in that topic should have a decent knowledge of. Everything we did in basic physics, every single darned topic, we did again in intermediate physics but with more stuff added to it, and likewise for advanced physics. "If you can't speak the language you can't play the game.", and the necessary minimum's to know the language are what determine what count as "required" courses. I don't see any way that someone could go through such classes and NOT come out learning stuff. Maybe they don't care about what they learned, maybe they don't find it interesting or useful, but they DID learn things. It's also much harder to fake knowing math or science if you don't know it than it is to fake some stuff in a paper for a liberal arts major. "Scott, Leibniz's rule for differentiating an integral whose limits of integration are themselves functions of the variable being integrated clearly is this equation as shown in class and your textbook." Scott:"yeah, but my anti-disestablishmentiariasm feels like your social mileau pressupposes oppressive hierarchical patriarchal norms, which I don't agree with, therefore I modified Lebiniz's rule to account for my integral inclusive matriarchal heart-based value system of equality". Yeah, thats not gonna fly.

    Again, I was just surprised that you seemed to be saying that science majors could take classes and not really learn much while in them. Maybe you meant comprehension vs rote memorization??? Anyways, if I've totally misunderstood and sidetracked what you meant I apologize.

  4. #64
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I'm not saying there are never good people in the system, nor do I think that students don't learn anything at all. I believe learning takes place as you experience life. It's impossible to attend a math class and not take something back with you. But these rare occasions are subject to chance. A student must stumble upon a nitch of good among a sea of uninspired business-oriented garbage.
    Yes, I agree, but hope such occasions are more than rare. Any place/organization/group/etc is composed of people. And people always vary in interests/desire/aptitude/goals/values/etc. Schools vary a lot. Some are far more education focused than others, others just wanna push people through and its all about bodycount and the numbers of payment checks coming in.

  5. #65
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    While you make some valid points, given that around 3/4 of profs are N, your premise that the SJs are the ones running the universities is grossly unsubstantiated. Sure, there'll be some SJs in there, but the population from which the committees are selected are distinctly N in the first place. I know for fact that my dean is INTP (I took 15 credit hours with him while he was teaching), I know for fact that my university president is an INT(probably INTJ), etc. I have suspicions about some of the other key players being N, but I don't know them well enough to argue those ones. Besides the point, given that academia is so N-heavy, the SJs in there would be willingly aligning themselves with more Nish values (knowledge for knowledge's sake), not vice-versa. I'd suspect that a lot of the NTs would be more pragmatic about the business end of it than a lot of the SJs.

    You wreck your argument by overstating it. It surely has its merit, but your conclusions do not ring true in my personal experience, and they do not align with the population sampling of MBTI statistics from the university environment.
    Yes! As shown in many places, college faculty members are largely comprised of N's. Business school, tech school, vocational schools would be the major exceptions. NT's for technical subjects [math, science, engineering], and NF's for liberal arts and the like. The disgustingly vast majority of my profs were INT's.

    SJ's might rule more over business school curricula, and to an extent what business/industry/"the real world"/the workign world wants from its soon-to-be new employees [ie graduating students].

  6. #66
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant in your writing where I quoted you.

    Whether legit or not, I think there is a perception that liberal arts can "Free ride" or "fgree load" more. "Hmm, this anti-disentasblishmentarianism sounds involved and stuff, and goodness knows I'd rather drink than think, so I'll pick something else easier to write my less-than-fully-impressive papers about"

    Math, physics, chem, and engineering [and maybe bio and more as well, I wouldn't necessarily know] all have fundamental backgrounds upon which all else is built. Especially the last two. To get into any depth in them involves knowing there basics. You can't build a foundation on nothing here. None of this "I don't really like linear algebra, I'll just not learn it. No no no, much advanced math uses linear algebra all the time, so you can't just skirt away from it.

    Yes, the majors I listed above all tend to have little flexibility course-wise. [sidenote: i think math would have the most flexibility due to different reasons for taking it: HS or GS teaching, science major, go on to math grad school, statistics/actuary ops research, other]. But that is because "those in the know" have deemed said topics the fundamentals of the field and what anyone coming out with a degree in that topic should have a decent knowledge of. Everything we did in basic physics, every single darned topic, we did again in intermediate physics but with more stuff added to it, and likewise for advanced physics. "If you can't speak the language you can't play the game.", and the necessary minimum's to know the language are what determine what count as "required" courses. I don't see any way that someone could go through such classes and NOT come out learning stuff. Maybe they don't care about what they learned, maybe they don't find it interesting or useful, but they DID learn things. It's also much harder to fake knowing math or science if you don't know it than it is to fake some stuff in a paper for a liberal arts major. "Scott, Leibniz's rule for differentiating an integral whose limits of integration are themselves functions of the variable being integrated clearly is this equation as shown in class and your textbook." Scott:"yeah, but my anti-disestablishmentiariasm feels like your social mileau pressupposes oppressive hierarchical patriarchal norms, which I don't agree with, therefore I modified Lebiniz's rule to account for my integral inclusive matriarchal heart-based value system of equality". Yeah, thats not gonna fly.

