Speculating about Education

What is the point of an education?

My husband and mother in law are probably going to  each have a heart attack as they read that question being that they are educators.

But seriously! Why is it important?

Is it so that you can make yourself a better life?  Have a better job? 
Why is it important to learn?

Let me explain. I loved school.  I kind of wish I could go back and take classes.  I love to learn new things, I love to read, and I love math–albeit simple math, but math all the same.  I love history and geography and simple psychology and botany.  Pretty much a little of everything.

I am trying to understand what makes learning as much as possible so important.  Why is it important that we keep up with the rest of the world or excel beyond itd?  Why is there a need for global competitiveness?  Why is it important who does things first?  Russia launched Sputnik before the USA launched a successful mission in space and everyone is still standing.  The USA may have created the atomic bomb (yea us!  isn’t that great!–please hear the sarcasm!) first, but that didn’t prevent other countries from ending up with it.

Most Asian countries may exceed the USA in academic measures in most areas, but why is that even important?  What difference does it make? 

I believe that learning IS important, but how does it make you a better person?  I know it’s important to be able to read so that you can communicate.  It’s important to be able to do calculations for finances and such.  It’s important to measure correctly  to be able to build something useful.  It’s important to understand things about your body to try to stay healthy–or for docs to know EVERYTHING about the body to be able to help you get well if you are sick or broken.

But is an educated person better than an uneducated one? 

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About giannarae

I am a child of God who has been given the humbling job of being a wife and a mother to 4. Those whom He has given to me are my Sweet Peas and Buddies and one Honey.
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10 Responses to Speculating about Education

  1. Jess says:

    There are complex answers to this for sure, but the one thought that I have at the moment… getting an education should instill a love of learning. For the subjects that interest them, kids should experience joy when they dig in and learn, and that is something that follows us through life. There is always something that “turns” each of us on, and makes us want to dig deeper.

  2. Leah says:

    (Love the birds, Gianna!)

    OK, I'll try…

    Having a relative education level higher than the rest of the world is important because better education drives innovation and productivity which drives economies/business. (Of course there are lots more factors in this equation)It does make our country better if the people are better educated (relative to the rest of the world) because education is enlightenment many times. Learning about communication styles, social structures, history, biology, math, all help our brains make connections while in everyday life. If US people are better educated than the rest of the world (IF) then they may function better. Especially in our free society. Plus, if our education system is better, we will be educating a higher percentage of our population. Which is important because then we are able to see which individuals are suited for which careers. And it isn't important that every individual succeed to the utmost in the education system, but that everyone have a great opportunity.

    It is important for our country to do things first because we WILL get left behind if we don't keep striving. If some other country had come up with all these things first and started pulling away in the invention/innovation race, the top businesses and scientists and whatever else people in that field would move to that country and a snowball effect would happen. It's like the best law school. Soon, the best law students start going to the best law school and the other law schools suffer because the best students are leaving. (I'm not arguing that this has never happened to the US or that it isn't happening now, nor am I arguing that it IS happening now.)

    I hope you read my arguments as “This is why a country would strive for these things” not “This is why the US is so great and other countries stink”.

  3. Hadassah says:

    My mom homeschooled my younger siblings. She found that it didn't really matter what subject matter they were learning, just that they were doing something with their brains that caused them to learn how to think, process, and grow.

    I think the pressure of “much education” today is actually less effective as kids don't seem to remember anything of the millions of things crammed into them. And who defines what a “well-educated” person is? There are 'uneducated' individuals who have become more brilliant than university grads.

    In the scheme of eternity, I think the essentials of love, relationship, and God far outweigh any need to be a brilliant scholar. That's all most of the world had until this last millenia and yet the world kept on spinning!

    So I guess I agree some learning in some form is good, but it doesn't have to be in the stereotyped forms. And in the end, a life well lived in integrity and faith matters the most.

  4. I think about this question every day at work. Two of my co-workers are men in their 40s/50s (I am really bad at pegging ages. LOL) who fix things that need fixing, maintain the grounds, drive residents to the grocery store and doctors appointments, etc. They are wonderful, wonderful men and the residents simply love them.
    I don't know this for certain, but I am quite sure neither one of these men is college-educated. They aren't scholarly 'brainiacs', but Edgewood would not be the same without them.

  5. Love this…because as a home school mom I have questioned “what is true education?” So many things I learned…spent hours and hours on…I never used. Now days the new info is growing so fast that by the time you learn it it has changed.
    I guess for “me” bottom lines stops with our relationship to Christ! If my children walk with Him and love Him with all their mind and soul…then that is true education!
    The beginning of all knowledge is the fear of the Lord!
    Enjoyed your thoughts!!!

  6. gianna says:

    I think I agree with all of you a little. God gave us a brain to use. We need to use it to strengthen it and the more we know usually means the more we understand. We want to exercise our brains and make them useful.
    But why is it so important that we keep up with each other?

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is not important to keep up with other people. It is important that we love God, let Him help us love others and cooperate with Him in becoming like Christ. I assume that Jesus had the standard 'education' available to him (which was probably important at some societal level – for others). But who He was had nothing to do with 'education.' Your questions are pertinent and very important. I think about them at school. That is part of why “I teach life skills of organization and paying attention to detail,” not just nouns and writing.
    -Bjoyful

  8. Mamma Bird says:

    The only reason I can think of is sometimes I use competitiveness when homeschooling my boys. Maybe they don't feel like learning to spell but they don't want their cousin to know to know how and not them so they learn it.

    So maybe competition is motivating for some people.

  9. Carey says:

    Someone in my small group just this week said that we are to be educated so that we can read the Bible for ourselves. That's why we educate our children. So that they will eventually, independently of anyone else, be able to read the Bible and grow. That sold me!

  10. Jenny Aust says:

    Brad and I have had MANY conversations about education. Even though none of our kids are in “school aged” yet, we see the effects of school/homework/AP classes have on our students. We want to do everything in our power to protect our children from feeling so overwhelmed by school/learning/homework. Learning takes place every day. It doesn't have to happen just in a classroom. From an eternal perspective, high school GPA or a college degree really mean nothing. My goal right now is to be “delight” centered with my kids. Whatever they love or take delight in, that's what we'll read and talk about.

    Umm, and this coming from an educator with a master's degree! : )

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