“In the end, college is not an investment. A college major is.”

Not all these students would be cheering at their college graduation if they understood the potential earning awaiting them depending on their degree.  (AJC/file photo)

Not all these college grads would be cheering if they understood their degree may not pay off. (AJC/file photo)

Happy July 4th.

Here is a thought-provoking essay on the value of  a college degree by James R. Harrigan, a fellow of the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University, and Antony Davies, a professor of economics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and Senior Affiliated Scholar at the Mercatus Center.

By James R. Harrigan and Antony Davies

There is an amazing opportunity just waiting for you, and you can get in on the ground floor for only $120,000. If you act now you will be virtually guaranteed an income for the rest of your working life. There’s one small caveat: We can’t tell you how much you will actually earn in the 50 years or so after you make this investment, because, let’s face it, there are a lot of variables. But hey, it’s only $120,000. And you can’t put a price tag on your future, can you?

Anyone who would make this kind of “investment” is likely not thinking clearly. Yet this is the deal that students accept when they go to college, as data suggests a majority of just-graduated high school seniors will opt to do this fall. Though Washington recently renewed legislation that keeps student loan rates artificially low, a far bigger concern is whether students will be able to pay back those loans. Graduating seniors are blissfully unaware that the future benefits of their degree might not be worth the present cost of tuition.

What was once a privilege reserved for few is now seen as a necessity. The high school machine pushes students into college because high schools are evaluated on the number of students they send to college, regardless of whether those students succeed. Government pushes students into college by subsidizing student loans. Parents push students into college because it is a prerequisite to a good career.

But no one ever seems to ask what a college degree is worth. The answer is both comforting and alarming.

In 2010, the average college graduate was 25 percent more likely to be in the labor force than was the average high school graduate. Once there, the average college graduate faced an unemployment rate that was less than half that faced by the average high school graduate (4.7 percent versus 10.3 percent). Household income for college graduates is more than twice that of high school graduates ($83,000 versus $40,000).

While cheerful news on its face, the averages mask a devastating truth: College degrees are not created equal. The so-called STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — increase lifetime earnings by more than $1 million even after deducting the cost of tuition. Meanwhile, almost any major with the word “studies” is a break-even proposition — the increase in the student’s lifetime earnings just about covers the cost of tuition.

The median salary for petroleum engineering majors is $157,000, while the median salary for child and family studies majors is $38,400. The market has spoken and spoken loudly. The top 10 majors in terms of expected salary are all STEM disciplines.

The bottom 10? Special education, recreation and leisure studies, theology, paralegal studies, horticulture, culinary arts, athletic training, social work, elementary education, and child and family studies.

None of this really gets to the underlying travesty. In 1977, the average high school graduate could expect to earn $1.6 million (in today’s dollars) over the course of his career. The average college graduate could expect to earn $2.2 million, for a net benefit of $560,000.

By 2010, the average high school graduate could expect to earn $980,000 versus $2.3 million for the average college graduate, for a net benefit of $1.3 million. It is not that a college degree is worth that much more (except in the STEM fields); it is that a high school diploma is worth so much less.

In the end, “college” is not an investment. A college major is. Chosen wisely the $120,000 worth of debt is clearly warranted. Chosen poorly, it is nothing but a waste of time, effort and money.

–from Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

101 comments Add your comment

Dragonfly Lady

July 4th, 2012
3:50 am

I have been a nurse (LPN, AS concurrently earned during Jr. & Sr. years of HS) and a teacher (secondary science and early childhood, double major). I seriously considered becoming a pharmacist and a social worker. I am still paying my school debts and making a decent living. I am not working in either the medical field OR education. I work in technical support. I love what I do but I really wish that I had been able to REALLY teach or parlay my science education and nursing background in to a career as a pharmacist, so I could make 100K+ a year. But I don’t really regret any of my choices, and definitely not my majors. I was able to instill a life long love of learning and a fascination in the natural world in at least a few of my students then i will know that I did my job, and yes, it WAS worth the cost.

Ronin

July 4th, 2012
4:57 am

Mr. Harrigan is correct. We are experiencing an “education bubble”. Science and technology are safe investments for long term income yields.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

July 4th, 2012
5:46 am

Must we evaluate education primarily in economic terms?

We Georgians are not primarily producers and consumers. We are humans for whom education should be a means to the improvement of one’s self and the society in which one lives.