    Again, I was just surprised that you seemed to be saying that science majors could take classes and not really learn much while in them. Maybe you meant comprehension vs rote memorization??? Anyways, if I've totally misunderstood and sidetracked what you meant I apologize.
    No need for apologies--my communication could have probably been a little more clear. I definitely agree with what you've stated.

    I think you make a good argument for math and physics, but I still think that because you're being told what to learn rather than exploring where your interests lead for learning's sake, it's a little different. (They're just apples and oranges.)

    I think a lot of what is tested in undergrad biology and chemistry is one's ability to memorize shit. The kind of stuff that one would never memorize IRL, or only as a byproduct of concentrating on one very specific area. While I agree that knowing the language is fundamental and a non-negotiable, I think a a lot of what is memorized in those subjects is unnecessary memorization. The volume of memorization detracts from one's ability to show that they understand the Big Ideas (because if you can't come up with xyz molecule exactly as it is you can't show how it moves through and changes along the pathway, which is ridiculous, because most students would be able to showcase their knowledge to a significantly higher degree if they didn't have hundreds of details to memorize because they don't know which pithy detail is going to be on the exam).
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  7. #67
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    No need for apologies--my communication could have probably been a little more clear. I definitely agree with what you've stated.

    I think you make a good argument for math and physics, but I still think that because you're being told what to learn rather than exploring where your interests lead for learning's sake, it's a little different. (They're just apples and oranges.)
    Yes, very little selecting on your own. Well, you can pick which optional physics courses you take. I will say, we had FAR more options than the engineers at our school. Some of them had like literally 3 options there entire 4 year degree program.

    I think a lot of what is tested in undergrad biology and chemistry is one's ability to memorize shit. The kind of stuff that one would never memorize IRL, or only as a byproduct of concentrating on one very specific area. While I agree that knowing the language is fundamental and a non-negotiable, I think a a lot of what is memorized in those subjects is unnecessary memorization. The volume of memorization detracts from one's ability to show that they understand the Big Ideas (because if you can't come up with xyz molecule exactly as it is you can't show how it moves through and changes along the pathway, which is ridiculous, because most students would be able to showcase their knowledge to a significantly higher degree if they didn't have hundreds of details to memorize because they don't know which pithy detail is going to be on the exam).
    Yes, I've heard that MANY times. Yes yes yes.

    I'm sure you've written it somewhere, but what do you study? I was math and physics, and then grad school for physics with plenty of EE and materials science courses as well.

  8. #68
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post

    I'm sure you've written it somewhere, but what do you study? I was math and physics, and then grad school for physics with plenty of EE and materials science courses as well.
    I completed some 3rd year chemistry before I decided I hated the lab jobs that would have come out of that degree, moved to developmental psychology, decided that while psych studies fascinating ideas their scientific method for analyzing the humanity stuff seemed to be the worst of the sciences mixed with the worst of the humanities, so I moved to study rhetoric (how symbols mediate our reality).
    Rhetoric is awesome, because you can study the rhetoric of anything, you will never ever get bored, because everything is rhetorical so you just study what interests you.
    I'm thinking of studying the rhetorics of science when I go to grad school, but the field is so new I don't have to specialize because it's kinda still a free-fer-all.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  9. #69
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Btw, I majored in Economics and complex systems and I only got 2 optional exams out of 36. I don't think US people should complain about their lack of selection, in many places the choice is much more restrictive. I personally am in favour of the necessity to memorize details in technical subjects. Big Ideas don't work at all (again, when it's a technical matter) without the details in the right place.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  10. #70
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blanclait View Post
    I'm a 1st year at Ryerson, Canada for Fashion Design (4-yr program)
    Despite its self-proclamation as being best fashion school in Canada, I hate their program to death.

    1st year, the foundation year, is "trying" to get us into working in a certain method. I have already passed this stage. I already know the best way I work. Yet they force us into the generic method that works for the majority. Therefore, very little is gained through the coursework. I tried these methods ages ago in high school, and I scrapped it b/c it didn't work for me.

    As a result, I do half ass job on every assignment, rather school work is interrupting my real self studies. Therefore I'm passing at the bare minimum (i think) except for few courses.

    I expected University/College to be a place of learning. Right now, it is preventing me from learning.

    Of course some aspect of the program are quite essential (though I don't fully enjoy or understand always) but still, it's not worth the time and money I invested.

    What is being taught is very shallow and so are the people.

    This is worse than high school. At least high school gave me time to do my studies. University seems to enforce their methods and rob all of student's free time, to do REAL studies.
    Shouldn't education be more of a guide?
    and none of this bureaucratic crap?

    Only redeeming factor so far is the connection school provides. Everything else are disappointments after disappointments.

    This has to be the most pessimistic post I ever made


    any thoughts? or anyone who felt/gone through a similar situation?

    Of course this varies per major and my limited knowledge/experience in post secondary schools makes my post a biased one. So feel to correct me.
    Sounds like you are at a shit uni. Ours is relatively independent. Okay, so they have some things you should really abide by, but they're just guidelines so that you're not producing absolute shit.

    What exactly do you want to gain from your time at uni?

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