Education Essay Research Paper Mans essential characteristic

Education Essay, Research Paper

Man?s essential characteristic is his rational faculty. Man?s mind is his basic means of survival?his only means of

gaining knowledge. Man cannot survive, as animals do, by the guidance of mere precepts. He cannot provide for

his simplest physical needs without a process of thought. He needs a process of thought to discover how to plant

and grow his food, or how to make weapons for hunting. His precepts might lead him to a cave, if one is

available?but to build the simplest shelter, he needs a process of thought. No precepts and no “instincts” will tell him

how to light a fire, how to weave cloth, how to forge tools, how to make a wheel, how to make an airplane, how to

perform an appendectomy, how to produce an electric light bulb or an electronic tube, or a box of matches. Yet his

life depends on such knowledge?and only a volitional act of his consciousness, a process of thought, can provide

it. Informal education is the sharing of this knowledge, and formal education provides the building blocks to gain

more knowledge.

A formal definition by the Websters Dictionary would be : \.ej-*-’ka–sh*n\ \-shn*l, -sh*n-*l\ n 1a: the action or process of

educating or of being educated; also : a stage of such a process 1b: the

knowledge and development resulting from an educational process {a man

of little ~} 2: the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching

and learning in schools – aj

Consequently education is summed up to be what you learn from a process or stage of development. Most

education is informal. The baby/mother combination is the very first example of informal education. It was created

out of a need to reproduce. In today?s age we all know that a baby needs to be fed and sheltered. This

education/knowledge was passed on to us by our family, our observations of other successful parents and by our

teachers. The very first parents probably learned quickly that babies needed to be taken care of. The very first

baby?s most likely did not survive, he or she probably died of cold, starvation, and abandonment. The process of

thought enabled early parents to understand that their children needed to be nourished. With this knowledge, baby

and mother almost instantly learned how to communicate and understand each other. A baby indirectly

communicates with its mother when it is hungry by belting out loud cries, and hands waving in the air. Of course,

mother will pick up on this act of discontent and feed the baby. As the baby grows, it will learn how to directly

communicate with it?s mother to signal for something, and later learn the ability to communicate with other people.

Formal education is the knowledge and development resulting from applying their current knowledge to a specific

task. In today?s age we have foundations of formal education, places where people join together to learn about

specific fields of interest. This foundation?s sole purpose is to archive knowledge passed on by the people who

originally discovered it and to relay it to people who seek the same answers. The ability to be formally educated

enables a person to build upon this knowledge, not to rediscover it. With this a person can learn to how to make a

cart, then how to make a car, then how to make a train, then how to make a plane, then how to make a space ship,

then how to make a space station, then how to make a space colony.

Processes of thought that developed out of necessity are similar to Informal education. That is, what is not learned

in school or a place that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning, but learned directly due to specific

need. Like the baby/mother relationship was created out of the need for survival, the creation of communication

was created out of the need to understand one another. As society progressed, from nomadic tribes following their

kill, to static society?s raising crops and animals. The human?s thought process determined there was a need to work

together. The ability to communicate enabled people to focus on more specific needs. Mr. Jones and Mr. Gates

could raise crops while Mr. Clinton and Mr. Dole could hunt for meat. Communication also provided the ability to

pass down the hard learned knowledge to each other. Mr. Jones could tell Mr. Gates that corn grew better in the

summer and not the winter. Mr. Dole could tell Mr. Clinton that the spear was a better weapon than the rock. With

this basic understanding and ability to communicate, people became specialized on certain skills. The need to

perform other tasks diminished and formal education enabled people to focus on more specific needs of their

specific purpose.

Foundations of knowledge are not just schools. They are also places of business, libraries, farms, and places of

worship. Within all of these places you can learn, and in turn discover something new to be passed along to others.

Human?s greatest weakness that he cannot provide for his simplest needs without a process of thought has become

human?s greatest strength. Without the ability to educate and be educated, the human race would not have

survived as it has. I believe that education should be provide to everyone who desires one, that a person can learn

and achieve whatever he wants through education. Regardless, education is a process every human goes through

at every stage of life.


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