Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Meaning of Education

When this question, "What does education mean to you?" was first posed in class I thought of what education meant to me as a public school student. Through my educational career I always thought of education as what I learned in school everyday. I genuinely enjoyed school and would have considered myself a good student but I don't know if I knew what education was. All I knew what that I had to learn in this grade in order to move onto the next grade, school or even college; I had to learn to get to the next step and the step after that and so on.
My thoughts on education have changed drastically since coming to Allegheny. In public school I was sheltered by the infamous "bubble" of my school district. Now as a college student I have met many unique people from all different walks of life and taken part in many educational discussions that have swayed my opinion of education. I now know that a solid education is a fragile, vital piece to a person's life. This delicate entity should not be thrown away or pushed aside; it should be riding first class in the plane that is a person's life. Getting an education should give everyone the opportunity to soar, but it doesn't always. Many people become bound by their home life, finances, friends, neighborhoods, and even themselves that prevents them from getting the education everyone deserves. Even the school they attend can hold them back from an equal education.
As a teacher my goal is to give my students a chance to hold onto their fragile education; I want them to carefully keep this vital piece of their lives in check. I want them to know how large and important their education is to not just their future but their present. They can use this education everyday, not only inside the classroom but outside as well. But how do we get students out of their respective "bubbles"? How do we show them that they do not need to be bound by their neighborhoods? Or how do we show others how drastically different education can be in other parts of their globe, their country, their state or their hometown?
Education is a complex entity, learned both inside and outside the classroom; it is an experience and a journey individual to each person. It should allow every person to become successful and happy in their own way. It should make students happy, challenged and joyful not angry, bored or annoyed. Education should give students a sense of growth, in their personal, emotional, and physical well-being. Children should not see their education as learning just to get to the next step, but rather a process of growth. I think the idea of growth and development is lacking in education. Student's need to be shown how far they have come in days, months or years. They need to remember where they started and how drastically they have changed.  Education is growth and each and every person deserves the right to stretch their wings and fly.

So my question is how do we get students to see their education as a growing process rather then the monotonous step by step procedure students think it to be?

The following article is about how Principals can allow their teachers to grow with professional development, but I believe some of the following techniques are true for and can be applied to students as well.

John Dewey said it best when he stated that"Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not a preparation for life but life itself." (Thinkexist.com)

Works Cited: http://thinkexist.com/quotation/education_is_a_social_process-education_is_growth/148047.html

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