With the cost of private education and unpaid internships increasingly the purview of a privileged few, community colleges deserve a second look. Sure, you can teach yourself how to cook or compost and do a fine job at it, but for those who want to upgrade their skills, practice using professional equipment, and receive mentorship that can last a lifetime, community colleges are increasingly rising to the challenge.
“Community Colleges: Affordable Good Food Education,” Nina Kahori Fallenbaum
In many different ways, the large research universities– where I got my Ph.D.– are becoming increasingly insular if not irrelevant; gated factories run by poorly paid part-time workers who cannot afford the commodity educations they help produce. This could be turned around– and online education ought to be a part of that turn around– but so far there’s little sign of any substantive change on the horizon. The giants sleep.
The research universities used to be great engines of class mobility; more and more, now, they contribute to and reinforce the increasing divide between rich and poor. The real hope for change, perhaps not surprisingly, may lay at the margins, in the community colleges. I particularly like these progressive culinary programs, which embody critical thinking (and not merely teach it). It’s an authentic praxis, and all too rare in education.