Wasteful Repetition

12 years of our lives are spent learning the basics, 12 years. Yet, after those twelve years of near continuos education, colleges require us to relearn what we already know, knowledge that may be irrelevant to our chosen major. Core Curriulumn is a waste of time and money. Each year for twelve years we wake up on a day around August in order to attend required schooling. We learn english, mathematics, sciences, health, and history. School becomes our lives, almost a career that lasts approximately 120 months.

For those 120 months we are taught the same subjects, not a year goes by that we were not required to ake an English, Math, Science, and History courses. After successfully completing our lower learning studies and recieving our much awaited diplomas almost two thirds of us go on to college. 1 Upon arrival at these institutions of higher learning we come to realize that our Basic learning is not over and we must extend our knowledge of said material before we can move on to things that more directly concern our majors.

Colleges are asking us, rather, telling us to relearn the knowledge we, for the most part, already pocess. There are several things we lose when we agree to, or rather are required to retake the basics in college. Most likely foremost of what we lose,in students minds ,espeacially in todays society, is money. We spend outrageous sums of money to attend college for 4 years, individually the cost of tuition possibly ranges between 50,000 to 100,000. As a whole the nation spends in excess of $175 billion each year. 2 Money wasted on learning the same material we were educated in for 12 years of our lives.

Money that many of us do not have and if we are not fortunate enough to recieve a scholarship or any type, we must look towards students loans. By definition a loan is something that is lent on condition of being returned. 3 Zachary Karabell,author of the book Whats College For? , wrote that: In the 1990s alone, the average debt burden for a college student grew from 8,200 to 18,800. Given that these students, once they graduate, tend to earn between $20,000 and $30,000 a year, those debts are heavy, and some schools have begun efforts to limit borrowing by students.

In addition to loans, three-quarters of all students work part time during the school yea, and more than 15 percent work full-time. * For their money, for their investment, for the hours they work in order to pay for their classes, these students expect to be taught something they dont lready know. They expect to learn. And at the end, they expect to get a better job, more pay, and a better life. Not only do we lose the money we spend on college but the money our parents pay towards taxes. In the years 1997-1998 state ,local, and federal governments raised about $360 billion in revenues to fund public education.

Current expenditure, those expenditures excluding equipment, construction, and debt financing, came to approximately $285 billion dollars. Of that $285 billion an average of $6,185 was spent per student the rest of the $285 billion went towards teachers, text books and other supplies and ervices. 5 $285 billion and yet it seems the education we recieve for that $6,185 isnt acceptable. Otherwise, why would colleges require us to retake the courses? A question like this one induces other questions. Do colleges provide a better learning enviroment? In kidnegarden through high school we get used to a personal relationship with our teachers.

Classes that normally do not exceed 30 students to one teacher. Then we get to college and things have drastically changed. Teachers display a demeanor of indifference. They no longer take a stake in who we are and what is happening in our lives. Furthermore, ourses lose their preordained structure. Instead of a board of educated representitives deciding on what should be taught, it is left up to a single person, a professor. For years a loud chorus of voices has been telling of the death of higher education in the United States and identifying the villian as the American university professor. This quote could be seen as just the voice of distraught students trying to place accountability on someone elses shoulders. However, the quote is taken from book written almost exclusively by teachers for teachers.

The book itself is branded with the words Faculty Check-out ONLY, as if what s said in this book could possibly enlighten students to things best kept secret, accepted truths best left untold. That there is an attitude of arrogance amoung the people we are taught by. A study by the National Center for Education Statitics found that the more time professors spent in instructional activities, the less money they earned. An unspoken truth that even though we may view them as teachers, they are in fact more vested in publishing, making presentations, procuring grants, consultation, or any other activity that brings money into the colleges. Almost as if this teaching is only a necessary evil. Something that must be done to obtain other more desirable goals. All professors know the rules for getting ahead in their profession. Wagner and Sternberg(1985), two psyhologists well known for their work in intelligence, wrote about this aspect of practical intelligence.

