The term, “to be educated” is well defined by Steve Denning in his What Does It Mean To Be Educated?piece that appeared in Forbes Magazine:

“In recent posts, I have been suggesting that being educated includes (to give a short answer): a demonstrated ability to listen carefully, to think critically, to evaluate facts rigorously, to reason analytically, to imagine creatively, to articulate interesting questions, to explore alternative viewpoints, to maintain intellectual curiosity and to speak and write persuasively. If we add to that a reasonable familiarity with the treasures of history, literature, theater, music, dance and art that previous civilizations have delivered, we are getting to close to the meaning of educated.”

Colleges were created to help with that process.  Yet, I would maintain that higher education, as currently practiced in our country, is fatally flawed.

American colleges and universities are no longer as dedicated to the liberation of the human mind.  They are no longer as interested in challenging the human spirits they encounter.  Rather, American higher education has turned inwards on itself in an attempt to quantify — trivialize — and, formulize — the human intellect and the human spirit.

Informed passionate advocacy has historically characterized the exceptionally educated citizen.  Unfortunately, today’s typical college graduate can only communicate by reciting a meaningless litany of quotations and numbers.

And yet, truly educated women and men know that the preponderance of facts are temporal — and, that human reasoning is empty when it has no cause at its center.

Today’s undereducated society has embraced the antiquated principles of “uniformity” and “conformity.”  Our young people are being taught to rely on “rules of conduct,” “guidelines,” “statistical probability,” and “list making” as safe substitutes for thought and informed passion.  Our own “Age of Reason” will only breed its own historical share of mediocrity — and, it is our colleges and universities that have dropped the ball.  They have embarked on a disastrous path to “graduate all” — while, “educating few.”

In short, too many of our college and university programs are moving away from “education” and moving toward the “training” activity as their typical goal.  Both have a valid place in our society.  Training, of course, gives us skills and a pathway to a more secure future.  Education, on the other hand, should help open the doors in every individual’s mind in order that society can continue to move forward on its slow but steady advance.

More on Wednesday  –  –  –

 — Bill Walton, co-Founder,
ITC Learning October 1, 2018  (Mondays & Wednesdays)


 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)