Are Education and Schooling the Same Thing?

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The most brilliant minds throughout history, know that certainty is a foolish assumption. Any opinion, any fact, has been proven and disproven countless times throughout history. In schools, we are taught without a doubt that our universe is heliocentric. Each planet revolves around the fiery ball of gas that we call the sun. Yet 500 years ago, students learned with equal credence that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun revolves about it. In a world with so much classified as unknown how can we be sure of anything?

Often times becoming educated is seen as a synonym for schooling. A truly educated person must have the ability to think and inquire, no matter how much certainty is presented from a simple topic. Often times in school this idea is suppressed, and the main goal of the school is simply to transfer knowledge from one generation to the next. Although the growth and building off of ideas from the past is essential, it is equally as important to acquire the necessary skills to make one’s own discoveries. The attempt to learn and develop new perspectives allows for the synthesis of logical opinions. During our years in school, we are taught in a survey style classroom. Broad range courses cover incredible amounts of information such as all of United States History. It is impossible to cover 300 years of American History in a 10 month period of time. Classes as such always have a deeper meaning. Rather than memorizing the entire history of a country, the skills such as writing, synthesis, and development are what makes the class worthwhile. A person who can ramble off countless facts about any given subject may be impressive, but means nothing without the skills to analyze this information. With a strong foundation of knowledge in multiple subjects and the desire to learn and analyze, one can develop their own sound opinions independent of others “certainties.”

Rational development of opinions through learning new things is necessary for us today because of the highly polarized and dangerous state of our world. Some may argue that inherent ethics and morals skew the opinions of thinkers, creating bias and skepticism rather than promoting facts. In reality, those who question everything will form their own morals based on their perceptions and the truth in what they learn. A dissociation between logic and morals is obviously not beneficial to the betterment of society but for an educated person, one’s morals are integrated into their opinions. This relationship creates an ability to keep an open mind to changes and new information, and allows analysis to play a key role rather than a set list of morals. The ability to learn and promote logic is imperative. To be educated means to have the desire to learn and to develop one’s thinking, in a way that accentuates truth.

An awareness of the surroundings, and global climate is necessary when someone is perceived as educated. In different places and different situations, people of different cultures will always be there. In many different places, a strong knowledge of any given thing means nothing without the ability to communicate that intelligence. Especially between cultures, the ability to communicate changes, and many different things will insult or change someone’s view of another. In order to be educated the ability to communicate with all types of people is crucial. The global community today is so interconnected that communication is key. With emails, text messages, video conferencing, and phone calls, any mistake can alter perception and discredit someone. The ability to communicate is crucial.

Education is a broad term, and there is no way to accurately describe all facets of the word. It is a constant process that requires effort and progress throughout a person’s life. Becoming educated is a lifelong endeavor and is a fulfilling yet difficult goal. The accumulation of skills such as analysis, inquiry and logical thought processes combined with a developing set of morals, an open mind, and an awareness of one’s surroundings promote a constant development of thought and consequently characterize a person as truly educated.