The moment you become aware of your existence, you start learning. In school, you are confined into a system that you trust will teach everything you should know. But, do you really know what education is or its role in your life? Find out what educators, writers, and philosophers have to say about it.
1. The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. ~Sydney J. Harris
2. When you know better you do better. ~Maya Angelou
Education allows you to see better
When you learn about something, you understand its nature. This leads to awareness and appreciation and these two things govern your actions toward it. The spotlight that you think is pointing at you, becomes a magnifying glass that allows you to see things as they are, turning biases into understanding.
3. A good book is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility what human nature is of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness. ~Susan Sontag
4. I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college. ~Ray Bradbury
To read books is to educate oneself
If education makes you aware of things, it also makes you aware about yourself. A single book may be the impetus for understanding the self, its capabilities, weaknesses, and potentials. Despite the existence of classrooms and assignments, taking the initiative to educate the self by reading books is one of the best things you can do.
5. The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. ~Dr. Seuss
Learning brings you to places
When you read books, you learn about the experiences of other people. You learn where they live, how they eat and speak, what their aspirations in life are. You visit the far corners of the world, take part in an adventure to capture the biggest whale, and eat delicious-sounding meals. You also learn about yourself through the heroes of the books you read. Hopefully, these things you learn in a book inspire you to seek your own way to life.
6. You can get all A’s and still flunk life. ~Walker Percy
7. We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation-rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Having been educated does not mean having learned about life
Compared to what you can learn in your lifetime, school education is nothing. So after graduation, instead of feeling great and ready to conquer the world, feel humble as if you were a freshman once again, ready to be educated by the outside world.
But this time, it’s different. No one tells you what to do or nobody’s instructions make a real bearing to how you live your life. You make more mistakes than you did in school, but you also champion your own battles in life. It is only when you are not guided anymore when you start learning about life.
8. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle
Learning aids the gaining of wisdom
Education is not just about learning things or knowing that learning took place while in school. It is mainly about using the knowledge you acquired to make choices – ones that benefit not just yourself but also other people.
9. Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil. ~C.S. Lewis
Education should be guided with values
Ask yourself – what is the main purpose of your education? Change it to a question that asks you to reflect inwardly – how do you use your education? There may be a subject called “Values Education” or “Conduct” or whatever it’s called in your school and lessons under these subjects talk about how to become better members of the community.
However, these lessons can only do so much that’s why many subjects have an “ethics” portion after each topic. And you, as a responsible person, must pay utmost attention to that tiny portion.
10. Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. ~John Dewey
11. The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives. ~Robert Maynard Hutchins
12. I go to school, but I never learn what I want to know. ~Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Learning is not confined in school
The best teacher you’ll ever have is life. Going to school is just a phase you need to go through while you’re young, but learning will not end there.
And even while you’re in school, you will receive education from things and people other than your books and professors. Being dumped, losing and gaining friends, volunteering, and failing tests are good teachers. Basically, you learn from making mistakes and achieving goals through hard work.
The challenge for educators, however, is to take on Hutchins’ sentiment on preparing students to continue learning after school.
13. Education is the process of driving a set of prejudices down your throats. ~Martin H. Fischer
14. Knowledge will bring you the opportunity to make a difference ~Claire Fagin
Education allows you to become better members of the society
As we have said before, education turns biases into understanding. By knowing better, you eliminate prejudices and accept the plain fact that people are different from one another. By knowing better, you are equipped with the opportunity to create positive changes, innovate solutions to problems, or influence others to be better as well.
15. Whatever is good to know is difficult to learn. ~Greek Proverb
Learning takes time
There are no shortcuts to learning. It’s a process that takes time and it is when you’ve gone through the process that you can be considered learned. This is why there is a graduate school, a post-graduate school, and practice for the rest of your life because it takes time. If you’re passionate about knowledge, you will be educating yourself all your life. Shortcuts are for the impatient.
16. Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. ~John W. Gardner
17. Children must be taught how to think, not what to think. ~Margaret Mead
Real education teaches the how, not the what
Have you seen the Bollywood movie 3 Idiots? Remember the scene where a straight-A student delivered a very funny and insulting speech to the school because he memorized it instead of understanding it?
Many think that when you’re good at memorizing things, you’re considered intelligent, not knowing that it’s just a part of the whole deal. Many schools, sadly, spoon-feed students with information rather than influence curiosity that will lead them to find out for themselves.
Advice: If you want to be more inspired about learning, while laughing and maybe crying, watch this film.
18. What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook. ~Henry David Thoreau
Education can also interfere with the natural scheme of things
Often times, the more people know, the more complicated lives become that they forget that some things are better left alone. When man learned how to be resourceful, he exploited the environment. Remember that it’s not the knowledge you have, but it’s how you use that knowledge that will lead you to a better life, without affecting other things negatively.
19. Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each. ~Plato
A single-cut system of educating cannot be for all
Education systems were originally created to ensure a whole nation gets educated for it to prosper. They do not, however, ensure the realization of each student’s potential. If you’re an educator, well, hear Plato. And if you’re a student, do not compete or let bad grades weigh you down, but find your own way of learning your teachers’ lessons.
20. Education would be much more effective if its purpose was to ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl should know how much they do not know, and be imbued with a lifelong desire to know it. ~William Haley
21. You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love. ~Julia Child
Education does not end
Wouldn’t William Haley’s sentiment allow you to question education systems wherever you are in the world? Does your education, indeed, teach you how to desire acquiring knowledge after your long years in school?
Or, does going to school give you the idea that when it’s over, you never have to subject yourself to the thought of the classroom again? Well, guess what, with each breath you take, you learn. But you make it pleasurable if you don’t stop desiring it.
As for Julia Child’s take on learning, I think she’s trying to say that passion allows you to never cease learning.
What do you think?