Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Colleges also shape critical thinkers

Aug. 28, 2012 - 11:37AM   |   Last Updated: Aug. 28, 2012 - 11:37AM  |  
  • Filed Under

Aside from technical skills, what employers want most are people who can think clearly and critically and who have the ability to listen to others and interact respectfully.

Where do you learn that? College, many say.

Andrew Delbanco, author of the new book "College: What it Was, Is and Should Be," said in an interview on "PBS NewsHour" that the historical function of the American college is to help students not just become competent employees but thoughtful citizens.

Throughout our history, "college wasn't so much an institution for preparing people for the marketplace, but it was an institution for helping them discover who they were," Delbanco says.

For those of you who went straight from high school to the military, college could help you develop civilian communication skills you may not have had a chance to develop within a regimented chain of command.

Of course, if you're out of benefits, you may worry that a college education is pricey ó and you want to know where it gets you. That is well-placed anxiety, Delbanco says.

But does college have to be either a place where you learn to be a critical thinker, or where you prepare to be a worker with the potential to make a decent living?

"I don't think colleges should be expected exclusively to provide some sort of job-training services, though they should graduate students with competence and with the ability to read and to write clearly and to think and to work hard. But they should also try their best to preserve this space for self-reflection that has been so important to us."

His argument is that the classroom should be a place where students learn, in essence, to get along and respect others.

And such skill and understanding is what employers want.

College graduates earn about 50 percent more than those who have only a high school diploma. And research from such places as the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows people with college degrees make 84 percent more over their lifetimes than those with only a high school diploma.

Find a direction that intrigues you. Learn to read and write clearly. Think critically and work hard, but also learn what it means to be a thoughtful citizen and how to handle others with care and respect.

More In Education

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

Top TA & GI Bill schools
Most popular colleges cater to troops by taking classes to them

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook