Reflection 1: Education as socialization

I have read with a great interest several articles from the list of readings for second class of our course, HSCI902 and watched a speech of David Orr, and have been thinking a lot about them in past weeks. I appreciated array of different perspectives on education that these readings have provided for me. The Wikipedia definitions and descriptions of different learning methods have made me think about my own ways of learning and reflect how I learn the best and what. The “Graduate School Is a Means to a Job” article by Karen Kelsky was, in my opinion, typical, American business-like writing, which had many valuable recommendations to consider for a potential graduate student, so I took a mental notes of them and also have shared the link with my daughter, who is planning to start her graduate study. The “Practical Wisdom and Professional Life” post by Janine Utell draw my special attention because Dr. Utell teaches English at Widener University, the same university I went to back in 2004. The world is becoming so small! Her review of Drs. Schwartz and Sharpe’s book Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thin endorsed my belief that I am happier when I can see a meaning in my work and try to do my work good and well. The “Analyzing the hidden curriculum: use of a cultural web” by Liz Mossop, Reg Dennick, Richard Hammond and Iain Robbe broaden my knowledge about qualitative methods used in evaluation education curriculum. When I watched the speech by David Orr “This I believe”, it touched me with its honesty describing USA education situation theme, which in a way was co-echoed in Dr. Patton’s article.

Just like Mr. Stegall from “The Ph.D Now Comes With Food Stamps” article, written by Stacey Patton and published in The Chronicles of Higher Education, I came from a family, where knowledge, higher education and hard working were always valued and expected from each member of the family. Hence, all my siblings, including myself, have graduate degrees, fluent at least in two foreign languages and we constantly working full time during a week and on weekends.

I consider us to be very fortunate individuals, who have had unique opportunity to learn and receive education from two, completely different, at that time, systems: former Soviet Union and Western, which includes the United States and Canadian higher education institutions. Both systems have offered rich sources of knowledge and skills, and in both systems we all learned from various formal, non-formal and informal settings. From the formal learning in Russia I have received strong basis for my knowledge as a citizen of the socialist system, from non-formal and informal learning I did learn how to behave as a female. From the formal learning in USA and Canada I have enriched and expanded my knowledge as a citizen of the world, and strengthened my mental and social skills, such as critical and logical thinking, communication, listening and asking questions.

I believe that all people have access to learning and there are many learning sessions happen every day in our life but it all depends from an individual him/herself whether we take these learning lessons or not, and whether we use it or not. I find it sad when people are given opportunities to receive good education but in the end they don’t work in their educated areas, or society doesn’t offer them an environment to transfer their knowledge to others. Education is important only if we could use it, apply it and share/transfer its core to others.

Informal learning.

Mossop L et al., Analysing the hidden curriculum: use of a cultural web. Med Educ. 2013 February; 47(2): 134–143.

Kelsky, K. Graduate school is a means to a job – manage your career. Chronicle of Higher Educ 2012 (Mar 27).

Utell J. Practical wisdom and professional life. Chron Higher Educ 2011. Feb 25, 2011.

Patton, Stacey. The PhD now comes with food stamps. May 6, 2012.



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