87 Days ’til 40: The Educational PROCESS

26 Nov

Today I watched the following video about education: Education as a Process!

I LOVE this video!  It is so simple, yet so true.  Education is not about arriving at a destination, education is a PROCESS that, when participated in correctly, should last a lifetime.  Yet, we approach education as though there is an end point.  My partner often refers to how anti-climactic the educational process was.  She was completely convinced (as a young person) that when she obtained her PhD she would feel as though she had “arrived.”  However, when the time actually arrived and her degree was granted, she realized that she knew “a lot about nothing.”  She was disappointed.  In her case, she also had a doctorate in a field that was hard to transfer into a job, something she had not thought about while on that higher education train.

This reality has me thinking.  In my chosen field (education) one really does need a PhD or an EdD to compete for the administrative jobs.  There are those very talented individuals who do find themselves in leadership positions without the higher degrees, but there are fewer and fewer.  Keeping that in mind, I realize that one day in the not so distant future I am going to have to begin work on my doctorate.  This is a daunting thought for me.  The education is not daunting, I LOVE to learn, what is daunting is the thought of finding the right program for me.  I do not want to enroll in a program that is a means to an end – I do not want to spend money on a program that believes that I must “arrive” at a specific destination.  I want to find a program that encourages me to learn, that challenges me to learn and that keeps me learning long after I have earned a title that allows me to be called “Dr.”

I am encouraged by programs such as Harvard’s Ed.L.D. program.  These programs are focusing on  synthesizing theory with practice, with an emphasis on a learning residency, not a long paper which will one day sit on a shelf.  I appreciate that schools are beginning to understand the need for residency based doctoral degrees for those who want careers in the field, not in research.

As I continue to look for graduate schools, I have this program in the back of my mind.  With 1,000 + applicants for 25 spaces, I am realistic about my chances of getting accepted specifically to Harvard (of course, I will be trying!)  Yet, as I look at doctoral programs, I now do so with a discerning eye, asking what I will gain from the educational process, as I want more than the title at the end.

I hope that more students in the future will demand a worthy process so that they can gain knowledge and skills on the way to that title, rather than jumping through hoops with only the title as the end goal.

Today, 87 days ’til 40, I seek to continue the educational process throughout my lifetime and I hope my children and the children I help educate embrace similar values as they mature and become active contributors to society.



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15 responses to “87 Days ’til 40: The Educational PROCESS

  1. buckwheatsrisk

    November 26, 2012 at 01:22

    i think a big part of it is doing what you love, now what society,family, (etc.)thinks we should do.

    • 400daystil40

      November 26, 2012 at 09:12

      Yes, very true – and it is hard to fight what society wants us to do!

    • vlado

      November 26, 2012 at 11:12

      yop, and … Do and Give More Than Is Expected of You.

  2. Anita Mac

    November 26, 2012 at 18:08

    Good luck in the grad school search.

  3. Lela Bonchjela

    November 26, 2012 at 19:29

    Good luck! I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for. I’d love to walk your path. In years to come, I’d definitely continue studying 😉 You’re such an inspiration.

  4. colormusing

    November 26, 2012 at 19:30

    I so agree with this. Every time I’ve accomplished something with a definite end point, like when I passed the checkride to earn my pilot’s license, I’ve had that “Now what do I do?” feeling. Planning ahead for dealing with this anticlimax turns out to be one of the best lessons!

  5. Tovah

    November 27, 2012 at 08:41

    Yes I agree. Learning doesn’t stop. At 62 I’m coming to realize that the more I learn, somehow, the less I think I know.!

  6. knitxpressions

    November 27, 2012 at 16:52

    I had the same thought as your partner when I was finishing up my degree a couple of years ago – I’ve learnt a lot, yet at the same time I feel like I know nothing! It’s bizarre, but I still feel that today. There’s a saying in Chinese that when translated means: Live till you’re old, learn till you’re old. Education is definitely a process, and I think that people should never stop learning.


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