A couple of weeks ago I came across several related articles all at once, and all telling me that post-high school education is beginning its own period of transition. First, New York Magazine's article The University Has No Clothes, telling us that the notion that a college degree is essentially worthless has become one of the year's most fashionable ideas. Then there was the article in the Bellingham Herald telling us that due to budget constraints, WWU is considering numerous changes, including eliminating positions, combining majors and restructuring departments.
More helpfully, the Post Carbon Institute released a paper from their Post Carbon Reader, entitled Community Colleges: A Vital Resource for Education in the Post Carb.... "The key question is, "Where in our current educational system is it possible to develop an institutionalize the kinds of education needed to prepare people for work in the post-carbon economy-and to do so relatively quickly?"
The post-carbon era is going to require knowledge and skills that are not commonly acquired in most formal educational settings today. There are numerous areas in which people will need to be educated, not only to meet the needs of an energy-constrained future but to develop their own useful livelihoods."
Finally, this was the same day that the catalogs came out for the new Whatcom Folk School, which has pretty much the same objectives as what the Post Carbon Institute was recommending - outlined by Cindi Landreth in her post on the Whatcom Folk School.
To bring this subject of post-secondary education to a close, let me now recommend an excellent commencement speech by Richard Heinberg. For advice about life after graduation, students at Worcester Polytechnic wanted to hear from peak oil scholar Richard Heinberg instead of Exxon's CEO. Here's what he told them, where he described Peak Oil: A Chance to Change the World.
More to read:
Living Buildings, Living Economies, and a Living Future, by David Korten
How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall? by Sharon Astyk
The Gentle Approach to Animals Saves Time and Money by Gene Logsden
I Am - hopefully it'll be held over again at the Pickford. A great "Heart and Soul" documentary, looking at what's wrong with the world, and how can we make it better. When the TW sponsored "Economics of Happiness didn't show up, they could have just as well given us a showing of this well made and thoughtful film. Find out more at http://www.iamthedoc.com/.