Does Having More Education Mean Having More Knowledge Than Others?
Knowledge and education seem to go hand in hand and seem to be synonymous. When searching for a mate, a good education is often high in the criteria list. Most certainly, it makes a good impression on a bride’s family to see that her fiancé has graduated from a college. People might assume that he has great income and supreme knowledge if he has a formal education. He could be a self-righteous, unfaithful jerk. That is invisible next to his certificate that reads, M.D., Ph.D. The Merriam-Webster.com definition of knowledge is “(1): the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association”. The definition of education is, “the knowledge, skill, and understanding that you get from attending college or a university”. Ironically, the word knowledge is included in this definition. It is almost misleading because an educated person might not know everything. According to Pellegrino and Hilton,“individuals with higher levels of education appear to gain more knowledge and skills on the job than do those with lower levels of education” (81). Furthermore, a person who is educated might not know how to maximize their potential. Hopefully by the end of this document, it will be well understood that having an education does not always mean having more knowledge.
The following examples are of three educated individuals who did not benefit from being “smart” despite how much they knew. After floating across the graduation stage, Tammy went on to get a job teaching in junior high school. She made more money in her first year than what she had as a struggling college student. Consequently, she did not realize that she was a severely underpaid teacher. To make matters worse, Tammy went into terrible debt by opening countless credit card accounts. She had to leave earlier for work in order to take the bus because the bank repossessed her hot, new car. She was the smartest science education major in her graduating class. However, she did not know how to spend money wisely.
The second example is that of a super intelligent child. His highly educated parents provided him with the best education. He went to prestigious summer programs which prepared him to be the youngest chess champion in the nation. At only ten years old, he received several private school scholarship offers. One day he was playing alone in a park right beside his home. A gentleman walked near the boy with an adorable little puppy that had beautiful blue eyes. The boy was totally captivated by him. The man bent down to introduce himself. He offered to let him play with the puppy and said he had three others in his truck. The boy was even more excited and followed the man to his truck. His body was never found.
A final example is equally tragic as the second. Pastor Jim was always proud of his beautiful, soprano singing daughter. Her name was Janice. She lit up the church each Sunday with her voice and all of the young men in the congregation were hoping to be her suitor. Her father kept her away from boys and punished her for every time she asked about boys. One man in particular had loved her since he was a little kid living next door to Janice’s family. While growing up, she thought that his love for her was a sign of weakness. In addition, her father would never let the two of them spend more than 10 minutes together unless there were choir rehearsals. As an adult, Janice could not figure out how to bring her boyfriend home and make a good impression. Jim was always boasting proudly about his daughter who graduated from a great university with honors. When she returned from studying abroad, her master’s degree and fluency in three languages brought about job interviews with the CIA and other government entities. While getting ready for a promising second interview, she had to use extra makeup to cover the bruises around her eye. Her boyfriend went to her apartment to apologize for bruising her again and beg her forgiveness. He arrived with a friend. She wanted to end their relationship but was afraid to make him angry. After she fearfully accepted his apology, he insisted that she sleep with his friend. When she resisted, he punched her in the ribs. She screamed in terror as her $200 suit was ripped off by both of them. Too bad she ignored the less attractive boy at the church who had worshipped her since they were kids. The handsome boyfriend with a great body and flashy car had always kept her attention. Her life became consumed by abuse. The family planned her memorial service a few days later.
Every situation here featured well educated people who seemed to have so much knowledge. However, it is what they did not know which led to their problems. Unfortunately, graduating from a fancy college does not have anything to do with knowing and applying money management skills. A chess champion was unaware of basic street smarts that might have saved his life. A preacher who knows the Holy Bible inside and out went overboard to protect his daughter from boys. Teaching her how to choose the right man (or recognize the danger signs of an abusive man) could have saved her life. Let’s not forget the highly educated parents who did not think to teach their son about the danger of pedophilic strangers who start off playing nice. The world is full of “educated fools”. Having more education does not always mean having knowledge about important things like good common sense. It is not a substitute for wisdom and does not erase the vulnerability that comes with being naive. Some folks never go to college, but they can cook better than the highest paid chefs. There are people who didn’t finish high school, and yet they have launched million dollar business deals. While there is no intent to impose stereotypes, the point is that being educated extends beyond the classroom. Even still, it does not guarantee that a person will know enough to solve major problems that are not introduced in traditional classrooms.
“education.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster 2014.
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“knowledge” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster 2014.
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Pellegrino, James W., and Margaret L. Hilton. "Education for Life and Work: Developing
Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century."
National Academies Press. (2012): 81. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. <http://www.hewlett.org/uploads/documents/Education_for_Life_and_Work.pdf>.