Peter Smagorinsky

July 4th, 2012
5:54 am

Thanks Craig, my thoughts exactly.

crystal

July 4th, 2012
5:59 am

College should be about learning a higher level of critical thinking skills, not what major one took and how that will parlay into a larger income. If college is all about income, it is no longer a center for the discussion of ideas but a trade school. If a student is there just to learn a skill and make money without expanding their mind, they’ve missed the whole point.

Jumbo Mahone

July 4th, 2012
6:07 am

I’m presently working as an RN, career number five, begun in my late 50’s. I’ve not had a job I didn’t love. Of them all, the only job I’ve had that required a degree was teaching. Everything else I’ve done has been as a result of acquired knowledge/skills. I can do/have done everything on Lazarus Long’s list. College/university degrees are a product that almost everyone has been conned into believing they need. Our culture has suffered for this. Knowledge and skill is much more useful.

Public educator

July 4th, 2012
6:19 am

I agree with Jumbo Mahone in that knowledge and skills are vital. Unfortunately our society most often does not recognize that experience is as valuable as a college degree. My husband served eight years in as a Navy Seabee, climbing the ranks quickly due to his hard work, intelligence, and leadership qualities. By the time he was in his mid 20s, he was managing infrastructure rebuilding projects in Baghdad, working directly with Iraqi contractors. He also worked at embassies all over the world. When he decided to get out of the military, he immediately landed a job as a project manager for a construction firm in Atlanta, and he capably handled multi-million dollar jobs for two and a half years. However, when the construction bubble burst, guess who was the first to go in his department? He was the only one who did not have that piece of paper; actually he was the only one who did not have a degree from Georgia Tech. He is now about to finish a degree from Georgia State to start a new career (thank goodness for the new GI Bill!). Hopefully this time around, that diploma will open some doors in this tough economy.

Tony

July 4th, 2012
6:33 am

To focus solely on the monetary aspects in terms of the investment in a college education reduces the human experience to that of some kind of drone. Life is much more than a bank account or big house.

Good Mother

July 4th, 2012
6:43 am

The author lacks credibility because he hasn’t accounted for the other real earnings made in education – a lifetime pension and unbelievable time off work. Those things matter.
He seems to downgrade the value of a college degree. What a waste of a blog topic.
Without a college degree one is almost ensured a very low income and to be a parasite on other tax-payers who have to supplement their income.

Good Mother

July 4th, 2012
6:47 am

Public Educator is exactly right!
Even when her husband had the skills, the hands-on experience, the know how, her husband was passed over because he didn’t have that piece of paper.
For women especially, that piece of paper is worth a million dollars. Time and again my friends were passed over for promotions because they didn’t hve that colloege degree BUT MEN who didn’t have that piece of paper were given a pass because of their experience or whatever excuse they used.
ESPECIALLY for women, a college degree is important. You’ve got to have one in order to support a family.

Good Mother

July 4th, 2012
6:48 am

Jumbo Mahone — what hospital allows you to work as a registered nurse wihtout a college degree? Are you a full RN ? I am unaware of any RN program today that doesn’t require a degree.

Dc

July 4th, 2012
7:04 am

“we shouldnt look at learning based on its economic payback”…..another statement that shows how in the clouds the minds of some academics can be. College, like everything else in life, is a choice, and an investment that must pay back. If you want a way to “expand your mind”, then do it on your own dime, not a taxpayer subsidized one.

Its a little self serving (ok, a LOT self serving) when academics who make their living pontificate on how the country needs to make more investment in their product, and shouldnt look for an economic payback. Fortunately most of the country is beginning to see that there isnt much real magic behing this wizard of oz curtain…..

Fed Up

July 4th, 2012
7:34 am

As soon as *everybody* has something (iPhone, Air Jordans, “college” education, etc), it will have lost its value.

carlosgvv

July 4th, 2012
7:48 am

The brutal truth is that the vast majority of people do not have the necessary apptitude in math and science to earn these degrees. This is why so many students earn liberal arts degrees. Only a relatively few students have the necessay scientific apptitudes so, we have a situation where more and more high paying jobs require these abilities and the number of those who can get them does NOT increase. This is bad now and will only get worse in the future.

