What is education?

What is education? What should it look like? We’ve all sat in the school to be “educated”. Is that all it should be? Think about jobs that you have had. Do you have to learn the job before you can “do” the job?

Back in the 1800s, and before, kids went to school then came home and helped with chores. Animals had to be fed and taken care of. Gardens and fields needed to be cared for. School was out for the summer so that children could help in the fields. Does that mean they were not learning during June, July, and August? Of course not!! Children were learning just as much if not more during those three months as they did the other nine months of the year. Also, some schools let out for a month during the winter because of hunting and bad winter weather. So what is education?

I believe that getting an education is on-going. I have graduated from high school and have my Bachelor of Science in Education, but does this mean that I am “educated”? According to McPherson High School, Emporia State University, and the state of Kansas, yes. In fact, I’m so educated that the Kansas State Board of Education says I can teach children all subjects kindergarten through ninth grade, specifically mathematics to grades five to eight. Would I say that I am educated? I would have to say, yes. . . . a little.

I would say that I do know quite a bit. In fact, while teaching, I surprise myself sometimes with how much I do know. However, there is so much that I do not know. For instance, I cannot tell you what makes up water. Okay, so I can tell you that it is H2O.  I can also tell you that those letters mean it’s two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. Can I actually mix these up and make water? No, I cannot, but I can turn a faucet on. I also know that there are people out there that can mix hydrogen and oxygen and make water!

So what exactly is my point here? You tell me. What is education? Is it kids sitting inside four walls being told what to do and how to do it? Would our world be able to run without those four walls? I am going to be looking at what education means to me and how I want to educate the students that I encounter. I hope that you take this journey with me as I try and figure out what education means and how I want to educate others.


About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
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5 Responses to What is education?

  1. Michael G. says:

    Education is the study of the world around us and how we fit in and contribute to it. Although ongoing, most of it is done young when we get a sense of ourselves and the world around us.

    • Mindelei Wuori says:

      I think something that we need to ask ourselves is where does the lifelong learner begin and the business of education end. Where do they mesh? Do they always see eye-to-eye? Does our current system serve its population? So many questions…thank you for allowing some of them to come to mind.

    • I understand what you are saying. I just think that what we consider what has to be taught and how may be a little skewed. I think there are too many people out there that think education is only done inside the four walls.

  2. Tim Holt says:

    Maybe a better question is “What is a good education?”

  3. Pingback: A Great Leader’s Last Day | Educationally Minded

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