What is education? Education is the practice of being taught things, and learning new skills. Education happens at school and in university but it can also happen at home, in the workplace and through life experience more generally.
The word ‘education’ comes from the Latin ‘educare’ which means ‘to draw out’. This etymology is very interesting. It suggests that education is a matter of uncovering, drawing out and developing someone’s hidden talents rather than simply filling their minds with knowledge that comes from outside.
The importance of education in life.
1. Knowledge is valuable.
Knowledge is something valuable for all human beings. Deep down, almost all humans love learning for its own sake as well as for the practical benefits that it brings. As such, education is very important as it brings this valuable commodity – knowledge – into our lives. Education also brings us more freedom and power. As the phrase goes, ‘knowledge is power’, and education enables us to make well informed decisions about our lives rather than just relying on what other people tell us is best for us. Education teaches us to think for ourselves!
2. In the workplace.
A good education is needed for many careers. A doctor, for example, will need to be well educated in the field of medicine whilst a builder will have needed to have a practical education in how to create new structures. Good math and literacy levels are useful in almost all professions and so an all round education will get a person off to a good start in life.
3. The social side of education.
The educational context (for example, the school classroom) is also a wonderful environment for meeting new people and making new friends. Many people make friends at school who stay their friends for the rest of their lives. There is something about learning together that consolidates friendships.
4. Being able to teach others.
We should always pass on whatever skills we have so that we can help others, too. A good education enables us to educate other people. Whether we use our musical education to teach children to play an instrument, or whether we become an academic lecturing in a university, our education will become a gift that just keeps on giving.
5. Sharpening our minds.
The more we learn, the easier learning becomes. Once our mind develops that aptitude for absorbing new facts it becomes much more efficient at learning things. Studies have shown that learning a language helps to sharpen a person’s brain at any age, and indeed any kind of education keeps a person’s mind active and flexible – ready to take in new facts, mull them over, and come up with informed opinions about the world. That is why it is so important to continue educating ourselves throughout our entire lives.
No matter what stage of your education you are at, there are always more things to learn. Why not try and experience the joys of education every day, whether by reading an interesting new book or signing up for a course on a topic that interests you?