Gerber approach to education

Subject: Gerber approach to education
From: Bill Burns <WBURNS -at- VAX -dot- MICRON -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 09:18:29 MDT

Forgive me if this message is repeated. It bounced on my first attempt.

Arlen wrote:

>>We all have a wealth of information at our fingertips (a loud and heartfelt
"thank you" to any librarians who might be listening) and some of us have no
need to have it spoon-fed to us.

Well, I have to agree, in part, to this statement. However, I disagree with
the comparison between formal education and spoon feeding. A degree should
require thought and effort. If people expect to be "spoon-fed" a formal
education, they will walk away with a headful of pablum. I'm not saying that
all college graduates gain the ability to analyze and form coherent concepts
during their studies. Nonetheless, IMO a successful education requires not
simply filling a mind full of information but training the mind what to do with
information to use it to its greatest potential.

Being in an academic setting allows dialogue--interaction between minds
concerning a pool of ideas. In this setting, students can learn how to consider
problems using different approaches. The most valuable skill I have gained
from my education is the ability to approach problems from more than one
perspective. This capability should be the ultimate aim of formal education.
Unfortunately, universities have become certification mills. To stay "viable,"
they've had to adjust to meet the demands of a consumer market that demands
credentials at any cost--even the cost of real education.

Good students will pursue education regardless of the system's requirements
by tapping in to whatever resources are available. Some people choose to pursue
education in academia, and others in employment. In either case, true
education is an active internal process, not a passive influence from external

Bill Burns * These are MY opinions,
Assm. Technical Writer/Editor * MINE I TELL YOU!
Micron Technology, Inc. *
Boise, ID * (not that they amount to much. . .)
WBURNS -at- VAX -dot- MICRON -dot- COM *

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