By: Eunju Halvorsen

Education as an ideal process is an example of slow living. IT takes time, patience and reflection. The undergrad at Marlboro supports this process, as undergrads are able to develop in this way. Ellenemphasizes also how students have the possibility to travel abroad and study different cultures.

She says that many students still question if a college degree really is worth it and have financial anxiety about their future.

We need to have alternatives and she believes that the biggest policy failures in our society is a lack of imagination. She gives as one example the lack of artists involved in the process of developing new legislation.

We should support students that dare to take risks during their studies.

Having 17 private colleges, Vermont depends very much on this source as its working capital. The people that come out of these institutions account for over 1 billion dollars in revenue.

There are a lot numbers flying around and Ellen ends up is giving a kind of advertisement speech. So in some ways it felt like a campaign speech.

There is a need for symbiosis.

Adam:

Adam opens up by saying: I love education.

He claims that we know what needs to be done and that we have the technology to do it, but that we are unable to make much happen, especially within the world of sustainability.

They run sustainability programs all around the world.

He says he wants to talk about three things that are important when educating people for sustainability.

He feels that Vermont is an exception when it comes to sustainable practices.

1)     Emerging students in the liberal arts is the key.

The standard answer is that people need to be educated in biology, economics etc. but……….

What about philosophy and what about values. Adam claims that what people need are a firm grounding in the liberal arts. He is worrying that we are commodyfing education in this country. We are lacking a generation that has the heart in the right place.

2)     We have a crisis of leadership.  We lack good leaders. We see it in the Congress and the local level. We have a global leadership problem. He wants people that have the ability to really lead. We need leaders with the three Cs.

The three C’s are:

1)     Courage, ask the tough questions.

2)      Commitment. He wants people to have patience and that can work on things over a long period.

3)     Collaboration. We need people who are comfortable with environments that are not homogeneous and train people who can collaborate across the gender lines.

  1. Giving students real and solid leadership skills.
  1. Getting more students travel abroad. Getting them to places where localism is practiced and where they can get a critical view of the world.

What is the purpose of education.

Education is the fundamental fuel for progress.

So what is Progress? Should education help us to establish a shared vision?

Should solve real problems.

Will we ever have a shared vision? What role should education have in shaping that?

What skills are needed?

I think courage is very important, but can that be taught?

He wants education to have a role it can never have in some areas maybe.

Mentions the smart grid as an example.

Concept for inst.

What he is proposing is instead of everyone creating many small institutes; they should all team up together and create one big institute.

How will higher education evolve? Will it? There is a lot of pressure.

More specializations.

He thinks there will be a transformation and more direct contact.

He believes that there be credentials to study without receiving it from an institution.

He is asking this evolution for the better where things are done more independently?

 

Ralph takes over:

Two important things in life that he learned late:

-You have a choice and personal freedom to construct your own life

Tells the story of his own life and his road in life regarding education.

After that one of the audience asks a question. This question engages for a long time.

The question was the following:

1)     Q: How can we teach one ness?

A long discussion is created on this topic. There is an intense debate and some very interesting suggestions are launched. My feeling was that the panel and the educational institutions were taking on too much responsibility for Oneness and for maturity in the students mind to develop.

I think some of the “education” that the panel was taking on, as their responsibility is also the responsibility of the family and some form of religious or spiritual movement that all citizens are free to participate in. This angle was never discussed. But with an increasingly busy family life and parents having less time than in the past to do their fair share of upbringing and the decline of the churchgoers, it is no wonder that the educational institutions feel that they need to step in and take responsibility.