What is Education?

By | 1st October 2017

The most common forms of education result from years of schooling that incorporates studies of a variety of subjects.”(Business Dictionary)

When talking about education, the first thing that comes to mind is school education. But altogether, what is Education?

It is much wider than “just” schooling. The general definition from the Business Dictionary does help see different aspects of education.

“The wealth of knowledge acquired by an individual after studying particular subject matters or experiencing life lessons that provide an understanding of something. Education requires instruction of some sort from an individual or composed literature.

Education is about acquiring knowledge.
Education is about gaining an understanding.
Education is about getting instructions, guidance.

Knowledge comes from someone else or through our own experience. We need to have a ‘teacher’, teach ourselves, a combination of both or learn from our daily life.

There are many ways to educate someone, resulting in different forms of education.

To educate is:
1 a :to provide schooling for
b :to train by formal instruction and supervised practice especially in a skill, trade, or profession
2 a :to develop mentally, morally, or aesthetically especially by instruction
b :to provide with information
3 :to persuade or condition to feel, believe, or act in a desired way (educate the public)
(Merriam-Webster dictionary)

So when we are talking about education, we are talking about schooling (formal education) or apprenticeship (skill training). But we are also talking about individual development, societal and moral behaviours or about provision of information on a variety of topics.

Think about the different ways we use the term education without referring to school… For example, how many times do we say of someone with bad manner: “He/She has no education”, without any reference to his/her schooling level?

Schooling is critical in the process of education. It provides the basis of knowledge and of life in society, teaches normalised ways to process and analyse information and much more.

But schooling is not all the education that an individual can, should or will receive.

We are starting a new series on education, where we aim to talk about different types of education, what is the right to education, how to access different forms of education, etc…  Watch out for future articles in the newsletter.

We will try to illustrate each article with a story from the field, starting today with the story of Douglas. His story highlights what can be perceived as “being educated” and what one can achieve through motivation.

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