Education is considered to be one of the most important values in the modern society. Nowadays education is essential to obtain a good job and become respectable member of the community. Many people treat it as some kind of certificate, degree or diploma. It is assumed that people, who managed to finish their studies, are well-educated. Nevertheless, the vision of education is changing with the globalization processes and technological progress. People are willing to take advantage of the innovative possibilities through distant learning and self-studies. The society is facing a shift from the traditional education to more constraint-free and flexible, as today those who really want to learn can do it for free. Nowadays education is not only a formal diploma or a process of acquiring knowledge, but rather conscious and purposeful process of developing innate skills, critical thinking and improving one’s understanding of the world.
Sydney J. Harris in the essay “What true education should do” argues that true nature of education is not acquiring the ideas and facts from the outer word, but rather addressing the inner powers and extracting the true knowledge from person’s own mind. He claims that the true process of learning does not depend on formal education, as everyone possesses inborn ideas and innate knowledge. The author disagrees with current approach towards education, as it is basically informing students by giving them a huge load of unnecessary facts. Therefore, a true purpose of education is helping a person find a way to elicit inner knowledge, to let it evoke and develop.
Barbara Jordan in her essay “Becoming educated” defines education as a process of constant learning how to think and reason. She describes the hardships she had to face being black female in the law school and explains how it influenced her attitudes towards learning. As she had to pay enormous attention to her studies, she did not feel like she learns enough. The author considers the process of learning to be very challenging, as one has to pay a lot of efforts to achieve satisfying results. Her views partially differ from the views of Harris, as she emphasizes the value of efforts; however, they agree upon the question of inner capabilities of mind, rather than acquiring knowledge.
Alexander Calandra in his essay “Angel on a pin” argues the traditional approach to education, emphasizing its practical aspects. He states that modern education tends to teach the theory with all its connections and structures, but does not give a deep understanding of the processes with their possible applications. He provides the example of a student, who did not want to answer in a conventional way, even though he knew the answer. The student wanted to show how to apply theoretical knowledge creatively, go out of the typical frames, Calandra’s attitude challenges a different aspect of education than Harris and Jordan do, but the three have one thing in common – they oppose traditional approach to education and justify critical and creative way of learning.
Education may seem as a rapidly changing notion, but it is not exactly true. It is attitude toward it that changes, rather than the process itself. True education should be purposeful and persistent as argued by Jordan, creative as stated by Calandra and critical according to Harris. Education requires patience, unconventional approach and creativity; it is a process if conscious activity in order to develop critical skills, reasoning ability and desire to learn both from the inside and outside world.
Calandra, Alexander. “Angels on a Pin.” Saturday Review. 21 Dec. 1968. Web.
Harris, Sydney J. “What True Education Should Do” The thoughtful reader. Ed. Feldstadt, M. C. New York: Harcourt, 1994. 2-3. Web.
Jordan, Barbara. "Becoming Educated” Title of Collection. Ed. Editor's Name(s). City of Publication: Publisher, Year. Page range of entry. Web.