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Learning to earn vs. learning to learn - Literature Notes

Last updated Aug 15, 2023

See Sources/Learning to earn vs learning to learn - Essay #literaturenotes

# John Dewey

# Democracy in education

# Experiential education

# The role of a teacher

An effective teacher…

# Snedden v.s. Dewey

# Learning-to-earn and Learning-to-learn

Factory Education

# Debate

# Who won?

# Why Snedden’s view on education is problematic

# Vocationalism today

# Vocational schools and coding bootcamps

While a tuition-free education along with a part-time salary sounds like a sweet deal for students, Lutchen believes it’s the schools that stand to gain the most, financially speaking. He explains that a significant proportion of students require financial aid, with each one reducing the institution’s overall revenue. When a private company is paying the tab, however, the university is able to collect on the full cost.

“The mission of the institution is not to create employees for a specific company with a narrow set of skills that only that company can use; that would violate the mission of the undergraduate experience,” he says. “In fact, about 40% of engineers end up not working in engineering 10, 15 years after they graduate, so that would be a big concern.”

“The student is made to feel committed to the program rather than have an open mind, because the tuition dollars will stop if they want to switch majors,” he says. “That’s why we would not do that. We would say ‘pay us a certain amount to be on the steering committee, be a member of a consortium of companies.’ And then we know we’re preparing students for a variety of corporate pathways, not just one.”

# Microcredentials and universities

As microcredentialing purveyors, colleges and universities also make themselves increasingly subservient to their new clients: businesses and corporations in need of rapid, targeted vocational training for their employees. The traditional mission of enabling student growth through transformative teaching is traded for a corporate mission of ==maximizing efficiency and profitability at all costs.==

the boom in microcredentials is being fed in large part by major companies—IBM, Google, and Amazon, to name a few—looking to ==grow their talent pipeline== and ==increase the skill level of current employees==

# Conclusion

The kind of vocational education in which I am interested is not one which will ‘adapt’ workers to the existing industrial regime; I am not sufficiently in love with the regime for that. It seems to me that the business of all who would not be educational time-servers is to resist every move in this direction, and to strive for a kind of vocational education which will ==first alter the existing industrial system, and ultimately transform it==].

Left Behind

It is not sufficient, and it may actually undermine our democracy, to concentrate on producing people who do well on standardized tests and who define success as getting a well-paid job. ==Democracy means more than voting and maintaining economic productivity, and life means more than making money and beating others to material goods.==

Microcredentialing is unconcerned with educating the whole person. Unlike Liberal Arts education, which catalyzes changes in the entire character of the learner, vocationally oriented microcredentialing ==seeks only to transfer hard skills and technical competencies== to the client-learner. In the absence of a General Education component, microcredentialing tends to ==cultivate only a single dimension, aspect, or element of the learner’s character, effectively producing a technician, not a well-rounded person.== Past president of the University of Chicago, Robert Hutchins (1936/1958), voiced a similar complaint about vocational train- ing: ‘The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake is being rapidly obscured in universities and may soon be extinguished. [ . .] [S]oon everybody in a university will be there for the purpose of being trained for something. [ . .] It is plain, though, that it is bad for the universities to vocationalize them’ (36–7). Insofar as microcredentialing fails to educate the whole person, it exacerbates one symptom of the neoliberal learning economy, namely, the turn away from pursuing knowledge for its own sake and towards learning to earn (Siskin and Warner 2019).