It is probably not in my best interest if the higher education system in the United States collapses since I am the co-owner of a company that prepares students for higher education. Yet, I believe a crash is inevitable. Ironically, I also find myself hoping the bubble bursts sooner rather than later.
Why? Because education in the United States is broken. We have lost sight of what should be the driving factor in education: fostering innate curiosity. Instead, we have become focused on outcomes and measuring the end results of our efforts. Students are driven to get A's, not to demonstrate learning, but to "get into college." Teachers are evaluated not on how many students they inspire, but on their class's standardized test results. And American education is not failing because students are less passionate about learning, but because it placed 17th in the developed world for education. In our efforts to quantify education, we inadvertently created a system devoid of depth, focused on achievement rather than learning. We are missing the why behind our goals.
Great minds, such as British author Sir Ken Robinson, assert that "We are educating people out of their creativity." We want our children to be innovative problem-solvers, but we are educating them in a way that discourages creative thinking.
I believe that the motivation to learn, to become a better version of oneself, and to aspire to personal greatness is human nature. I would venture to guess that most educators hold similar beliefs, lest they would not be in the field. As humans, we are born curious, hungry to learn about the world around us. In education, we need to give ourselves a chance to reevaluate our priorities, and honor this innate drive to discover. It is my hope that if the higher education bubble does burst, it will be exactly the opportunity we need to redefine education in America.
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