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  1. #1
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Default Eliminating general education requirements for college

    Think about it. If general education requirements for college were eliminated students could graduate alot faster and save a bunch of money on tuition. Students wouldn't have to waste time taking courses of not interest or use to them and instead focus on courses in their major.

    There is the argument that students need to get a good general education but shouldn't K-12 education serve that purpose?
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  2. #2
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    I am very much opposed to this because (1) it furthers the corporatization of universities, and (2) it is absolutely important for people to receive a well-rounded education. You have no idea how many kids are functionally sub-literate, have no concept of critical thinking, have never heard of Plato, and have no idea how our government works. Sure, these things could be generally helped at the k-12 level, but even if they were, I'd still advocate a general education requirement at university (only at a higher level, not remedial like it currently is.)

    If the current model is annoying and ineffectual, it's because the classes need restructuring and the requirements should be revised to make them better. I can think of no reason why taking them away would be a good idea, except to satisfy the desires of a lazy, mostly ignorant group of students. But guess what? University education is not supposed to be the educational equivalent of shopping at the mall, so tough shit.
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    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    My gut reaction is that they need boosting on both levels. Otherwise, what you're asking for is a trade school. There's nothing wrong with trade school, though. I just don't think that's what college is about.

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    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    This sort of depends on if you see college/university simply as a place of higher learning or if you see it as a place you go to get a piece of paper that'll get you a job. I think most 4- year colleges see it as the former.

  5. #5
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    I'd be for it.
    How many years of "general education" does one need? By the time a student gets to university he has been doing "general education" for 12 years. What exactly does the next 2 years of "general education" add to the last 12? Why not condense the 14 total years of general education into 12 years?

    Imagine an economics major who studies economics for 4 years instead of 2. It would make his undergraduate degree more valuable, and seeing as we pay through the nose for education, we should be trying to maximize our return.

    This sort of depends on if you see college/university simply as a place of higher learning or if you see it as a place you go to get a piece of paper that'll get you a job. I think most 4- year colleges see it as the former.
    We're told to go to university because it increases our chances of success in life. Especially in this day and age, particularly outside the sciences, what can you learn at a university that you can't online? So far, the only thing that I've picked up by going to college that I wouldn't have otherwise is an affinity for parties.

    I think, though, that education is slowly going in this direction anyway. Where I'm from, it's isn't atypical for high school juniors and seniors to be taking classes that give them college credit.

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    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    that's great if you know exactly what you want your degree in. most of us have no fucking clue and jump from major to major never finding the major for them. general education at least gives one a taste of different options.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  7. #7
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    This is an argument that generally comes from everyone in college and not from people that already graduated, haha.

    Really, though, I think that you should have to take some basics in a number of different programs. Everyone only wants to take classes in whatever their specialty is, but really, just having a degree means something. If there weren't a great variety of classes in each program then employers would have nothing to gain from hiring college graduates that don't have the degree specifically in their field. Most importantly, college is about educating yourself and developing your way of thinking. It's not just about becoming a skilled technician. If that were the case, there would be no advantage to going to college over apprenticeships.
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  8. #8
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    I am very much opposed to this because (1) it furthers the corporatization of universities, and (2) it is absolutely important for people to receive a well-rounded education. You have no idea how many kids are functionally sub-literate, have no concept of critical thinking, have never heard of Plato, and have no idea how our government works. Sure, these things could be generally helped at the k-12 level, but even if they were, I'd still advocate a general education requirement at university (only at a higher level, not remedial like it currently is.)

    If the current model is annoying and ineffectual, it's because the classes need restructuring and the requirements should be revised to make them better. I can think of no reason why taking them away would be a good idea, except to satisfy the desires of a lazy, mostly ignorant group of students. But guess what? University education is not supposed to be the educational equivalent of shopping at the mall, so tough shit.
    x1000

    Do you want your medical doctor only choosing to learn the kinds of knowledge about your body that they want to learn? Do you want your lawyer only learning the kinds of knowledge about the legal system that they want to learn?

    Good thinking can't be done in a disciplinary bubble, vacuum-sealed away from the other kinds of approaches and thinking that people in different kinds of situations do. If it was, we'd all be thought-consumers instead of thought-leaders--which is the point of university. Stop showing that you read the material (like high school) and go beyond that to show that you can wield the material like a tool in novel situations. Isolating yourself from everything that's not your disciplinary interest is a way to kill intellectual leadership. If you value the concept of college you have to value that, perhaps, there's a reason why there's general education requirements.

