Education

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With all the concerns society has today, education is often mentioned as one of the most important. The irony is the lack of educational opportunities is not the problem. There are more colleges, technical schools and learning centers available now than ever before in the history of the country, not to mention the cost is rapidly rising to well over $10,000 per year per student in high school. The real problem is the lack of these students knowing how to applying that knowledge.

There seems to be a complete disconnect between learning and applying knowledge. The education model used today is simply one of exposing students to the information with the diploma a sort of a participation trophy. This makes about as much sense as picking a bushel of apples then leaving them in basket to rot. Students should be required to explain what problem they are going to help solve before they can graduate. I always had a hard time figuring out what problem an art history major was going to solve in the world.

The amount of information in the world was doubling about every 1000 years at the time of Christ. Today, the time to double the total amount of information available is about 1 year. The time needed to double is expected to be about a day in 20 years. The irony is: there is so much information available with much of it too complicated or changing too fast to apply any of it. The result is a society with people about as informed as the average citizen was at the time of Christ. In spite of that most people have the basic skills to do their job along with the ability to survive day to day by solving some problem for their employer. The current generation wants to skip the step of applying what they learned in school to solve problems and be paid only for what they know and not for what they can do for the employer.

The problem is students today seem to lack the skills to solve problems using the new information they learned in school. The only real purpose for education is to know how to find and use the information when it’s needed, not to memorize it for a test.

Teaching this skill is not exclusively for the schools, it is also the responsibility of the parents of those students. Problem solving and self sufficiency is lived, not taught. Another aspect to consider in addressing this deficiency is mandatory public service with everyone serving this country in some way shape or fashion upon graduation from high school. That in itself would solve many educational problems but that is a topic for another time.

This is Keith Kube wishing you the best in making the world a better place.

Keith Kube, of Crofton, is a business analyst and author of two book on business management. During his career as an engineer, investment banker and business analyst he identified traits commonly overlook that are vital for all successful business operations. You can hear all his past editorials by going to his website: www.keithkube.com