In a recent US study called “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses”, researchers studied more than 2,300 students that attended 29 different US universities. Here is what they concluded:
(1) 45% of the students showed no gains in learning the first two years of university, and
(2) 36% gained little learning even after four years of university level courses
even though the average GPA was 3.2 among the sample of students.
Richard Arum, the author of the study, discovered that “students [were] able to navigate through [college] quite well with little effort”. Furthermore, he discovered that many faculty were focused on their own research with a disdain for teaching many of the introductory freshmen and sophomore level courses that colleges required of them. The gains in learning were ascertained by tests that measured critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing skills in a standardized manner.
Of course, other factors outside of the enormous failures of the US educational system are also responsible for the failures of students to gain any critical thinking or complex reasoning skills during their years spent inside institutional academics. There is a plethora of mass entertainment designed to prevent young adults from noticing that bankers are ruining their lives and ignoring all the topics that affect their quality of life while keeping them fixated on events that will eventually have no consequence on their quality of life. The Jersey Shore, American Idol, the Bachelor, an 18-game NFL season that will extend the nation’s fixation on football for several more weeks…shall I continue? Arum’s study found that students spend less time studying today and more time socializing as compared to their peers from a decade ago and blamed students for deliberately seeking easy courses full of fluff for their lack of learning in addition to professors and universities that valued research and money more than teaching. Of course, the question still persists of why do universities even waste students’ time by offering students courses full of fluff? And if students really go to college to socialize more than they study, do they really need to waste $30,000 of their parent’s money every year for the privilege of playing Xbox in their dorm rooms with their friends?
Though the value derived from institutional academia seems to be little, this hasn’t prevented the owners of these institutions from raising tuition prices by 29% over the last four years from $84,940 to $109,172 for a four-year private university degree (Source: the National Inflation Association). In fact, if people were to view institutional academia as the money-making business it really is, one would likely conclude that in terms of value for money spent, this business would rank as one of the greatest all time-scams next to the fractional reserve banking system.
Supporters of the institutional academic system frequently quote studies that illustrate that a job seeker without a college degree will earn substantially less than someone that has one, or that someone without a high school diploma has a much greater probability of ending up inside the US penal system than someone that possesses one. Yet, these arguments and conclusions are highly flawed. The control group in these studies that end up having lower paying jobs or that end up in prison are those that choose not to pursue education at all. But what if such studies used a control group of home-schooled children or children that attended “alternate” institutions of education where they really learned how money is created and how banking really works instead of the utter lies that are taught in business school classrooms today? I would fathom to think that this control group would test much higher in terms of critical thinking, complex reasoning AND illustrate higher earnings potential after graduation with the benefit of having little or no debt as compared to their institutionalized peers (those that attended traditional academic institutions).
Last year I wrote a series entitled the “Astounding Failure of the US Education System” regarding the very above topics. You may find these three articles here along with one by the National Inflation Association.
October 21, 2010: The Astounding Failure of the US Educational System
October 28, 2010: The Astounding Failure of the US Educational System, Part 2
October 29, 2010: The Astounding Failure of the US Educational System, Part 3 (And Why Entrepreneurship Can Save America)
January 12, 2011: College Bubble Set to Burst in 2011
In those above articles, though I concentrated on the failures of the US education system from a students’ perspective, I also discussed the astounding successes of the US education system from the perspective of the very small elite communities that control governments and countries around the world. The purpose of the educational system as it has been constructed and implemented in developed countries by elite financiers (aka bankers), has never been to foster learning and to promote critical thinking. It has always been to implement factory like conditions in schools that kills creativity, intelligence, and critical thinking while promoting apathy from boredom, a sheep-herd like mentality that acquiesces to authority and an inability to discern reality from fiction. Today, after revelations of fraud and theft time and time again as the modus operandi, and not the exception, at the largest banks in the world, disdain for bankers is at an all time high and very well-deserved. Still, many Westerners still cannot shake themselves from the banker created propaganda about gold being a “barbarous relic” even as world leaders in Tunisia and Egypt abscond with massive amounts of gold after their leadership created economic breakdown in their respective countries.
If one were to study the history of Western education, one would realize that bankers and the richest financiers of the time comprised the very small, elite, select group that devised the modern academic system today. If you believe that bankers never had the community’s best interests at heart for the past several decades when they sold their customers zero-down, sub-prime, and negative interest mortgages that they knew their customers would eventually default upon, asset backed commercial paper (ABCP) and other derivative products that eventually would lose 50% or more of its value, and stocks in a market they were rigging and front-running every day with their HFT algorithmic models, then why in the world would you believe that this very same group of morally bankrupt people would devise an academic system that was designed to actually educate people?
There are far too many people in this world that do not critically think as the “Academically Adrift” study proved. After being bombarded with mantras like “Stay in School” and “Education is Good”, young adults internalize these mantras and actually believe that they are being educated. Of course, education is good, just not the type that you will receive in traditional halls of institutional academia. While the modern educational system still performs a fine job in increasing the aptitude and skill level of students that train for certain specialized vocations such as medicine, engineering, and architecture, I believe that a very large percentage of the modern educational system achieves nothing more than wasting four years of a student’s life and increasing the indebtedness of these students’ parents or the indebtedness of the students themselves. This is not a conclusion that I draw from speculation but one that I draw from the annals of history. In the early 1900’s, the Board of Education’s Director of Charity, Frederick Gates, stated:
“In our dream, we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or science.”
