Lee Wilkinson

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I challenge you to Define Education

I am passionate about Education, but with all of us asking questions about the system and so on one question has been nagging at me, the definition of Education?

  • May 4 2011: I think education is continuous accumulation of knowledge about the physical world, individualism and society for the purpose of creating awareness about human condition, social progress and needs of the mankind.
  • May 4 2011: Knowledge dissemination
  • May 28 2011: Besides the pusue of knowledge and arming us with the ability to analyse, think independently etc, I would, ideally, include 2 more aspects, the moral aspects of being more aware of our responsibilities to the society and mankind. The other one which I think is lacking or not emphasize enough is the physical development/education which is of equal importance so that healthy lifesytle can be emphasized at a young age and hopefully, being imbued as a lifestyle in working life. Only with a healthy body can a healthy mind functions! Humbly yours
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      May 9 2011: is it a definition?
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    May 8 2011: Education is the process through which we improve our thinking capacity or through which we learn to use our talents , skills at the maximum rate.
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    May 6 2011: http://www.ted.com/conversations/2619/what_are_the_opinions_on_the_v.html take a look at this and the videos by Ken Robinson!
  • May 5 2011: The components of a definition of education:

    1) Education is an institution which changes dynamically.
    2) Education is a personal investment in effort to save effort later.
    3) Education communicates the peer reviewed constructs of "legitimate" authorities.
    4) Education communicates strategies and perspectives.
    5) Education teaches [4] in order to increase the learners control in some field.

    But there are many viewpoints from which to look at it.
    To leaders, It is viewed as a useful institution for creating workers with skills.
    To workers and learners, it is viewed as a useful institution for increasing personal control and general betterment.
    It is also viewed as a podium to purchase other's specialist efforts in identifying advantageous strategies.
    In undeveloped nations, it is perceived as a way to gain relative advantage with respect to those that are not educated.
    It can also be viewed as a tool of inequality, as it makes competition by the dis-empowered much more difficult.
    It can be viewed as a tool for leap-frogging the competition, or collaborating with others for personal profit.
    It can be used however the wielder chooses and sometimes does not even intend.

    So overall, I would define it as a strategy of: an investment in trading resources for personal development in, the latest constantly updated, strategies and practices that provide perceived advantages ideally designed to facilitate the attainment of resources afterwards (to justify the initial expenditure.)
  • May 5 2011: First of all, a person should acknowledge that Life is a school and every day spent in this school of life is a day we learn, we gain new information and share old ones. Thus in my opinion, Education is the notion of living every day wanting to learn something new and being able to solve problems by learning from old experiences and being innovative for new solutions.
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    May 5 2011: True Education is to make people truly FREE :)
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    May 4 2011: Education can be defined as the process of training of one's head as well as heart so that one eqips oneself to effectively deal with different circumstances/people/challenges that one comes across in one’s life, seek knowledge/information/skills required for fulfilling one’s need, and contribute to the well-being of the society with modesty while keeping himself happy as well as contended, besides being able to earn enough for oneself and one’s dependents.
    In addition, education encompasses many other things that can, probably, never be listed in totality.
  • May 4 2011: Education is the process of discovering how the world works and how the world thinks, and carving out a niche for yourself based on your own creative abilities.
  • May 3 2011: From educare ; to lead forth. So what is being led where? On one level the child into the society; hopefully not as a widget. On another the potential of the child to be realized. The teacher or team of teachers would look at the individual student and try to bring out the talents and passions within.

    I think what passes for education today is actually a crime. For one thing if you group students by age some wacky things happen in terms of competition that do not occur if there are many age range represented.
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      May 4 2011: I think it's because it's had to be about management of the terrible teacher-to-student ratio. I'm not sure how this will be addressed in the 21st century.

      The system is flawed but the people are not.

      All the issues stem from trying to apply some kind of blanket system of measurement (these days mostly accountability) and ending up trying to jam the kids into the limited spaces of achievement of that system.

      Throwing away the measuring sticks will be the first step in real change..
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        May 5 2011: Throwing the measuring sticks away might be too much for a first step: what about dedicating some time (lets say 30mins a day for startes) to lead the children in those aspects that can't be measured but are of major importance?
        But the therm leading can be misunderstood, there are many ways of leading and I don't think all of them apply in every situation in a school class. It is important to keep in mind that the context the class creates is nothing but a huge zone of promixal development*. The role that other children can play in a student's development might be undermined in the actual models that separate kids by age and try to fit them into a unidimentional (and unidirectional most of the time) dynamic that only uses a part of the children's potential.
        Of course, the reality of the educational system is conditioned by budget and the teacher/student ratio that you mentioned...

        *"Zone of proximal development" (ZPD) is Vygotsky’s term for the range of tasks that a child can complete independently and those completed with the guidance and assistance of adults or more-skilled children. The lower limit of ZPD is the level of skill reached by the child working independently. The upper limit is the level of additional responsibility the child can accept with the assistance of an able instructor. The ZPD captures the child’s cognitive skills that are in the process of maturing and can be accomplished only with the assistance of a more-skilled person." From Wikipedia
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          May 9 2011: Yep. I got all that guff at T-Col too. That's all well and good for the educational professionals and their academic ruts.

          In reality, the ZPD for kids is sussing out each other and how the relationships between people develop and unfold.

          All the stuff we are 'explicitly' teaching and measuring is nothing compared to what they get out of filtering through their observations about the society they are growing up in.

          After 15 years in education, I have seen teachers talk more about theories, pedagogy, best practice, engagement, assessment and its standardisation than about, or to, the people they are teaching.
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    May 3 2011: Hopefully, students and parents will be defining it themselves and I think we are moving closer to the possibility of this.

    I think Education will split in two - admin (information management) and learning (process and content).

    Ministry and government requirements (accountability - whatever that means) will drive the Information Management side of things. Hopefully, this will be greatly streamlined by ICT and reduce the amount of paper-shuffling that teachers are required to do.

    The Learner will co-create their curriculum based on some 'core' basics, local 'flavour' and their own interests, helping to keep relevance and motivation high.

    I'd like to see some role-reversals too - mostly, that the ministry should be answerable to schools, their students and parents, rather than the other way around.