In an earlier post on Facebook, I had used andy58-in-NH's "ignorance dressed in scholarly robes" remark. I was told by a relative that I have a "disgust for higher education" which runs as a theme in my comments. I answered:
Surprise - I agree with you completely (name). We must elevate the education of our society as a whole - that should always be our goal. Indeed, regarding the deep learning as you say - very precious few think deeply or critically it seems to me. My beef is not with education in or of itself. Not at all - I admire it and recognize that it is crucial to a productive society. What torques me is the pervasive self-appointment or anointment as an "intellectual" and therefore "my virtue is better than your vice" philosophy. The presumption of intellectual superiority and the arrogance that is associated with it is what gets me going. That is the thread or "theme" you should be picking up - not a disdain for higher learning. I would be a fool to have such disdain. But, education alone does not define intellectualism, hence my "scholarly robes" remark. Too many can not discern the difference. That arrogant superiority then translates to policy... which is a whole different matter.
Good answer. Your relative's error is in confusing process with output, and also: content with its container.
Much of what is today claimed as "education" is, in reality, the expression of a subjective point of view that intentionally filters or prejudges all contrary data rather than inviting them as a means of discerning truth. A true "educator" does not purposely avoid or deny facts inhospitable to their world view, nor does he evade the counterarguments of another person by means of dishonesty or logical fallacy (e.g. - "I am an intellectual; if you disagree with me, you are, therefore anti-intellectual").
Adherence to a methodologically sound and intellectually honest educational process
is what determines whether the output of that process is valid and empirically supportable, even in the face of differing interpretations of what is to be learned from it.
Reasonable people may yet disagree on many things. That they often do so does not make either party "anti-intellectual" (although one or both may in fact be wrong), as long as the argument is conducted on honest terms.
An "educator" may be said to be one who has earned that title by reference to common professional standards. But then, the mere title of "educator" cannot automatically command the respect of others regardless
of one's ability and effort, nor does it ensure that the result (output) of those efforts is, in fact, "education".
If I pour tea into a coffee mug, the mug does not magically become a "tea mug", nor is what I drink from it mystically converted to coffee.