After watching the video on the EDC blog, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” what stayed with me was one of the terms Sir Robinson used in his speech, “Academic Inflation.” He described it as a shift in the educational requirements of most jobs.
Academic inflation can be defined as the combined circumstances where a degree becomes a requirement for more jobs while, at the same time, becoming an insufficient entry requirement to others. It is a problem for both students and educational institutions, but on a larger scale it is a problem for the entire economy.
Currently, many undergraduate students worry about paying off student loans, but then, the thought of taking on more loans to pay for graduate studies is an overwhelming one as well. The fear of being unemployed after completing an undergraduate program also contributes to many of the challenges students encounter on a regular basis. A closer look at all these problems shows us how much influence academic inflation has had on this generation and will have for future generations.
In his speech, Sir Robinson criticized the current education system for not enhancing creativity in young children. As an undergraduate student working at the EDC, I strongly agree with him because I believe there are many fields of study out there that are yet to be explored but because creativity is not enhanced, many of these fields of study remain dormant while other fields are increasing and becoming over-populated.
Eric Olson over at Olson’s Observations, posts eloquently about this subject, and points out, “Being a student of history the Greeks came to mind. The Greeks valued a healthy combination of the arts, athletics and academics and they were one of the greatest societies the world has ever seen. Why, then, do we only allow students to choose two of the three things that make education and learning complete?”
Another sector being affected by academic inflation is the economy. Irrespective of the fact that unemployment is increased when there is academic inflation, many students end up spending many years in school without gaining hands-on experience in the work environment. Further more, the quality and value of education is reduced when the universities are over-populated. The solution to this potential problem of academic inflation and emphasis away from creativity lies in the hands of each individual.