There are as many definitions for ‘education’ as there are people interested in some aspect of it. My own is simple and one that I have found to be effective.  Education is learning to learn.

My own education followed more or less that definition after the initial schooling was over. Post school achievements for me were all autodidactic, except for my Masters Degree, which by an accident I acquired by attending regular classes in an institution of learning.

And, this is the important point that I wish to drive home in this post, the Bachelor’s Degree and the Masters Degree that I acquired, in my humble opinion, equipped me for getting admission to the institute of management and getting a job via campus recruitment respectively, AND NOTHING ELSE of practical value, except that both enabled me to learn how to learn.

Post my professional qualification my employer took great pains to train me to be an effective manager and to this day I acknowledge that debt as being a greater one than my other academic achievements.

And more importantly for my life, the education that I received in our traditional way of the Guru-Shishya Parampara in learning Vedanta from a remarkable teacher and his teacher, has enabled me to live a peaceful and productive life.

All these would not have been possible for me had I not been prepared for learning to learn, by a very remarkable system of grounding called the Montessori method of primary education in my childhood.

Having shared my own experiences, I would simply add that I am appalled at what happens now in our country in the field of education, particularly in the higher levels where we are producing graduates and post graduates who are unemployable.  There are some notable exceptions to this rule but they are the ones that select the cream from the hordes that are churned out in the system by a highly competitive selection procedure.  For the rest, the less said the better.

I am glad that my own life is at its last stages where I don’t have to compete to learn anything.

This topic was suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently six of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The five other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaMaxi, and Shackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

24 thoughts on “Education.”

  1. Education should be a process of stimulating and awakening people at the core of their being, thereby enabling them to sense the reality of interconnections, to appreciate the infinite potential in each person, in order to unlock and develop the power within to create happiness.
    People are not being educated; they’re being tested for levels of obedience. School is about memorizing what you are told short term and repeating it. The bulk of how you are graded is by completing daily work. Obedience is, in fact, work force’s most important quality in a worker bee.
    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” -Albert Einstein
    “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” -Alvin Toffler
    “The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.” -Albert Einstein
    “Children should be taught to question everything. To question everything they read, everything they hear.. children should be taught to question authority. Parents never teach children to question authority. Because parents are authority figures themselves and they don’t wanna undermine their own bullshit inside the household. So they stroke the kid and the kid strokes them, and they all stroke each other and they all grow up all fucked up and then come to shows like this.” -George Carlin (in his final tour, ‘It’s Bad For Ya’, 2008)
    “Governments don’t want a population capable of critical thinking, they want obedient workers, people just smart enough to run the machines and just dumb enough to passively accept their situation.” -George Carlin

  2. To pick up on one point of the previous commentator (the George Carlin quote). Yes, children should be taught “to question authority”. Unrelentingly so. I was lucky in that my parents did question authority. Leading by example. Which didn’t mean that they (particularly my father) didn’t try to exercise HIS authority over his brood. So, we questioned him. Well, I did. Oh, did I (and still do) laugh when I told him: “You reap what you sow. You can’t have it both ways. Either you want your children to question authority or you don’t.” He did.

    And then there is that beautiful concept of “natural” authority. It’s like charm. You either have it or you don’t.

    Ursula recently posted..The early hours

    1. The natural authority is best described by J K Galbraith as The Power Of Concern and he points out how it describes the power exercised by the mother as opposed to the Power of Position exercised by the father in a patriarchal society.

  3. my first ever paying client has taken great trouble to have her son attend a montessori school and she has become a truly wonderful friend. it’s a loose association, i know but i will forever associate montessori with something beautiful!
    kylie recently posted..A Walk to Beautiful

  4. i had a beloved and wise grandmother. she took care of me while my mother worked.
    gram loved books. all kinds of books. she was curious about everything.
    she gave me the gift of loving to read and an insatiable curiosity of the world and all the people in it. that’s all.
    she taught me to read well before i started school.
    she was wonderful for a child! … as you say … “learning to learn.”

    the only thing i really can say i learned of value in formal education was the ability to type… and to know my multiplication tables by heart. they both have been helpful. i’m finding out now from researched and well made documentaries that SO MUCH of the so called “facts” in my school books simply were not true. amazing that they pushed that drivel into us.
    and i’m sure they’re still doing it.
    if i had children today of school age i would use all the wonderful tools out there available to everybody now… and i would home school.

    a college or university degree (unless for a doctor or other credentialed profession) is simply “a foot in the door” for a job. and not even that so much anymore. they’re sacking groceries here with masters degrees.
    i’d say the art of being organized is also one of the things that’s most important. and that’s not even taught that i know of.
    our public school system is in such a mess now… at all levels…
    i’m not sure what the solution is.
    i wish they would teach:
    manners. penmanship. basic math. frugality and how to budget money. organizational skills. stewardship of nature. love of wildlife and the value of protecting it. philosophy. science. and… TRUE history. not the whitewashed version.
    ok. will stop now.
    apparently nobody ever taught me how to shut up. LOLOL!!!
    tammyj recently posted..meant to be

    1. I would dare anybody to teach you how to shut up. You just have too many bodyguards around you for someone to accept! College education has just become acquiring a degree or two Tammy. Just read the rest of the comments to see how much people are fed up with modern higher education.

  5. Years – actually decades – ago my namesake uncle Chuck told me that the only value businesses placed on a college degree was that the individual was willing to spend the time and had the ability to be trained. That seems to be your theme. While in a perfect world responder 1 is 100% correct alas we do not live in a perfect world and capitalism run amok seems to be the order of the day. Too much of what we do is “dictated” by large corporations – amd if we do not educate ourselves adequately it will only get worse.

    1. Yes, it performs the function of the screening process. I presume that by educating ourselves you mean to acquire qualifications. I agree but that is precisely my point. Acquiring that does not make one educated.

  6. I was interested in learning from a young age and was often criticized for being bookish and lazy. It never stopped me. So for me it wasn’t taught, it was innate. I still remember the excitement of teaching myself calculus in high school (my school didn’t teach it). Wow! What neat stuff there is to learn. And it just goes on and on.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Being Prepared

  7. Education can come in so many ways. We can learn from experience, from books, from example, from formal training… Whatever the method and whatever the subject, I think that education is the key to enriching one’s life. At this point, I must be grateful for my own interest in life-long learning and try to support education for all.
    Mother recently posted..Anti-American?

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