This has taken me a little while to put together, because I’m on vacation and not really thinking about stuff; just reading and napping, mostly.
I’ve discussed two things about university that bother me, and I’ve realized a third thing, and I think there’s at least a fourth thing (if not more things) that I can discuss.
This most recent realization was that the first thing (the experience over the learning) is valid, but only describes half of the situation. And the first comment on that post is equally valid, but again only covers half of the situation.
Obviously, a student needs to learn the material and prove he’s learned the material; that’s how school works. And in doing so, he learns more than the material: he learns how to communicate effectively that he’s learned the material and his opinion of the material.
But I’d also say that he’s learned something about himself. Not that it has changed him—he’s still the same person—but now he knows better how he learns, what he likes to learn, what he’s good at, and what he’s not good at but would like to be good at.
My conclusion, to plant myself firmly on the fence, is that it’s at least as much about the material as about the experience. And I would caution against believing that it’s one or the other for anyone other than yourself.