Education to Learning

I recently read an article about the difference of education and learning. It talks about how education is something that we learn. It’s the process of passing on the skills from one generation to the next. Learning is a basic skill that we use to help us with new information. However, how do we tie the two together?

You can go to any student and they will tell you about something that they love. It could be about the weather, a new video game they have, maybe even something that they learned at school. That last one is tough to get out of some students though. Why? Why is something that we consider very important for a child’s education one of the last things that students want to talk about?Why do parents get a response of “I don’t know” or “nothing” when they asked what happened at school? How can we get students to start going home and saying, “Hey, guess what we did today!”

According to the article, education is considered formal and coming from a different source. Learning is an individual process. It is our duty as teachers to educate the students, but for them to want to learn. Students must be involved in order for them to want to learn. So is a student sitting in a chair listening to a teacher blab on about a subject for 30 – 45 minutes education? Is the student learning anything with this process.

I feel that students need to be in charge of their learning. I teach math, so it can be difficult for a student to grab ahold of what they’re learning. However, it can be done. Just the other day I was showing a group of students in Algebra what was coming up. Most of them were on equations with variables on two sides. I took it one step further and showed them that they are going to be doing equations with two unknowns. They were a little hesitant and scared at first. Then I showed them three different ways to get the same answer. I had students grabbing this and taking it in and asking for more questions! Yes, I had students that were not at a point in their curriculum yet, wanting more. I told them that the so called “boring” stuff they were doing right now would turn into this. They just need to get that base to help them get there.

Are they getting the education that is required? Yes! Are they grasping their learning and going forward? Yes!

I feel that it is our duty to find a way to incorporate what the students are being educated while with us and turn it in a way that they will want to learn it. Too many students are being told “because you have to know it”. They don’t understand why. Do we as teachers understand why they need to know it? I have told my students that I stopped taking Calculus after the first semester my junior year of high school because I wasn’t going into math in college. I then refused to take Calculus my freshman year of college and stayed in College Algebra because I wasn’t going into a career that would use math. Now here I am teaching math. So why do you need to know it? You never know when you’ll need it for one.

Can we make this possible in all areas of teaching? Can we get students to be excited about school and their learning? Can we help educate students by them being involved in their learning? I feel that we can! How can we do this? What does it look like? I’m thinking of how we educate students and if it’s the best way for them to learn. Are there things that we can do differently? I believe there are. I KNOW there are.


About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
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