Being Educated or Having an Educated?


Education is a gift that many take for granted. The definition of education only communicates what being educated is to a certain extent. It consists of much more than receiving and giving instruction. There are different tiers and components of education that make an education as valuable as it is today. Anyone can receive an education, but few can actually become truly educated.

To be educated is to have a coherent understanding of a skill or topic with the ability to apply them into real-world situations. This requires an education of many years in order to master a common set of skills and ideas. The education one receives is comprised of traditional school and real world experiences. For example, a professor of statistics has spent many years studying and learning. That is receiving an education. The professor’s ability to teach and inform others about statistics is proof that she is truly educated. The professor uses critical thinking, problem solving, resourcefulness, and a plethora of other skills to inform and educate her students; it is her students’ responsibility to become truly educated by using the skills their professor used in lessons in order to inform others. There is an obligation of the next generation to receive an education and to become truly educated like the one previous because the education of a current generation dictates how progressive and the forward thinkers we can become. There is a distinct difference between having an education and being truly educated.

Being able to spit out facts about one or many topics does not capture the image of an educated person. The AP United States History course has traditionally been content heavy. The teacher would try to cram in as many facts about our nation’s history into a less than 8 month time slot, with hopes that each student retained the information well enough to be successful on the exam. This was not the fault of the teacher or the school system, but it was the fault of the college board. They did not strategically craft the course enough to gear to certain skills one needs to be educated. This is an example of students receiving an education because they are learning something new everyday, but are they students who take the course become truly educated and well rounded students? The curriculum and AP course writers considered this question when rewriting the exam in the most recent years. Skills like critical thinking and self direction have been proven to provide a better foundation for a truly educated person. These skills have also been implemented into Farmington High School’s “Vision of the Graduate”. They realized that a content-heavy course was not going to benefit students as much as a skills-based course would. The skills that I have developed in the class having proved to me and helped me establish what I think is a truly educated person.

A major component of a truly educated person is life skills. Educated people are commonly well rounded. Education is also learning from the world around you. Without external influences, people would not learn about simple things like laundry and even mowing a lawn. Although these tasks are very simple, learning them requires the knowledge of another individual who spreads what they know on to another person. That is the concept of being truly educated. The understanding of global affairs, taxes, family, and many other things all consist of one large umbrella of education. Applying this knowledge is where someone becomes truly educated. To become truly educated time needs to be taken. This does not happen overnight, and people need to realize this.

Nowadays, people are not learning to be educated, they are learning to be correct, receive the highest grades, and then make the most money. These people are being put at a disadvantage for not growing into truly educated individuals. The numbers emphasis is taking its toll on society, and it is blinding us from what is important, and what the sole purpose is of education. Its sole purpose is to produce individuals who are prepared for the next stage of their lives. It is to produce educated individuals who are ready to influence the world with their knowledge and application. It is not to earn the highest or most prestigious grade. On occasion, some individuals are missing half of the story when they think of what it is to be educated. The real world does matter, and it is waiting for truly educated people to inspire it and take it to the next level.