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View Poll Results: What is the highest level of education you have completed?
Less than High School 7 3.17%
High School 32 14.48%
Associates 26 11.76%
Bachelor's 74 33.48%
Masters 64 28.96%
PhD 18 8.14%
Voters: 221. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-08-2011, 02:33 PM   #61
anabolina
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I think we should also consider the whole generational thing. In the past, what 15-20 years?, going to College has been seen as more of a necessity. As was mentioned upthread, there are a lot of jobs that require a degree that shouldn't. It's often used as a means of filtering out applicants.

Neither of my parents have degrees and both are avid readers, as are most aunts and uncles and cousins and siblings. When trying to think of a family member who is not really avid(other than 2 sisters who are still in College and sick of reading) readers, I can only come up with my grandfather (left school in second or third grade to help his dad pick cotton, joined the army at 16, and then ran various donut shops through the rest of his life). He can make out letters and puzzle words out if he has to, but he's not a reader.

Considering this brings up another point, how is literacy defined for this purpose or even for the list of cities posted earlier? How good a reader do you have to be to be considered a reader or literate? I mean, my grandfather can probably read enough to state that he can read, but since he never does I can't really call him a reader.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:34 PM   #62
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The question is incomplete, and the definition of "educated" is overly narrow.

That said, the answer is: it depends on what they read, how they read it, and how they retain it.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:24 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by anabolina View Post
I think we should also consider the whole generational thing.
Well, I have a scientificly conducted experiment ranging over 38 years with 5 kids. All have at least college, a couple post-grad. All raised in the same environment consisting of Dad the Reader of Everything and Mom Who Reads But Not Like That Dad Guy. We also have The Constant Environment of Classical Music, With Some Jazz & Pop, and Books All Over the Place.*

Now, out of that, we got the following:

1st child: intellectually heavy duty reading, doesn't care a fig for music
2nd child: general reader, deep into classical, jazz & rock
3rd child: history reader, deep into classical, rock & jazz
4th child: light reader; burgeoning classical & opera buff, and Beatles.
5th child: I know, it's only rock & roll but I like it! Plus sports books & drums

Basically, I don't think there's any difference between the generations. It's more a matter of what you are exposed to, & what your likes are. I included the music because I think it's the same for both. If you are exposed to classical music, and your tastes run that way, you will stay with it. If you are exposed to reading, and your tastes run that way, you will stay with it.

*which leads me to wonder, how do you go about leaving ebooks just lying around for the kids to stumble over & read? How do you have an ebook library for the kids to explore, should they be so inclined?
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:31 AM   #64
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I'm afraid I think this poll is somewhat flawed and that it is 'looking in the wrong direction.'

There have been numerous studies that show children who come from homes that have books do better in education. Strange thing is, the children don't actually have to have read any of those books to do better than their peers. What does this suggest? - Do they benefit from better standards of conversation from day to day? Is there simply a more positive attitude to education in these homes? Does it simply point to these parents being of higher socio-economic status?

I know plenty of people who have post-graduate degrees in English literature, and even who teach the subject, who no longer read for pleasure. Does someone who only reads when forced to count as a 'reader'? I know plenty of people with no real qualifications who get pleasure from reading 'P.S, I Love You' - are we going to choose not to count that book as reading? How about people who read only technical manuals and economics text-books?

I do think there is some truth in the theory that is being suggested here. People who read lots of novels are more likely to value qualifications, exams and formal education. Perhaps it has something to do with being more comfortable accessing exam papers due to higher levels of fluency and increased concentration span.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:12 PM   #65
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Education, at least for me, is something that implies much more than simple knowledge on certain areas of life.

Education for me is being polite, respectful, using your skills for the benefit of your society.

So no, having an ereader or read a lot, does not mean you are more or less educated than me. The same goes for those with formal education of PhDs

As a matter of fact, I know couple of "educated" people on my country, old women, that they don't know how to read and they are very educated. Know a lot about my culture, history and even people's behavior.
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:16 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Harry_Y View Post
I'm met some extremely intelligent people who never finished
high school and I've bet some real educated idiots.
True!
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:27 PM   #67
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I'm a software engineer at my day job. It's interesting to me that a lot of the guys at work "haven't read since college" and don't read for pleasure... UNTIL their family buys them an eReader as the latest tech toy and suddenly they're reading novels and loving it. It makes me happy to see that.

