How Do You Get an Education?

My students at the college were appalled when I told them that doctors and lawyers did not always go to college and grad school in order to enter their professions. They did not understand why an apprenticeship was a positive thing. And, of course, they think doctors and lawyers are much like God in that they know all and see all and never make mistakes. (You all know how I feel about that idea, right?)

My husband, with a bachelor’s in computer science and 13 years experience in the field- making major, big name, products- can’t teach computer science in a high school or a college without going back to school.

Since I have a PhD I’d never really thought much about it before, but what proof is there that a degree is better than experience? I know I’d rather take an English class from a professional writer who knew how to teach than from a professional teacher. (And I’m not a professional writer…) Wouldn’t you rather take a class from an experienced person in the field rather than from an educated person in the field? Especially considering what passes for education these days?

I’ve been thinking about it more and more because of the points above. Really, do we need an education system like we have or might an apprenticeship/expertise based one be better and more useful?

Matthew Yglesias writes about credentialism and the need (or lack thereof) for a college education. He’s looking at different things for different reasons, but the result would be similar.

Maybe this is the way to get away from the education school problems people like Jenny D and some other blogger I read regularly, but can’t remember who it is. (Ouch. Gotta notice the names with the articles more often.)

I would love to get my son an internship in what he wants to do, if I knew what he wanted to do, even if I am also going to encourage him to go to college.

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