Thursday, April 7, 2011

Rational Behavior?

My brother, professor of sport sciences at Ashland University in Ohio, sent along an interesting observation he came across.

Education is the only "product" on which we spend money and then spend the rest of the time trying to get out of.

Is that rational behavior? Economic reasoning might say so--get as much benefit (the credential) with as little expense (paid the money, now I want to minimize the time) as I can. Psychological reasoning might question whether a person behaving thusly truly understands the short and long-term cost/benefit structures.
And that's a big part of the problem for some 8th graders. Who doesn't remember feeling like, "Why in the world do I need the quadratic formula for my life?" Since the answer is abstrusely distant from the immediacy of their lives, many decide they don't need it.

Of course, in too many ways, adults aren't much different from teenagers. Adults are just better at covering their foibles, idiosyncrasies and self-orientation than teenagers.

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