Thursday, September 08, 2005

My university is one of the citie's main tourist attraction. it's due to the rabbits.

The bunnies, the most permanent residents of the university, watch from the lawn as the students scurry about like rabbits for the first week of classes. The week prior, if one chose to visit campus, one could watch the first year students escort their parents for a tour of the grounds. Each parent seriously contemplating the buildings and the trees and slowly begin to nod their head in approval. I heard one father say, “I think you are going to like it here son.”

Now that it is busy again, the rabbits have to be on their toes to avoid the steady stream of foot traffic, which grows larger each year with the demand for higher education, as it travels hurriedly from one building to the next. As usual, there are waitlists for all but a sparse few classes; often times the waitlist more than double the allotted class size. Many of the students don’t want to be there, they don’t come to the ivory tower for the intrinsic value of knowledge. They come because it is the means to a more successful life. Education has become the path for our privileged to have a better chance at life.

This sounds jaded perhaps, but I am not knocking education here. I think a good education is (dare I say) essential to a full life. What worries me is the education system available to me. So, perhaps, to avoid any possible equivocation on terms, I will give distinction to these terms that so far, I have used with little regard to their meaning (only the meaning as it is commonly understood and commonly used). Education; is quite simply the current system with teachers teaching and students learning, memorization, exams, essays and as a means to a career. With education, teachers teaching does not guarantee (is not sufficient cause of) students learning.

What I want is the opportunity to learn for its own sake. The study of wisdom, otherwise known as philosophy, offers me the best opportunity I can find, but it is lacking somehow.

I’ll be talking more about this on my blog from time to time over the next few months (perhaps years). Something I would love to do is to take a look at education systems (cross culturally) and see if there is a solution to the current situation. I want to come at this from a philosophical stand point, but draw on concrete examples of both educational systems and psychological ideas of group behaviour. If no solution can be found (or even hinted at), then at least I could find a way to articulate the problem on hand.

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