John Konop

July 4th, 2012
8:34 am

Tony

Your last comment demonstrates how we see the world differently.i am pragmatist and you are an ideologue. The problem with being an ideologue with public policy is the ends does justify the means in more cases than not. Irronacly our political system is crippled by people on the right and left who are convinced their ideology is more important than the basics of food, shelter…….. It is great to have dreams, but life is about balance, and dreams alone do not pay the bills. In most cases on life no mater how high you end up in the food chain we all deal bs in our jobs. This utopian view is great in movies, but in the real world getting ahead is more about your ability to deal with bad days and get up the next day and play the game. It is best to follow a path based on your aptitude, yet this also must be done in a practical manner.

Beck

July 4th, 2012
8:41 am

As long as someone id using their own money, or money their parents have set aside and planned for them to go to school with it is no one else’s business what their major is.

Money is not the be-all, end-all consideration. Look again at that list of bottom 10 jobs; those are people helping others. Yes, even the rec studies people are helping people relax, exercise and have a good time. People who cook, grow flowers to provide them on special occasions. They are your pastor, your child’s teacher, the school social worker who comes to children’s aid when they have no one else. They are spiritual advisers, and the people who do the leg work on buying your first house.

The good that others do cannot always be quantified in nickels and dimes.

mountain man

July 4th, 2012
8:42 am

“Must we evaluate education primarily in economic terms?”

You are asking students to pony up $120,000 (that they don’t have) for an education that has no cash rewards? That is not an investment, that is pouring money down a black hole. If your family is rich and wants to send you to college (as an elite) just to “expand your mind”, then that is great , but most college students are there to learn and earn a degree that will pay them more than minimum wage and keep them employed. I don’t know of anyone who wants to borrow $120,000 to go “expand their mind”.

You should also look into the $38,000 average salaries of some of these degrees. Is that for full-time employment? Or is that women who accept part-time because their husbands are working full time?

Lastly, I have said many times that a college degree (or two-year degree or certification) is now necessary because a high school diploma is not worth the paper it is printed on. (Although I will say it is better than a drop-out, since our company requires a high school diploma for the basic labor jobs). There was a time when a high school graduate could enter the work force and work their way up to manager – now most companies require a college diploma for managers.

SEE

July 4th, 2012
8:43 am

First of all, that idea that college teaches critical thinking skills is debatable. Second of all, you can learn, expand your mind, and expose yourself to different points of view on your own…no need to spend $120,000. I have a M.A., and I can say that I earned my 4.0 by spouting all the things my professor loved to hear. No real intelligence required.

mountain man

July 4th, 2012
8:51 am

Part of the differences in majors is the career in which you settle, not just the major. If you get a degree in social work and become a social worker, expect to make $25,000 per year, because that is all our society values social workers. My daughter has a degree in social work and makes $70,000 per year (obviously she is not a social worker). Lots of careers ask fo a college degree but not necessarily one in a certain subject field. That is certainly true of management positions. My wife has a job that requiress a four-year degree, but does not require a degree in a certain field. I am working in a position that is not my “degree” field and am doing well.

You could get a degree in education and become a teacher and make $35,000 starting and lose your mind and soul, or you could go into industry and do training and make $50,000 a year.

Unfunded pension

July 4th, 2012
8:57 am

No need to worry about the value of college if you are not paying for it.

It’s arrogant to believe that majors that are economically rational are not also compelling learning.

mountain man

July 4th, 2012
8:58 am

When I went to college in the late 70’s, I went because I wanted to pursue a certain career that required a college major. I did not take into account how much I would make when I came out, but how happy I would be in my career. Of course, college costs were a fraction then of what they are now, even with HOPE. Tuition was much, much less than it was then. There were not the fees that there are now. Books were a FRACTION of what they cost today. I ended up only with loans and scholarships that could be paid off in one year. Nothing like the indentured servitude required of college students today.

We encouraged our kids to get degrees in what they loved (not just to go “expand their mind” and certainly did not encourage them to get a MRS degree). They then have to decide how to parlay that degree into a useful career.

Mr. Todd

July 4th, 2012
9:05 am

Next, we all worked real hard to come up with a bunch of characteristics of what makes a good 14 or 15 year old citizen. Here’s what we came up with: Don’t litter … Don’t loiter … Don’t trespass … Take care of your pets and be responsible for their behavior … Do the safe thing … Report crime and the suspicious or dangerous behavior of other people … Respect others’ property … Don’t vandalize … Obey pedestrian laws … Obey cycling laws … Learn and understands all laws … Don’t cuss in public … Don’t shoplift or steal anything that’s not yours … Recycle when you can … No PDA.

