Ivory tower is a documentary that every person should watch that is currently in or is planning to go to college. The documentary gives an eye opening look at what our education system has turned into. Some shocking facts include: (1) 70% of kids in 2013 from high school went to college. (2) The average student leaves college with a student loan of $29,000 (3) Total student debt in the nation is over one trillion dollars.

Now there is no price to education but the question is are students really getting the bang for their buck when it comes to education? The documentary shows how universities are far from a place where education is the priority. The universities’ structure does not reward professors based upon their ability to educate; rather it is their research which they are involved with, which in most cases their requirement to teach just gets in the way. Due to this structure, resources are limited when it comes to giving professors the capability to enhance education. To make matters worse the only form of evaluation in educating students is by course surveys. The surveys don’t reflect the education content as much as how well the students enjoyed the class, which pressures the professors to be even more lenient on grades. Instead of making the course challenging they are almost encouraged to make it easier to not only get high marks as an educator but avoid any possible risks which come from unhappy students.

The professors aren’t the only ones to blame. Students these days are going into college blind, lost and without purpose. Education for many is the least of their concerns while having “fun” is top priority. The documentary states how surveys show students study less than 5 hours a week [full time students], with a majority that show that they write no more than 20 pages for a class in a semester. The consequences can be seen with 68% of students in public universities who fail to graduate in 4 years as of 2012 and 44% fail to graduate in 6 years.

To expect the educational system to change would be unrealistic but on the other hand choosing not to go to college is also unrealistic. Even if you only achieve a piece of paper while there, statistics show you will earn almost double the revenue as someone with a high school diploma. So what is the solution? The answer lies with the student. The student must take control of their life and not be a reactive victim.

Students have to understand that they can no longer expect to be told what to do or be given a plan in life. It is not enough to simply pass your classes or to just get a degree and expect a job. They have to understand the state of the educational system and adjust their lives accordingly. By observation they can’t expect the educational system to give them what they need to learn [the current system is incapable to do that] they must have a plan on their own and use the system as a way to get the education that they require. We are now requiring students to do more than regurgitate information in a silo but to be visionaries at a high level to see beyond the silo of academia.

Comments (1)

  1. Tamir Shargal


    I happened to watch this documentary with my father over Winter Break. It was before I enrolled in the course, or knew anything about IMT, but, looking back, I can see many applications. For one, the individuals, or students, who blame their universities, “the system,” as a whole, if you will, are type C. Yes, education might be less effective as a whole than it used to be with regards to educating the masses, but, at the end of the day, you are in control of your own life. If you’re a visionary, if you exhibit these type A characteristics, you realize that your environment is a product, a reflection, of yourself. It can be concluded, then, that if one blames their environment for misfortunes in one’s life, that one is only, logically, blaming one’s self, as there is no fault resting anywhere but one’s self.

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