Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Post nine: How important do you think education is?

Let me see how I can put this elegantly. Education is the beating heart of the civilized world. And I don't mean necessarily mathematics although they are important for understanding how things work and I don't necessarily mean history although it is important for understanding how we got where we are, and I don't necessarily mean literacy although it is an important tool for learning new things. I mean learning about things and most especially learning how to be a critical thinker. I think education is important as an antidote to ignorance. The more you learn the more you know, the more you know the more you can do.

It is important to learn, not only for the sake of making money. In fact income is probably the least important result of an education. More important is the ability to make the world better which is impossible without education. You cannot stick your head in the sand and pretend that if you ignore the world's problems, or don't learn about them, they don't exist.  And everybody can learn something. I'm not necessarily saying you have to be a genius, we're all equipped with our own special learning styles and most people learn best in different ways. That's something you learn in psychology, that there are different learning styles, and that different people learn best in some combination of those styles. Just because it is hard to teach someone, doesn't make it impossible for them to learn. All that means is that you have to adjust your method, or what you're teaching them.

Right now I'm reading a book about helping your children realize their true strengths so they learn to the best of their ability and make the most out of their education. I think this is important too. Children want to learn. They don't necessarily want to learn what we want them to, but they want to learn and explore and find stuff out. How many children surpass their elders in their understanding of technology, for instance? Most children you meet will ask an abundance of questions too, this is part of the learning process. What happens to this desire to learn? It gets killed by incompetent teaching. It gets stifled by adults who mean well. And in most children it never fully develops through adolescence into adulthood.

In summary, I believe education is very import. Education is what keeps us marching forward. Properly educating our children and our young adults is what will ensure the survival of our species. Perhaps it will one day lead to a world without war and poverty although that seems like it must be a long way off.

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