I think a lot of people are turned off of reading through education. I have a degree in literature, but I HATED "literature" in middle and high school because my teachers taught it so poorly. (I *was* an avid "reader", but what I was reading was what we'd now call genre lit instead of general lit.) It wasn't until I got to college and was lucky enough to have a stellar English teacher that I realized that fancy literature could be fun and thought-provoking.

'Course, I still read mostly genre lit now. I don't think of myself as being more educated just because I'm reading a delightfully crappy "Doom" novelization at the moment. But I do have a B.A. and a B.S., and that and a couple of bucks will buy you a cup of coffee.
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Old 08-09-2011, 02:55 PM   #68
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I think a lot of people are turned off of reading through education. I have a degree in literature, but I HATED "literature" in middle and high school because my teachers taught it so poorly. (I *was* an avid "reader", but what I was reading was what we'd now call genre lit instead of general lit.) It wasn't until I got to college and was lucky enough to have a stellar English teacher that I realized that fancy literature could be fun and thought-provoking.
I don't think I came across the concept of "literature" until I found myself at secondary school (normally 11--18 in England) and "English Literature" was one of the subjects we were taught. I found it pretty boring, and looking back I think it was the lowest-common-denominator mode of teaching. I "did" a couple of Shakespeare plays, some assorted poetry and Pride and Prejudice for O-level Eng Lit. There may have been other stuff, but I don't remember at this distance in time. I don't think it was ever explained that these weren't contemporary works. At the same time I was reading any books I could get my hands on, with no particular pattern.

When I was 14 I went into the sixth form (normally 16--18) and started to do A-levels. A-levels represent specialisation and one does only a few subjects. My subjects were Pure Maths, French and Art. But then I changed schools and for inexplicable reasons my subjects were changed. My A-levels were at first Pure Maths, Applied Maths and Physics. The Head then decided that I was in danger of turning into "an illiterate scientist", and A-level English was added to my quiver. By that stage I was having more English lessons than anyone else in the school. I also had classes in Use of English (one had to take an exam in this to get something called a State Scholarship), something else called English for Scientists and A-level English.

A-level English for me was like Alice's passing through the door into Wonderland. Suddenly I was presented with a whole world I hadn't known existed. The syllabus was split between one competent teacher and one brilliant teacher. I immediately fell in love with Chaucer -- I still can't say why -- and I read through and round the syllabus. It started me on a path of autodidactism that I am still following today. I had read avidly from before I started school at the age of 5, but it was systemless and inchoate reading. From starting A-level English I had goals and aspirations.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:07 PM   #69
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Reading is an education every time you do it. Far as I'm concerned a college degree is indicative only of how much BS you are willing to tolerate. This is why employers like people with degrees.
I don't think "highly educated" and a certain level of schooling are the same thing at all.
On a related note, with the era of instant access to information looming I think the need for a degree is already becoming obsolete. Only the inertia of a bloated educational bureaucracy is keeping us from advancing past the outdated college model.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:34 PM   #70
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a college degree is indicative only of how much BS you are willing to tolerate. .
Damm! that's actually a great quote! ... lol ...
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:40 PM   #71
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the need for a degree is already becoming obsolete. Only the inertia of a bloated educational bureaucracy is keeping us from advancing past the outdated college model.
On certain fields, some countries, yes!

In USA and on the IT field, a certification is actually better and is now more important than a Computer Science Bachelor degree.

Those cert. tests are so hard and some based on actual experience or simulations, that formal University studies are not being taken into consideration anymore, not by big companies.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:05 PM   #72
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A-level English for me was like Alice's passing through the door into Wonderland. Suddenly I was presented with a whole world I hadn't known existed. The syllabus was split between one competent teacher and one brilliant teacher. I immediately fell in love with Chaucer -- I still can't say why -- and I read through and round the syllabus. It started me on a path of autodidactism that I am still following today. I had read avidly from before I started school at the age of 5, but it was systemless and inchoate reading. From starting A-level English I had goals and aspirations.
I had exactly the same experience when serving in the Army and was enrolled in a A level lit correspondence course. Shakespeare was a revelation for me and I gloried in the richness of it. Changed my life quite literally, in that when discharged I felt impelled to attend evening classes in order to gain entrance qualifications for University. Originally planned to teach English but changed to Psychology and Philosophy.
I think it true that an educated person is one who has some notion of what he doesn't know.
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