The Over-educated •jsidelko PF Addict Usergroup: Sponsors Joined: Jun 08, 2009 Total Topics: 121 Total Posts: 1421 #1 - Quote - Permalink 1 of 5 people found this post helpful Posted Oct 11, 2011 - 7:06 AM: Subject: The Over-educated I think we can agree the world is filled with billions of people who are under-educated for their aptitudes. I have observed however, especially in the United States, that there are an increasing number of people who are educated beyond their level of competence. Most of these over-educated people seem to be under-trained for survival in the job market. There is a two year college in my area that will accept any student who manages to graduate from high school. About half of the students who enter this college drop out before they are able to obtain the associate degree. They walk around town with their heads filled with partially digested information and no job skills. I even ran across a person who actually had a B.A. degree in philosophy, but never heard of Wittgenstein and pronounced Descartes as DES-CARTES. Has anyone else seen this or is it unique to my area? Maybe the word "over-educated" is inaccurate and "mis-educated" would be a better term? •MrSkeptic Forum Veteran Usergroup: Sponsors Joined: Apr 04, 2011 Location: Midwest Total Topics: 78 Total Posts: 846 ♂ #2 - Quote - Permalink Posted Oct 11, 2011 - 7:17 AM: I don't think American students are over-educated. They are under-educated. Here are a few facts from In Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses: 1. The research of more than 2,300 undergraduates found 45 percent of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.2. Overall, the picture doesn't brighten much over four years. After four years, 36 percent of students did not demonstrate significant improvement, compared to 45 percent after two.3. Students who studied alone, read and wrote more, attended more selective schools and majored in traditional arts and sciences majors posted greater learning gains.4. Social engagement generally does not help student performance. Students who spent more time studying with peers showed diminishing growth and students who spent more time in the Greek system had decreased rates of learning, while activities such as working off campus, participating in campus clubs and volunteering did not impact learning.5. Students from families with different levels of parental education enter college with different learning levels but learn at about the same rates while attending college. 6.The racial gap between black and white students going in, however, widens: Black students improve their assessment scores at lower levels than whites.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/411369...earning-much/#.TpRdE97qN98 •jsidelko PF Addict Usergroup: Sponsors Joined: Jun 08, 2009 Total Topics: 121 Total Posts: 1421 #3 - Quote - Permalink 0 of 1 people found this post helpful Posted Oct 11, 2011 - 7:34 AM: I wonder if there is a limit to one's capacity for critical thinking? Are these 45% undergraduates being pushed beyond their level of competence when the enter college? Would they be better off attending vocational schools rather than academic colleges? We may all be equal in the eyes of the law (and God), but I don't believe we are equal when it comes to abstract reasoning and problem solving abilities. •Rypcord PF Addict Usergroup: Members Joined: Jul 19, 2009 Total Topics: 42 Total Posts: 1835 #4 - Quote - Permalink Posted Oct 11, 2011 - 3:46 PM: So... some people are over-educated? Some people in America who shouldn't go from High School -> College are... and that is a problem to you/[us as a culture]?Howso? What should they do instead? Immediately get a job? Where? The same place they might get a job post-college? Or a menial labor job that requires no higher education level? So instead of possibly making 's in the future after paying loans/bills/etc their now making $$-$$\$ at a menial labor job; right from the start - coming out of high school - assuming they find a job and don't burden their parents financially by staying at home without a job. How would it benefit us as a culture/America if our students coming out of high school received less education? They'd have less student loans; there's that.... but where are they getting these jobs in this poor work environment? So we churn out a ton of menial labor or low-level jobs instead of having students learn through a college (thus employing professors, janitors, institutional workers, etc.) and then either going for higher-end jobs or jobs that require direct skills with the fallback of being able to do the low-level jobs and menial labor jobs. How does this benefit us in any way? Less student loans.... and that's it? •Arkady Ghost in the machine Usergroup: Members Joined: Jul 29, 2009 Total Topics: 35 Total Posts: 3983 #5 - Quote - Permalink 0 of 1 people found this post helpful Posted Oct 11, 2011 - 3:48 PM: jsidelko wrote: I think we can agree the world is filled with billions of people who are under-educated for their aptitudes. I have observed however, especially in the United States, that there are an increasing number of people who are educated beyond their level of competence. Most of these over-educated people seem to be under-trained for survival in the job market. There is a two year college in my area that will