Could there be a whole lot more? Sure. But I don’t want to overwhelm them and they don’t want to overwhelm themselves because they know this list and definition is actually the test. In other words, the test is them regurgitating the list and the definition from memory. The real test will come when they actually use a few of these.

Petal says she’ll never have any fun now. Never.

I said you will, and it’s called college.

http://www.adixiediary.com

A dad

July 4th, 2012
9:11 am

Reminds me of the OWS protestor who was interviewed and bemoaned the fact that after going to college she couldn’t find a decent job. She was interested in some form of corporate employment and thought with a degree she’s be a shoo-in. What was her degree in you may wonder? Music. Completel disconnect between wants and reality.

[...] a college degree by James R. Harrigan, a fellow of the Institute of Political Economy. Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) This entry was posted in Investment and tagged …, Consumer, Demand, domestic, Germany, [...]

Woody

July 4th, 2012
9:45 am

I hate to say this, because I have some very intelligent and successful friends who never finished college, but in my own experience hiring and working with others, those hirees who had college degrees, especially those with liberal arts degrees, were more organized and successful in a project-oriented work environment. They more readily took in the parameters of an assignment, and seemed to ‘get’ what was wanted in the result. Our high school graduates, though promising in the interview, just seemed to struggle, especially with trying to match result with expectations.

EducatorTwo

July 4th, 2012
9:50 am

I actually have the correct answer for all, and all you have to do is truly listen: STEM
Sience
Technology
Engineering
Math
This is the simple solution. What do you think Maureen?

Lee

July 4th, 2012
10:21 am

$40,000 per year for college? Your private colleges and some of the big name colleges such as Notre Dame command that type of tuition, but for the rest of us working stiffs, our “Investment” is a lot less than that.

We are extremely fortunate here in Georgia. You can go to college for the first two years at one of the community colleges and get your core curriculum completed for about $3500/yr. Transfer to one of the regional four years such as Kennesaw State and pay about $6500/yr or one of the flagships at about $9000/yr. Factor in the HOPE Scholarship and you can eliminate 90-100% of that cost.

If your student lives at home during that time, thank your lucky stars you live close enough. Room and board add another $8000/yr or so.
———————————–

“Household income for college graduates is more than twice that of high school graduates ($83,000 versus $40,000).”

Another statistic to take with a grain of salt. College graduates, for the most part, come from the top 25% of high school graduates – WHO WOULD DO WELL WHETHER OR NOT THEY WENT TO COLLEGE.
————————————-

On the other hand, it speaks to the integrity of the college financial aid departments who sign students up for loans knowing full well that their chosen major doesn’t stand a chance in hell of ever making enough to pay it back.

I mean, who do these folks think they are, the Social Security Administration?

Oh, wait……..

College Is Worth the Investment

July 4th, 2012
10:26 am

College does not guarantee that each student will earn more
money than non-college graduates,but the statistical odds are
in favor of higher earning potentials, and greater flexibility in
career options. People get fixated on the the amount of money
that must be spent for the degree,but factor in how much
money the average person will spend on consumer goods, such
as automobiles, during their working career and it is clear that
about the same amount of money is spent on assets that are
not appreciating in value. There are also ways to accomplish the
goal of getting a college degree for less than $120,000.

bootney farnsworth

July 4th, 2012
10:43 am

there’s a lot of difficult truth in this.

as already pointed out, a college degree has gone from a luxury to a necessity for most people. but the problem nobody talks about is the huge amount of go nowhere majors colleges offer. by grinding out 100s of 1000s of graduates with no viable life skills and a crushing debt, the college experience has set these kids up for a lifetime of failure.

while I support the “right” of a person to study what they wish, I don’t like the end result of what it does to society. colleges MUST start being more responsible with their offerings, and offer fewer esoteric unmarketable degrees.

by offering so many useless degrees, colleges themselves water down and devalue the very product we offer.

bootney farnsworth

July 4th, 2012
10:52 am

note: STEM is becoming STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. while arts are still a tough road as a profession, its an acknowledgement of the importance of arts-especially music studies- in a science based education.

