Welcome readers and those curious about post-secondary education in Canada.
I have received hundreds of emails over the past few years, from people who wish to know more about what’s going on in public vs private education … specifically pertaining to media arts. I don’t wish to make education out to be a bad thing, however there are some particularly disturbing parts of most education systems that all those navigating towards – should be aware of before signing the contract.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – it all comes down to the money. Granted, there are a small percentage of schools (public and private), that actually do think out of the box but they are an extreme minority. You’ll read about a few of them here in this website. Of course, there is a bigger picture that many schools don’t really want you to see, because it’s not in their best interest to expose you to that. I call it “pedagogical propaganda”, where there’s an internal agenda that fudges the facts, thrives on ignorance and plays on delusion. Making good (healthy) choices means taking the time to listen (and pay attention) to what’s really going on.
How a school markets itself and what’s on the “menu” (curricula) is a good indicator (on the surface) of what’s actually going on inside. Beware of anything that has (what I call) “high salt/sugar content” (junk food). Ok, smells and tastes amazing, but has little/no nutritional value. Flashy images of contrived substances lacing courses in a saturated market and all because of the immediate appeal. For example; media arts programs (focusing primarily on music/music biz) like DJ Arts, Entertainment Business Management – Photography (anything with the word Television/TV in it), or Video Game Design & Animation (for me) are all clear indicators that this school is really just interested in making money and if they’re offering these courses/programs, then the others are likely expensive filler too, primarily designed to sign you up (hook you into a big student loan) and take your money. Ok, if you’re a student wanting to take one of these courses, you’re doing it more for personal interest than with the intention of making a career of it.
Even non-media arts public colleges, universities and career colleges offer programs where the market is saturated, or where there is no demand (for that qualification) or where such an education has become antiquated, anachronistic and irrelevant. There are a large number of courses/programs offered in multitudes of post-secondary schools, that were initiated at a time (decades ago) when there may have been a demand/future potential and yet continue – despite our rapidly changing world and a subsequent fall-out in the labour market (and no one is going to tell you that going in).
Everything from that expensive “Police Foundations” program that ends up leading to a $13/hour night-shift in security; career colleges offering short Early Childcare Assistant or Community Service Worker programs (no not a real social worker), when there is next to no demand/postings for such positions. Maybe you want to become a public school teacher (like your mom) and get a big OSAP loan to go to teacher’s college – all coming with big promises (of that new career) and no job. Most grads drift into oblivion and those who originally sold you the course have conveniently disappeared.
Like I said – there are good schools/choices to make. Many students graduate and go on to do great things (having done the research) but it’s largely because they are ambitious/driven, optimistic and most importantly – informed (going in). I think it’s best that anyone seriously considering post-secondary studies to take the time needed to properly assess the situation, disconnecting from the grid for a while (before deciding) and taking any information with a grain of salt. That school/program will still be there when you’re ready (despite what they tell you), and if it isn’t – it wasn’t worth waiting for (doing) anyway.
Whatever you do, DON’T believe everything you hear, because what they want you to believe and what’s real – are all too often very different things.
Relevant articles – A Heap of Money – by Jeremy Johnson – graduate, Metalworks Institute (2009)
Letters to the Editor in the Forum
The Learning Curve – Let it Happen – hackschooling and the anatomy of entrepreneurial spirit
The Learning Curve – An Observation in Modern Education (private vs. public post-secondary)
The Learning Curve – Erase & Rewind – introducing the open loop/non-linear post-secondary model
Black Hole Syndrome – the unspoken agenda in post secondary education
Jim Lamarche – Journal: the human condition, gender politics, spiritual isolation, hypocrisy in modern society, renewed faith, redemption in expression http://jimlamarche.blogspot.ca/
New Music Page – music composed and performed by Jim Lamarche (now in HD)