Finding the true purpose of higher education

Kelly Smith

We all need to get good grades in order to get through school make a successful living in the world. That’s obvious. What’s less discussed among many students and teachers is why people need to be educated to function properly in society. So, the question is this: What is the main purpose of education?

With so many students enrolling themselves in colleges across the country, it’s critical to be aware of why education is important. As an education major, I have classes that stress the focus of the students’ learning as opposed to grades.

So many modern curriculums have made final grades and standardized test scores the determining factors of a student’s success in the class. The problem with this system is that it neglects to take into account students who might know the material well but aren’t great test-takers. While tests and grades do serve an important purpose, it is just as essential, if not moreso, that students have successfully learned the material covered in class.

So what does this have to do with college? Everything. The reason we are here is to gain the training and experience we need for our chosen profession. What is the point of spending who knows how much money just for the good grades and degree that says we’re eligible for our jobs if we didn’t sufficiently learn how to do our job properly along the way?

There’s simply too much focus being put on the scores themselves rather than the knowledge obtained.

Think about it. If somebody is given a reading assignment and they don’t do it, but somehow pull off a good score on the follow-up test, what have they learned from the assignment? Nothing, but they got lucky and did well on the test, so that’s all that really matters, right? Likewise, if somebody does the assignment and shows they understand it, but fails the test for whatever reason, their knowledge and understanding of the material has been improperly displayed.

As students, we need to make sure that we are, in fact, striving towards fully understanding our profession and how it works. While getting good grades are definitely an important part of graduating, entering our profession with confidence is the real goal.

After all, nobody’s perfect. You don’t need all A’s or even all A’s or B’s to be successful in your profession. You just need the proper skills and experience to get the job done right. Many jobs may require a degree, but no job requires perfection.