For so many of us, education boils down to fear.
First we have fear on behalf of our children, and then, at the appropriate time, we transfer the fear to them while still retaining a measure for ourselves.
We fear "not getting it." Not being good enough. We fear failing grades. We're afraid that we won't get into college, that we'll flunk out of college, that we'll choose the wrong major, that we won't get a job.
We compete with other individuals, amassing AP classes and extracurricular activities in an academic arms race. And as a nation, we're worried that we'll be left behind as other countries train up generation after generation of highly skilled workers.