Tag Archives: Costs & Loans

Emotions of Education: A Passion for Reform


Many agree that emotions can rule over all reason and sense. Emotions can also encourage and drive us to achieve enormous feats. They are a power with a wide range of potential. 

Now what if emotions were targeted toward education? I mean, what would be the emotional range that we could learn from?

I can think of three in particular: Pain, Pleasure, and Passion.  These emotions when geared toward education can reveal some surprising insights. For instance: What is it about education that brings us pain? Some are failing grades, tuition, student loans, finding the right schools, filling out entrance applications for our children or ourselves, and so on.   

What about the  pleasures of education? Some can identify with receiving great grades, degrees, diplomas, even ‘aha moments’ from learning something new or seeing someone grow in understanding and perspective.

Lastly,  there is the emotion of passion in education.  This is arguably the most misunderstood.  On one hand, we think about passion as a desire, pursuit, personal calling, or profound interest in an area or discipline.  Along these lines, experiencing passion in education would be a welcomed thing that helps define our purposes and pursuits.

On the other hand, passion relates to endurance. In fact, a Latin version of passion ties to patience and ‘suffering.’  Remember the ole saying: ‘Patience is a Virtue’? Well in this case, patience is having the passion to endure, suffer, and even overcome the circumstances.

Which leads me to a final insight for those who claim to have a passion for education: teachers, school boards, politicians, governments, and learning institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities. 

Can all of them match their desire to pursue education with the suffering and endurance that is necessary  to change it for everyone, especially for those who do not know educational reform and improvement must take place.   

My worry is that many are distracting us with superficial solutions for educational pains, promoting unearned pleasures, while ignoring the most important and emotional impact of advancing a full passion toward a lasting and lifelong education.

No Adult Left Overlooked: Reforming Continuing Learning Too


Given the current debate for education reform such as fixing No Child Left Behind; promoting Race to the Top; and encouraging a  ’21st Century curricula’ , there still is a gap, a remaining empty space, incompletely filled by creating jobs or training  skills.

It relates to adults who must continue to learn regardless of high-school diploma or college degree. It involves educating for life and supporting continual learning for all people.

Some parts missing in the discussion:  

1) Lifelong learning accounts (similar to 401K, but for continuing education);

 2) More employer or independent contractor tuition reimbursement programs;

3) Paid educational leave, especially for near retirees to pursue formal education;

 4) Tuition reduction options and student loan forgiveness for recent college alumni;

5) Further allowing lifetime experiences to transfer as credit and acceptance within colleges and professions. 

The belief that ‘children are our future‘ is very true, but it is equally true that the future will depend upon how, and what, our adults’  learn today.

Student-Athlete or Semi-Pro: Care to know the difference?


One of the joys in sports are the college games: Basketball, football, baseball, even track and others are examples of young adults, in their twenties, dazzling audiences in the bleachers, at home, or on car-stereo. 

As they entertain, do we ever think about whether one has a mid-term tomorrow, a paper to finish, or chapters to read before next lecture; become a politician, philosopher or doctor;  Do we even care to know? I mean, no one turns on the tv to see our up-and-coming college star got a B in Art Appreciation, C in Physics, and an A in Consumer Economics.  What we care to know is how many points are scored, records broken, or witnessing potential athletic greatness unfolding.

So why do some get uptight when the term ‘student athlete’ is replaced with ‘semi-professional,’ describing the kind of condition some collegians are facing—interning for entering a draft.  

It’s not clear exactly who should be called student athlete or semi-pro. What’s the difference: Money, endorsements, media coverage?  Rules state that these collegians cannot benefit or received those directly anyway.  And why not?

Experiences and lessons-learned also exist outside classrooms, schools, or colleges.  Some have learned perhaps that most sobering and troubling lesson from their fans.  That what they ‘do and show’ mean more to many than what they think and know.

In the ‘Classroom of Experience’


They say that Experience is the best teacher: It gives you the test first, and then, teaches the lessons. Perhaps this was true, but now there’s more at stake.  With rising costs of education, not only does Experience require no paycheck, but in return could offer all the wealth you ever need. Quite a bargain considering we have experiences all the time. 

Just curious though: If you had to show what your ‘experience as teacher’ looks like, what would you come up with?

To the point: The classroom of experience requires no tuition, student fees or loans.  Yet there’s a way to include your ‘lessons learned’ from experience directly into the progress of your education, enrollment, and degree pursuit.

There’s a way to transfer your experiences from work and life into college credit.  It is called PLAs or Prior Learning Assessments where there are things you may have learned outside of the college classroom that will count toward getting an actual degree.

Many colleges and universities for decades have adopted some form of PLAs and improvements in evaluations and crediting continue today.  This topic is fascinating and I’m eager to learn more.  As I do, I will share with you my “experience.”

Recommended Risk of Learning


When the topic of learning comes up, it soothes like a panacea of good wishes. Learning in its many forms as taking classes, getting certificates, diplomas, and degrees are all nice to pursue, especially telling others about it. However, learning is not pure.  There are some nagging risks that linger.

Receiving failing grades, incomplete work, or “hating math” are possible symptoms.  Unfortunately, elementary school, high-school, college,  teachers and learners have given us unwarranted and unwanted comments of performance. These negative experiences can paint internal caution-signs to never re-entering continuing education.   

This could be telling why many adults don’t pursue available science, technology, or engineering jobs.  Perhaps many years ago, that school teacher, other student, and even parent diagnosed you were unqualified.

But, we are to blame too. 

We add our own damaging messages such as:

“I’m not smart enough,”

“I’m stupid; I’m going to fail,”

“I’m too old,”

“too far behind,”

“too (fill-in-the-blank)” all-the-way-to-infinity…

These thoughts give credence to other harmful decisions to learning something new or seeking another career.

A risk in learning is the sickness from our excuses without finding a cure.

Since we know how to create and collect excuses, why not design and plan opportunities? I worry that because we have pre-scribed programs to help get credentials and skills, we dismiss the art of customizing learning  that considers our  needs, means, and feasible timetable.  A strategy or remedy may come through measuring our pace with our own reflective grading system. A system and solution that takes into account our entire life and learning experience.