DaPoet

July 4th, 2012
11:19 am

If an employer requires an applicant to have a college degree that isn’t specifically geared to the job the individual is applying for: Then that employer is practicing discrimination.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

July 4th, 2012
11:31 am

If you talk to any of the millions of newly minted college grads and ask them questions on Current events, Politics, US history, and how global events are shaping their path, you would not come away feeling that critical thinking was a skill they had mastered. College Degrees are , for the most part, the new barrier erected by those who say “I have mine, you need yours to be my equal”. However, every time I leave the office and get a latte from the English Lit grad barista down the road, or the medieval art history major pointing out where the new Glen Beck book is (with a frown) at Barnes&Noble, I am very glad I chose dual STEM Degree paths. You can be a life long learner without forking out tens of thousands..its called reading. That is how you should handle the arts and humanities. College is, no matter how much you wish to deny it, glorified technical school because you are there to learn a marketable skill.

[...] Happy July 4th. Here is a thought-provoking essay on the value of  a college degree by James R.  [...]

catlady

July 4th, 2012
12:01 pm

College is worth far more than money. Thank God!

Yankee Prof

July 4th, 2012
12:03 pm

I agree with Lee and others who point to the $120K cost estimate as excessive and hardly definitive. While state college and university tuition and expenses have increased thanks to nearly a decade of funding cuts, tuition for programs at our state colleges still falls well below that estimate.

Thanks to Georgia’s two-year college system, it is possible to save significant $$ on one’s first 60 or so college credits, and savings are amplified for those who live at home and commute. That Ga Tech degree doesn’t have an asterisk on it if you’ve started at a two-year school (and oftentimes a student experiences smaller classes and more professors holding terminal degrees at the two-year school than they’d have experienced during the first two years at the big institution).

And on another point: While STEM degree programs do, statistically, lead to higher income employment, let’s not underestimate the value of the culinary arts student who goes to college, meets an elementary arts student, gets married and enjoys a life where their combined incomes bring them a comfortable, middle class existence. Like so many have said previously: it’s not necessarily about the money; it’s about the lifestyle one attains.

catlady

July 4th, 2012
12:06 pm

For the other benefits/effects, read the tome “How College Affects Students” by Pascarella and Terrenzini.

William Casey

July 4th, 2012
12:18 pm

Wonderful discussion here this morning with many valid points being made. As most of you have pointed out, higher education serves multiple purposes and there are no guarantees. I’ll add two from my own experience: (1) College exposed me to a wide variety of people and ideas which was very broadening. (2) College served as a de facto “halfway house” for me to learn independent living which was very practical. Both were good things.

I am very concerned with the current marketing of college degrees which I perceive to be: “Acquiring ANY degree is worth incurring a mountain of debt.” From a cost-analysis employment point of view, this simply isn’t true. Even including the other benefits of college, it’s a dubious proposition. There are no GUARANTEES or ENTITLEMENTS even for such vaunted majors as petroleum engineering. If someone invents an engine to replace the internal combustion engine, starting salaries for petroleum engineers will no longer lead the pack. I saw it happen to aerospace engineers in the 70’s, though I’m sure that those guys did OK in the long run as petro guys would. As for “soft” degrees, they should come with warning labels: “Hope you REALLY love this field because supporting yourself with this may be extremely difficult and paying off your loan nearly impossible.” LOL

What’s to be done? It begins with the Socratic “Know thyself.” For me, I learned in college that I would never be happy without involvement in my two great passions, the study of history and the coaching of basketball. I’d MUCH rather do these at $60,000 per year than be a petroleum engineer at $150,000 per year. However, if the choice were $10,000 vs. $150,000, it would be a different story. Something I DIDN’T learn in college was how much I HATED debt. Did not learn that until my early thirties. Debt makes me a slave and I don’t like that. How do I “follow my dream,” live comfortably and not be in debt? I found two new income streams: (1) investment in real estate and (2) found a wife who made more money than she spent. The marriage wasn’t that cold and calculating but, that was the economic effect. Good decisions but luck was involved as well. When my wife and I divorced in early 2006, we began selling our real estate and this was accomplished by 2007. Pure luck allowed me to retire comfortably at 56.

Know thyself!

catlady

July 4th, 2012
12:27 pm

GM: there are two year colleges that offer a RN degree. Maybe that is what Jumbo was talking about. All degrees are not 4 year bachelor’s degrees.