    And I agree with Orangey that it's often remedial. I teach writing argumentation at a state uni, and an absurd amount of students make emotional arguments that appear logical to them because they aren't hearing any other perspective--they've bubbled themselves off. This is a problem that needs restructuring; they shouldn't be getting to college and still be blind to the fact that they're making religious-esque arguments (reciting the things they have emotionally concluded), instead of logical arguments (bringing in justifiable evidence that legitimately substantiates their claims). You need different vantage points to be able to critically examine your own perspective. The less you collide with other perspectives, the more problematic your thinking becomes.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
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  9. #9
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Easy solution for the "kids need a chance to explore etc.."

    Make it a REQUIREMENT that kids work for 2 years before they can enroll in college. All they would need is a w2 or pay stubs. The job could be as remedial as or high up as you want, it'd be isolated from the admissions.
    A) kids would be much more motivated after seeing how shitty life without a degree is!
    B) kids could explore internships and other jobs BEFORE they throw away a bunch of money.

    Regarding "college shouldn't be a shopping mall for a piece of paper". College in the "learn for learning sake" is antiquated. It dates from when rich dilettantes went to college because they were bored (1800s and some 1900s). True that a lot of great science came from these smart bored rich people... But now college is basically a sorting mechanism for the job market. Question:
    A) does the economy a college supports (everyone employed by the nature of their being a college in their town) outway the negative effects the arguably unnecessarily expensive sorting mechanism? Do we really need 200k to sort people?
    B) we could have skill/testing centers like in Australia and Europe do (for some white collar jobs even).
    C) theres evidence that SAT scores could be just as effective in certain instances of sorting people.

    the reality is that businesses are risk averse and lazy when it comes to sorting candidates. So even if most schools did adopt a 2 year streamline that was just as effective, the 4 years schools would stand out for nothing more but being "traditional" and "twice as long". The competitive pressure would force everyone back to 4...


    Quote Originally Posted by xisnotx View Post
    I'd be for it.
    How many years of "general education" does one need? By the time a student gets to university he has been doing "general education" for 12 years. What exactly does the next 2 years of "general education" add to the last 12? Why not condense the 14 total years of general education into 12 years?

    Imagine an economics major who studies economics for 4 years instead of 2. It would make his undergraduate degree more valuable, and seeing as we pay through the nose for education, we should be trying to maximize our return.


    We're told to go to university because it increases our chances of success in life. Especially in this day and age, particularly outside the sciences, what can you learn at a university that you can't online? So far, the only thing that I've picked up by going to college that I wouldn't have otherwise is an affinity for parties.

    I think, though, that education is slowly going in this direction anyway. Where I'm from, it's isn't atypical for high school juniors and seniors to be taking classes that give them college credit.
    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    that's great if you know exactly what you want your degree in. most of us have no fucking clue and jump from major to major never finding the major for them. general education at least gives one a taste of different options.
    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    This is an argument that generally comes from everyone in college and not from people that already graduated, haha.

    Really, though, I think that you should have to take some basics in a number of different programs. Everyone only wants to take classes in whatever their specialty is, but really, just having a degree means something. If there weren't a great variety of classes in each program then employers would have nothing to gain from hiring college graduates that don't have the degree specifically in their field. Most importantly, college is about educating yourself and developing your way of thinking. It's not just about becoming a skilled technician. If that were the case, there would be no advantage to going to college over apprenticeships.
    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    x1000

    Do you want your medical doctor only choosing to learn the kinds of knowledge about your body that they want to learn? Do you want your lawyer only learning the kinds of knowledge about the legal system that they want to learn?

    Good thinking can't be done in a disciplinary bubble, vacuum-sealed away from the other kinds of approaches and thinking that people in different kinds of situations do. If it was, we'd all be thought-consumers instead of thought-leaders--which is the point of university. Stop showing that you read the material (like high school) and go beyond that to show that you can wield the material like a tool in novel situations. Isolating yourself from everything that's not your disciplinary interest is a way to kill intellectual leadership. If you value the concept of college you have to value that, perhaps, there's a reason why there's general education requirements.

    And I agree with Orangey that it's often remedial. I teach writing argumentation at a state uni, and an absurd amount of students make emotional arguments that appear logical to them because they aren't hearing any other perspective--they've bubbled themselves off. This is a problem that needs restructuring; they shouldn't be getting to college and still be blind to the fact that they're making religious-esque arguments (reciting the things they have emotionally concluded), instead of logical arguments (bringing in justifiable evidence that legitimately substantiates their claims). You need different vantage points to be able to critically examine your own perspective. The less you collide with other perspectives, the more problematic your thinking becomes.

  10. #10
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    You can't just materialize mandatory jobs out of nowhere. I realized how shitty it was WITH a college degree when I graduated. Now, I have a job that doesn't even require a degree, technically, and I am very glad I went to college, because it is more than just a sorting mechanism.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

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    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

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