Leaving Traditional College Behind?
- Monday, July 13, 2009
Homeschooling parents a few decades ago started an education revolution. They knew that government schools were not giving the next generation of leaders the kind of training necessary to positively impact American culture and society. What started as a movement of just a handful of families has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, with nearly two million homeschoolers in the United States alone.
Now there’s another revolution that’s going beyond primary and secondary education. It’s called accelerated distance learning, and it’s proving once again that parents have a say in their children’s learning—not only K-12 but throughout college as well.
Accelerated distance learning techniques take advantage of college classroom alternatives that have been available to students for decades but which have gone largely unnoticed by anyone outside the academic community.
This is not only a revolution in the content of a student’s college education, but in the cost as well. Because available alternatives to traditional higher education are so economical, entire degrees using accelerated distance learning typically cost $15,000. Last year alone, college tuition was double the inflation rate, far outpacing income increases and even rising health care costs.
Breaking Out of the College Box
A simple alternative to college can hardly be called a revolution. But accelerated distance learning is more than merely another way to get college credit. It’s a totally fresh approach to education in general—not just higher education. Before I explain how any student, whether in high school or above, can earn college credit through accelerated distance learning, take a look at the full scope of this revolution in higher education.
As is often the case, the revolutionary ideas of accelerated distance learning, or ADL for short, are really old concepts that were popular at one time but have been forgotten by later generations. Knowledgeable mothers and fathers these days often point back to the Founding Fathers and their peers when envisioning success for their children. These men routinely did the seemingly unthinkable: graduating from universities in the colonies, they became national heroes before most students these days graduate from college. Some, like Thomas Jefferson, helped found the nation before they were legally old enough to become its president. Within today’s paradigm of education, such feats are viewed as next to impossible.
Education the Founding Fathers’ Way
Do you know that none of the Founding Fathers ever read a textbook? None of them endured four or five years of university lectures either. Instead, the Founding Fathers and their peers engaged in mentor-based training with experts in the fields they were studying. The books used in these mentoring sessions were classics like Plato’s Republic and Newton’s Principia, not textbooks from a giant publishing conglomerate. When James Monroe, Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr went to college, they attended to learn and dialogue about ideas they couldn’t tackle on their own. They had already spent time learning how to process information and develop their own ideas about government, society, and life in general. These young statesmen started their university studies prepared to revolutionize their world. And they did, with the help of heavy-hitting mentors like George Wythe, Samuel Adams, and Patrick Henry.
Incidentally, the United States completely abandoned the mentor-based approach to education in the early twentieth century because of an innovative manufacturing model called the “assembly line.” This transformative change has been documented by John Taylor Gatto in his groundbreaking work, The Underground History Of American Education. According to Gatto, industry magnates like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller, Sr. needed manpower to fuel their massive factories. They needed men who didn’t care about putting any thought into their work.
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