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Teacher Says We Need To Stop Telling Kids Not To Go To College — 'Anti-Intellectualism Is Toxic'

Photo: Tyler Olson / Shutterstock
group of college students walking with backpacks

It’s becoming more and more common to hear people say that college isn’t necessary. As tuition costs rise, many are looking for alternate options for their futures. Lots of people are embracing learning trades in place of attending college.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with choosing trade school instead of college, but music teacher Teresa Kaye Newman took to TikTok to share that she's still pushing her students toward higher education. 

In a TikTok video, Newman explained her stance on college, and it’s definitely worth considering.

“I’m really tired of being shamed for encouraging kids to pursue a college education,” Newman said in the video. 

Newman explained that she feels like there are so many people who don’t want to go to college now, or who went to college and regret it for some reason, that there’s become a bit of a movement around the idea of not going.

   

   

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Now, instead of being shamed for not going to college, the opposite is true. Kids are being shamed for wanting to go to college and are advised not to go.

“We have got to stop demonizing this path for kids if that’s what they actually want to do,” Newman said. She insisted that some children actually dream of going to college, and that’s okay.

Newman did make her stance on the reverse issue clear. “I am not shaming any children for not wanting to seek college education,” she said. “Of course, we need to be encouraging of all different kinds of career paths because not every kid is going to fit in the mold of a college student.”

Newman tied her thoughts into anti-intellectualism.

Merriam-Webster defines anti-intellectualism as “opposing or hostile to intellectuals or to an intellectual view or approach.”

Teacher Says We Need To Stop Telling Kids Not To Go To CollegePhoto: George Pak / Canva Pro

“I talk a lot about anti-intellectualism on my platform and how destructive and toxic it’s getting in 2024,” she said. “And the narrative from adults to children now is getting to the point where they’re not just demonizing higher education, or seeking a college education, but they’re also now starting to demonize getting a grade school education.”

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Newman discussed how many people are now perpetuating the idea that you don’t need to know anything beyond what is necessary for a certain trade. She said this is a dangerous line of thinking because it implies that all other learning is unnecessary, effectively taking everyone back to a sixth-grade education.

This is not the first time Newman has shared these views with her audience of over 91,000 followers. 

In the past, Newman has shared similar ideas about anti-intellectualism and the idea that learning is unimportant or unnecessary. In another video, Newman replied to a comment that said Gen Alpha students would be the ones to start the next great political revolution.

   

   

“The kids who are ultimately going to grow up to be political changemakers are the ones who have a brain filled with knowledge and logic,” she stated. 

Newman argued that those who are illiterate and don’t know how to work together with others are not capable of leading any kind of revolution.

The debate surrounding whether or not kids should go to college remains a messy one.

While Newman has her views figured out on the subject, it’s not an easy decision to make. According to CNBC, experts still recommend attending college, but things like high amounts of student debt make it seem less appealing.

Perhaps it is best to acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Some kids will feel that college is the right choice for them, while others won’t. Some will seek a degree later in life.

What’s most important is figuring out what’s right for you as an individual. 

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.