They defined practical intelligence as intelligence relevant to ones everyday life. It is this intelligence that is necessary for success in ones chosen field…. What about practical intelligence for a college professor? Wagner and Sternberg conducted an investigation of the very term they coined as it pertains to a college professor. I this ivestiagation they first culminated a list of various work-related activities a professor might be involved in. They then asked 3 different subject groups-professors, graduate students,and undergraduates- to rate the applicable importance of each activity.

The results clearly showed that professors possessed a very different view from that of the other two groups as to what activities were important or not. Professors know that there income, and job security not to mention status or prestige ride on activities of little realavance to teaching. Being published or recieving a grant s just more relavent to them than how effective they are at teaching. Do colleges provide a better learning enviroment as opposed to the more personal relationships we expierenced in earlier education? Where teachers go into the profession with knowledge of the low salary they will be recieving.

Teachers more vested in teaching and not improving thier status quota. Another question that comes to mind is perhaps the only arguement for core curriculumn. Do college core curriculumn classes serve as valuable refresher courses? Its a given that a great deal of knowledge is learned in the 12 years we attended kidneygarden through high school. Forgetting is the inability to recall information that was previously available and forgetting is very common. Hermann Ebbinghaus, a Ph. D. in philosophy in 1873, conducted a scientific study on forgetting. After cunducting the expierement he constructed the now-famous Ebbinghaus forgetting curve.

The curve reveals the relationship between forgetting and the passage of time. It revealed that much of what we learn is lost relatively soon after we originally learned it. In general, if you learn something in a matter of minutes on just one occasion, most forgetting will occur very soon after the original learning- also in a matter of inutes(Hockenbury and Hockenbury 224). Ebbinghaus underlines forgetting as a basic part of life. Therefore, much of the knowledge we gained in 1st, 2nd on up to 12th grade could be forgotten in roughly the same amount of time we learned it.

However, a common thread ran through those 12 years, each course built on to the last one you had taken. Leaving only the finer points, the information aside from knowledge you were required to have in order to understand the course, to be forgotten. Which would seem to give credit to the need for core curriculumn. Nevertheless forgetting is relative to the amount of time you spend learning a subject. If you spend months then the period of rapid forgetting will occur within months. Likewise, if you spend years learning something the period of forgetting will take years. For this reason core curriculumn, refresher courses, should be optional.

Not everyone is the same when it comes to learning. Some people will spend hours trying to grasp a subject while others will spend days even weeks or months. I submit that yes some people may require remedial courses in order to move on to their majors. However, this is not the case with everyone. Not everyone requires a course in History to have a better understanding of thier chosen major. Not everyone requires a course in Mathmatics, or English, science. Yet colleges seem to believe that inorder to be productive member of society we must spend large sums of money and time taking these refresher courses.

There is a solution to this problem. Leave it up to the student to decide what he/she needs to take, who else other than us, the students, knows what knowledge we do or do not pocess. I do not suggest that we do away with four year colleges entirely because I grant that some people do require them. I suggest we do away with the term ,4 year college in a move to create a college without time requirements. It could take you two, three, five, or even six years inorder to successfully obtain a degree in your chosen field. Times are changing and Colleges, our centers for higher learning must change with them.

They must realize that for the money we spend, for the work we put into it, we want to learn something that we do not already know. We, the students, are the people who can bring about this change. It will be us who will be the ones working government, on the boards of education, and eventually running the institutions for higher learning. As many things do, it will take time to change and hopefully eventually do away with required core urriculumn. With more and more students working to pay for thier education colleges can not require them to pay for unneeded expenses.

We must do away with required core curriculumn. It will be up to us to do so because colleges as they are now seem to care about only one thing, money. In doing away with core curriculumn colleges would stand to lose vast sums of money when the amount of time to acquire a degree could take only 2 years. That is 2 years of tuition colleges would lose from students. It is difficult to imagine colleges, as they are now, agreeing to do so. Therefore, it is truely up to us to change what is wrong in Higher Education today.

Let us push for the termination of required core curriculumn. Let us push for the elimination of the term 4 year college. Let us do away with wasteful repetition. In English there is a part of writing known as your audience. You have know who your writing to in order to properly motivate or inspire them. Apparently colleges have lost touch with who their audience is. Audience analysis is not complete until you can specify exactly what divides your from your readers(Crusius, Channell 109). In this case it is money and time that divides us from Colleges. Let us change that.


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