Who founded the Board of Education? Frederick Gates, and wait for it…John D. Rockefeller of the Rockefeller banking family. If you really think that an educational system that was molded by the top banking families in the world will freely provide to you of their own beneficence the secrets they utilize to gain enormous amounts of wealth in the classrooms of colleges and universities, then go ahead and waste the more than USD $200,000 it will now cost you in tuition (including room and board) at Harvard University for that four year degree. Certainly a student does not need to spend USD $200,000+ of his parent’s money just for the access that a prestigious degree provides. Thus, the real question becomes, is the ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE gained through the achievement of that degree worth USD $200,000? A young adult would be far better prepared to handle the fast approaching tumultuous years of this global monetary crisis by skipping school, and investing the full amount that would have been wasted on tuition in gold. After four years, as long as the student invested during any of the inevitable dips in the price of gold that occur every year, such a student would literally have a mountain of money to start his or her own business, even fail in his or her first venture, start a second business, and succeed — and all with zero debt. Thus the answer to the above question is definitively NO.
And during those four years, I strongly advocate the pursuit of education, just NOT INSTITUTIONAL EDUCATION. Go to the library and read books. Go online and take some courses for a fraction of the price of a university education. Make appointments with business leaders and find a mentor and learn from them. Find an apprenticeship somewhere. All this will be exponentially more invaluable to your earning potential and critical thinking skills than becoming indoctrinated with worthless knowledge that the elite wish to impart to you.
Go to “prestigious” universities like Princeton University and you may be so unfortunate as to have Paul Krugman fill your brains with lies like he stated on September 2, 2009:“There was nothing in the prevailing [economic] models suggesting the possibility of the kind of collapse that happened last year.” If that was the case, then how did I predicted the 2008 economic collapse well before it happened? And how did a handful of others around the world predict the 2008 crisis before it happened as well? And how do I know that another more serious crisis is a near certainty that will likely kick off sometime in 2011 and extend well into 2013, 2014, and 2015? Paul Krugman failed to see the elephant in the room that existed in 2006 and that rampaged through the room in 2008 because he subscribes to the economic conceptual nonsense that the world’s “top” universities inject into the minds of young men and women. Men like Krugman, have as their purpose, to prevent young adults from becoming “philosophers or men [and women] of learning or science.” Those that were able to realize that most of the economic concepts taught in business schools is utter nonsense were able to spot the elephant in the room quite clearly.
If you really believe that the purpose of institutional academics is to increase critical thinking, then why do SO MANY PEOPLE TODAY still believe that the global economy is recovering and that US banks are fine when the majority of them would be declared bankrupt today but for fake FASB reporting measures that allow them to misreport and lie about their earnings? If the majority of people today were critical thinkers, the US consumer confidence index would be at about 10.5 instead of at an eight-month high of 60.6. This only proves that our “modern” educational system has killed critical thinking.
When I attended the University of Pennsylvania, one of my roommates was attending the Wharton School of Business. After the first day of class, he excitedly informed me that his professor told all students on the first day of class that they would not receive less than a grade of “B” as long as they just showed up to every class. In fact, my roommate laughed as he told me this story, probably in disbelief of the easiest “B” he would earn in his life. What is always among the top two concerns of college students that desire high-paying jobs after graduation? GPA, right? If one can be assured of a “B” by doing nothing more than showing up to class and sleeping through every class, what significance does a GPA have? It is ironic that employers continue to seek candidates with prestigious degrees with high GPAs because this nonsense feeds into the desires of young adults to attend prestigious universities and to seek the achievement of high GPAs, all at the cost of true learning, the true development of critical thinking skills and a massive mountain of debt that bankers are quite happy you acquired. But as long as this cycle of non-learning continues, the elite and their creation of the modern educational system have achieved their goals.
In the NIA article I referenced above, the National Inflation Association stated that in the near future, there will be “a boom in online education where Americans take all of their courses over the Internet from the comfort of their own home at a fraction of the cost of traditional college.” I can only hope that this prediction becomes a reality as young adults in the Western world will be bankrupted if they continue committing themselves to massive loads of debt in pursuit of a prestigious degree that will provide little to zero knowledge about how to successfully deal with the coming second phase of this global monetary crisis. If you are not attending school to learn a very specialized skill, then I believe 100% that attending institutional academia will set you back in your ability to succeed over the next five years of this global monetary crisis. Even if you need the structure of a traditional academic institution because you are entering a specialized profession such as medicine or engineering, I still believe that delaying your education for the next two to four years and using the money that would have been spent towards tuition, books, and room and board to invest in gold and silver and/or buy a farm and plant crops is a far smarter decision that will result in your ability to lead a decent life after graduation. Central Bankers have deliberately ensured that food and energy prices will continue to soar so at a minimum, so spending your time wisely instead of attending school will ensure that you can eat over the next several years when Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest theory will be on display for the entire world to see. From my personal experience, I can state one thing unequivocally and without reservation: Everything I learned about succeeding in business, I learned outside of college and graduate programs. Delaying a university education is the RIGHT choice due to the fact that the US job market will look no better in five years in 2015.
About the author: JS Kim is the Founder and Managing Director of maalamalama, a fiercely independent research, education and consulting company that offers online education courses that teach the truth that traditional business schools refuse to teach their students.
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