“Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”

ACADEME BLOG

Badges? Certification? Can these replace college?

Or is this a false binary?

The problem, I think, is that we no longer know what “college” means and end up conflating differing entitites.

Or, maybe we simply have conflicting ideas of “college.”

One vision of “college” centers on a Deweyesque vision of education as concerning the person. Another sees sees education simply as a benefit to an employer. The former sees education as a necessary aspect of citizenship in a democracy. The latter sees it as the gathering of economically valuable skills.

What strikes me about the second of these is the calculated move behind it, of responsibility for training being transferred from the workplace to the classroom. In the past, aside from specialized vocational education and post-graduate education, American education has been governed by an Enlightenment ideal of education as a civic responsibility, not economic value. Today, we are moving to a point…

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