Erwin's cat

July 4th, 2012
12:35 pm

carlos – “The brutal truth is that the vast majority of people do not have the necessary apptitude (sic) in math and science to earn these degrees. This is why so many students earn liberal arts degrees. “

What complete BS…there is no “math” gene…STEM disciplines require work, study, and practice…it is harder for some then others, but there’s nothing magical about it and can be taught to anybody willing to put in the effort…stop setting ceilings on yourself

Kevin

July 4th, 2012
12:38 pm

Information and insightful. Thank you! For those that care about the intangible aspects of college (and there are less than you think), pointing out the economic costs/benefits isn’t inconsistent with your position.

Hillbilly D

July 4th, 2012
12:38 pm

In my opinion, higher education became more about a piece of paper and less about education, a long time ago.

William Casey

July 4th, 2012
12:41 pm

BTW: Regarding college costs. My son will receive degrees in mathematics and philosophy (logic) next May from Georgia Southern. He will have been a Zell Miller Scholar for all four years. The total cost to us will be around $32,000 (mostly housing, food, fees and textbooks.) He will graduate debt free because of the college fund we established when he was born and his own efforts (27 semester hours earned in A.P. courses + working for the university as a math tutor.) We could have held down the cost by having him live at home and attend GT or State. We believe, though, that the “living away from home” benefits were worth the extra costs.

Hillbilly D

July 4th, 2012
12:43 pm

If an employer requires an applicant to have a college degree that isn’t specifically geared to the job the individual is applying for: Then that employer is practicing discrimination.

He’s also short sighted. I used to work for a company like that, where you couldn’t be promoted if you didn’t have some kind of degree (In most cases didn’t have to be job related). So people who’d be with the company 30 years and knew the business inside out, couldn’t even apply for a job and they’d hire somebody just out of college, with little or no work experience of any kind. Guess who trained the new hires?

William Casey

July 4th, 2012
12:47 pm

@ERWIN’S CAT: While I agree that there probably isn’t a “math gene,” there is undoubtedly math aptitude. Mathematics, beyond a certain point, CANNOT be taught to “just anyone.” I guess that I should add the word “efficiently.”

Solutions

July 4th, 2012
12:50 pm

In the modern world, one can obtain an education in the liberal arts for free, just by reading and thinking, one does not need to spend 120K and five years (think “The Five Year Party”) becoming the so called Renaissance Man. What you had better do is work on you quantitative skills, that is what will feed and cloth you and your family over the next decades. Take the MBA as an example, the so called soft MBA emphasis people skills and is pretty nearly worthless without a quantitative undergrad degree, with such a degree it is an ok, but not great terminal degree. The quantitative MBA is gold, lots of high paying job offers, the managerial MBA is problematic, so choose your college major well, your future depends on it!

Prof

July 4th, 2012
12:58 pm

@ carlosgvv, July 4th, 7:48 am: “The brutal truth is that the vast majority of people do not have the necessary aptitude in math and science to earn these degrees.”

Absolutely right, when one considers hemispheric brain dominance,or thinking dominated by either the left lobe or the right lobe of the brain. Ever since the 1960s, psychologists have known that people are born with hemispheric brain dominance that characterizes their thinking. The left lobe or hemisphere of the brain is dominated by thinking that is logical, sequential, rational, analytical, and looks at parts. The right lobe, by thinking that is intuitive, holistic, synthesizing, subjective, and looks at wholes.

Success in the STEM fields requires that the person’s thinking process is left-brain dominated. It comes so naturally that such people think everyone must be like them, with a little effort. But of course, if one is born with right-brain dominance………..

Fred in DeKalb

July 4th, 2012
1:08 pm

Has Fred been banned from the DSW blog simply because he has a different point of view? If so, it says a lot about the objectives of those running that blog. They obviously don’t appreciate differing opinions during a discussion. Facts will always trump speculation.

Erwin's cat

July 4th, 2012
1:14 pm

@WilliambCasey – I disagree…math builds a foundation of leaning and understanding..From simple Math to Algebra to Trig to Calc to Diffy Q’s…it all builds on it’s predecessor…You have to actually learn it and not try and memorize it…and yes CAN be taught to anyone willing to put in the effort

@Prof – so was DaVinci left or right brain dominant?

My point is, we all learn differently, but that’s not to say we all can’t learn the same thing…Some of you are suggesting that some are in to stupid to be taught or can only learn certain things..complete BS

GFY

July 4th, 2012
1:34 pm

try reading the bell curve to understand cognitive ability

BehindEnemyLines

July 4th, 2012
1:39 pm

I’m almost stunned … you actually posted something from a rational thinker. Credit where it’s due.