accept any student who manages to graduate from high school. About half of the students who enter this college drop out before they are able to obtain the associate degree. They walk around town with their heads filled with partially digested information and no job skills. I even ran across a person who actually had a B.A. degree in philosophy, but never heard of Wittgenstein and pronounced Descartes as DES-CARTES. Has anyone else seen this or is it unique to my area? Maybe the word "over-educated" is inaccurate and "mis-educated" would be a better term?I agree that the word "over-educated" doesn't seem to apply here. They actually seem under-educated. •BitterCrank PF Addict Usergroup: Sponsors Joined: Mar 01, 2008 Location: Minneapolis Total Topics: 162 Total Posts: 6825 ♂ #6 - Quote - Permalink Posted Oct 12, 2011 - 8:27 AM: jsidelko wrote:... the world is filled with billions of people who are under-educated for their aptitudes. there are an increasing number of people who are educated beyond their level of competence. I was a mediocre high school student with no plans to go to college, and no firm plans for working, either. Thanks to good fortune alone (in the form of a generous state rehab program and an interested teacher) I did go to a state college where I was, at best, a middle of the road performer. I was educated, as you say, beyond the level of my competence. Through that experience, later work, and more education beyond my competence, I met many other young people who were also (being) educated beyond their competence. But that isn't the end of anybody's story. Competence and education continues to grow after college. We may not have been great students, but we learned a good deal, and we developed all kinds of interests we would not have otherwise had. The degree itself opened some doors to better work than would otherwise have been available, and in that work education and learning continued. Not everyone, certainly, but many people keep reading after college, continue thinking, continue seeking out interesting people to talk and debate with, and so on. Anyone motivated to add knowledge has been able to do so, either through print, selective media consumption (PBS, basically, and National Public Radio) the internet (since sometime in the 1990s) and a scattering of other cultural assets. It is practically impossible to make up for mediocre performance in school, especially elementary and secondary, unless one is very, very bright, highly motivated, and lucky. (Of those three, I had luck.) But most people can go a long ways toward paving over the dirt road they first traveled on. Lots of people do not, of course, make continued efforts toward self-education. An architect brother-in-law brags about having not read a book since college. I believe he is telling the truth. There is extensive evidence supporting his claim. Can one be educated beyond practicality? Yes. Can one be educated irrelevantly? Yes. Can one be educated beyond competence? Probably not. Competence is an attainment related to education and experience. One is competent or not in varying degrees. Education and experience adds to competence. No competence = no education, no experience. Can one be degreed beyond one's competence? Yes - absolutely. Degrees are only loosely connected to competence and knowledge. As for the philosophy student who hadn't heard of Wittgenstein: There are embarrassing gaps in my English major that I have not filled in yet (and probably never will). The dearth of Wittgenstein is likely the result of not being able to fit that class into the schedule. Maybe he'll get around to it one of these years. (The state college I attended didn't offer philosophy as such.) •mclark Resident Usergroup: Sponsors Joined: Jun 18, 2011 Location: US Total Topics: 11 Total Posts: 351 #7 - Quote - Permalink Posted Oct 12, 2011 - 10:01 PM: About half of the students who enter this college drop out before they are able to obtain the associate degree. Wait, I'm getting mixed signals here. Your subject indicates a complaint about over-educated people, yet the quote indicates a complaint about the amount of people who drop out. Isn't such a dropout the definition of under-educated? Or is high school plus 1 year of community college "over educated" in your book? :P •paradoxical Newbie Usergroup: Members Joined: Oct 11, 2011 Total Topics: 4 Total Posts: 14 #8 - Quote - Permalink Posted Oct 12, 2011 - 11:06 PM: Sorry, but I agree with MrSkeptic. Even when you compare a published American thesis again one from just about any other Western country, you quickly find a large difference in quality. This is of course little more than a gross generalization and based on my own personal observation. Nevertheless, the fact that thesis of such poor quality are published at all in the US nevertheless reflects one simple fact: expectation, specifically in terms of content and cohesion of the presented argument are much, much lower. No such thing as an over-educated person. If they have an education yet were too stupid to realize that the degree they were pursing would not aid them in gaining employment, then they should have done there research. If the degree you have isn't enough, go back and get another one, or go after postgraduate qualifications. Bang your head against something solid until something useful falls out.