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My Essay
Uni Stuff
erika_sanely


Coming into the 21st Century more importance is being put onto furthering your education. As Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626) once said; “Knowledge is Power.”, which has never been more true. Education has become an option for everyone no matter their gender, age or race. In today’s society the more learning you have, the more possibilities are open for you to pursue. With more possibilities comes the power to have more control over your social and economic status.

Growing up as a middle-class female in a post-modern world, my world view has been moulded by the way my parents see the world, and how my background is viewed by the world and the way I react to that. Hobel and Frost believed that “world view is an inside view of the way things are coloured, shaped, arranged according to personal cultural preconceptions.”, which ties into how Hobson stated in the transcript of her lecture “ it is not just over time that the limit to our knowing is set, but it is over cultures.” I see the world differently as a scholar of Buhddism views it, or how a man of a lower class living in Africa would. Each person’s world view is different, yet connected in some small way.

Before the feminist movement in the 60's changed how the world viewed and treated women, career opportunities for a woman had a very limited scope. Higher education was seen more as a 'stepping stone' for a woman; it was something to do to bide your time while looking for a mate. It was also only an option for women whose family were financially well-off. For women of a lower social class, some of the few ‘main’ career paths for them were either as a teacher, working in the family store, or mother. The idea of having a career – being an equal financial contributor as another person in the family unit – was a fantastic one.

Due to family hardships, my paternal grandmother was taken out of school to help work the family’s general store, while her brothers were allowed to finish high school and even go to University. My mother’s family couldn’t afford for her to go to university, so she left high school after Year 10, as her parents didn’t see a point of doing two extra years at school ‘for nothing’. Luckily for me, my parents realised how sex, economic and social class are no longer the barriers they once were to furthering education, and so they encouraged my brother and I to finish High School and receive our year 12 certificates, even if we decided afterwards not to continue on to University. They believed that having options in place meant that you could always change your mind. Funnily enough, my brother and I both went from school straight into the work place, but after finding positions we enjoy are now doing university courses by correspondence to benefit and further our careers.

In today's world, especially in the Western Civilisations, women are no longer thought of on a lower scale to their male counterparts as they once were in times such as the 12th and 13th centuries when the Medieval world view was prevalent. In those times, women were thought of as less than animals. To quote Hobson, “Whether women shared rationality or not was a hotly debated topic.” If anything, women today are now expected to do and have ‘it all’. A career. A husband. Children. Education is just as important for a woman as it is a man, and as such sex is no longer a barrier to education or learning.


Social status is also no longer the hindrance it once was to getting an education. University level learning was once only for the privileged and upper classes, but in this post-modern world there are now more avenues for people of all classes to explore when thinking about education. Once there was only full-time University for students, but now there’s a range of options. There’s distance learning, TAFE and other technical colleges and part-time University. In terms of having the financial means to attend these days you can pay upfront or use the HECS system once you have finished your course and are able to clear your debts.

There’s added pressure today to continue on with your education. Having documented proof is sometimes seen as being more important than experience. Many times I have seen in the mining industry a man with ten years experience in the field having his knowledge and contributions to a discussion ignored by a Graduate who has no experiences other than what they have learnt at University. The Graduate acts as though what they have learnt can be put into practice everywhere, not realising that sometimes what you’ve been taught doesn’t always work in the particular place you’re in. Many people today seem to think that having an education is more important than having the knowledge that can only be gotten through experience. Through this I have learnt the importance of ‘having a piece of paper’ to support the information I already have. Whilst looking for work in my chosen field many times I have been asked what courses or qualifications I have. The only answer I usually have to that question is “All my training and learning has been on the job.”, and I need to be able to back up my experience with some formal education.

Times change. The world view of a hundred years ago is different to the one that is held today, and my experiences, and those of the people around me, have shaped the one I have now. Being born in the 20th Century has meant that many opportunities have been given to me that weren’t available to women. My thoughts on education have helped to be formed by my immediate community. My parents views on education guided me into looking at all my options, while knowing that higher learning was something I could do. Being female has not been the hindrance to me as it has been to generations past, and I have respected those who have gone before me for the sacrifices they had to make, while following my own path.

References
Sir Francis Bacon , Meditationes Sacræ: De Hæresibus (1597)

Julia Hobson, 1996, ‘Concepts of the self: Different ways of knowing about the self’, text of lecture for SSK12, Murdoch University
Larry A. Samovar & Richard E. Porter, 2004, ‘World views’ Communication between cultures, Wadsworth, California, pp.85-86


I have no idea how I"ll go with this. It's my first essay since high school which was .... 13 years ago.

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