school is killing my education


Schools killing creativity and relativity have always been a topic of interest and curiosity.

I have to say the University of Oregon has a multitude of outstanding programs, classes, professors, clubs, etc.  However, the major component missing at the U of O – and in reality the majority of schools – is the element of relativity.

Many of the classes fail to properly prepare us for the post-education world.  For example, when I complete my Spanish major next term, I will not have taken a single sole conversation class.  Aside from the class I am taking this term; every other U of O Spanish class has been a lecture, mainly consisting of the professor lecturing, essay assignments and tests.  I certainly feel confident in my written Spanish; however, my conversational Spanish is nowhere at the same level as the Spanish major lacks this element of language accusation.

Although the Spanish major is literature based, it is just as important to understand the culture, societies and countries that these works and authors originated from.  I have a slight advantage as I had the opportunity to study in Mexico – at least when it comes to Mexican authors/works; however, I know I could have a more well-rounded understanding if the cultural/societal element was present as contextual information is just as, if not more important.

As for my advertising/journalism major – in terms of relevancy, this major is more on par as we have classes and programs that teach us post –college skills (our Curiosity for Strategists class and Allen Hall Advertising student run agency, for example).  However, we could always benefit from more relevant classes – for example, an open-source class with no theme decided until the first day.  All students would brainstorm ideas and the class would choose the ten topics that interested them most – from there, each week would be spent on one of these topics and that would be the class – relevant, collaborative and interesting.

The ad. program could also improve by leaps and bounds if there were required conversation classes.  In the communications industry, presenting and selling ideas in addition to having skills to lead intelligent and strategic conversations is vital for success.  The SOJC has prepared us to express ourselves in written form and specifically, the ad. major has taught us to think and generate ideas strategically; however, our conversation skills are nowhere near the same level.


5 thoughts on “school is killing my education

  1. Agreed. With all of the above.

    I think we do a pretty good job working on the conversation skills, you and me. But, you’re right. I hate that presenting is such a huge part of the journalism major, but we rarely do it, and if we do, we rarely do it well.

  2. I thought up a new class for the JSchool just last week. It’d be called Common Knowledge, Or Things You Should Know Before You Graduate. It’d be like that open-source class you were talking about but include things like: vocalizing criticism without feeling like you’re attacking the other person, make a personal website for your portfolio to live, and how to deal with an awful partner/group.

  3. I definitely agree with Sir Ken Robinson. Our school systems are antiquated.
    However, in terms of educational hierarchy that is referred to in the video, I feel that literacy is a common denominator that should be at the core of all curriculums. This includes written, as well as spoken language skills.
    Additionally, I’d go one step further and require each high school student to take a “lifeskills class” which might include among other things (and feel free to add your own to this list):
    – How to balance a checkbook
    – Living within your budget
    – The credit card “demons” and how exorbitant interest rates can quickly cause financial demise
    – First Aid
    – Required involvement in a community charity or philanthropic cause
    – The ins and outs of insurance AND taxes!
    – Basic real estate and financing knowledge
    – Driver’s ed which, in addition to teaching how to drive a car, also includes essential skills such as fixing a flat tire, knowing how to determine fluid levels, tire pressure, etc.
    – Resume writing and job application skills
    – Survival skills for the first year when you are TRULY on your own (such as how to initiate utility accounts, rental contracts, etc.)
    …..and that’s just for starters!!
    Any other ideas????

  4. I’d add a “Sustainable living practices” class to teach the basics of recycling,energy conservation,etc. And what about a fashion tutorial? I know plenty of people who could teach it and even more who’d use it (yours truly would be in the latter group).

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