Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Educating our children about education

“For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea—it’s a commandment. We are to learn ‘of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad (D&C 88:79-80)” (Two Principles for Any Economy, Ensign, Uchtdorf, Nov. 2009).

We can see that an education has become increasingly important in our society, especially in securing a higher-paying job. However, it is important to note that “for the next decade or two, there will be more openings for retail sales, customer service, and food preparation workers than for systems analysts, computer software engineers, and physicians’ assistants [and other jobs that require more education] (Understanding Diversity, Pincus, 2006, p. 48).” In other words, “a college degree in the right major increases one’s chances of getting one of the better-paying jobs, but there are more college graduates than college-level jobs” (p. 48).
 school bus

 So what does this mean? We need to be intelligent about the ways in which we teach our children about education. We need them to be smart about what types of careers they attempt to pursue or at least they need to be aware of the possible outcomes of some majors in college (i.e. some majors are more marketable than others). Although this seems commonsensical, I work in the department that assesses many of the university’s programs and sends out the Senior Survey, and I have heard from a great many individuals who are upset that they never realized the ‘non-marketability’ of their college degree. Obviously, this does not merit forcing or pressuring your children into something they do not enjoy; I am merely stating that our children should be smart about searching out their options.

To reinforce this, I quote Dallin H. Oaks and Kristen Oaks (Learning and Latter-day Saints, Ensign, Apr. 2009):

“In our educational choices we should prepare to support ourselves and those who may become dependent upon us. It is necessary that we have marketable skills. Education is mandatory to personal security and well-being. Our Heavenly Father expects us to use our agency and inspiration to examine ourselves and our abilities and decide the educational course we should follow.”

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