This is a follow up to a Friday morning post on the DRC Facebook page, in which I began to ponder the distinction between educated and schooled.
Many, upon reflection, would proclaim that ignorance is the direct opposite of educated; I, however, while cognizant of the overarching reasoning, would rank schooled as the antithesis of educated.
For the sake of argument, let’s unpack these three words.
Ignorance is merely the "unknowing" of particular pieces of information. For example: I am ignorant about the intricacies of the legal and judiciary systems in the United States. Despite my incomprehension of these particular subjects, I am neither stupid nor uneducated; I, simply, have never been interested nor taken the opportunity to learn how they are structured.
Education, in my opinion, is a combination of acute awareness, wit, and intellect. It requires an active, inquisitive, and wide open mind --- a willingness to question authority and seek out knowledge, as well as guidance. It can be obtained anywhere, anytime, by anyone. Acquisition of knowledge is infinite, as long as you are continually interested and excited to explore new ideas and concepts. It does, however, demand a dedication to learning from error, as well as success. Education, quite plainly, opens innumerable doors to a never-ending world of possibilities. It is the greatest of all equalizers and the deadly enemy of apathy.
Becoming schooled, on the other hand, happens when people (students) are rewarded or punished for complying and obeying (or not) within a closed, coercive, and compulsory environment filled with set rules, and, finite, static information, which is presented by a teacher, and, then regurgitated on an exam or test. Yes, I am quite aware that my definition of schooled could be (probably is), more than a little bit, controversial.
In our cultural experience, an education is gained by attending school. The end! Every child is expected – actually mandated to attend that hallowed institution by the age of six, and, for the most part every single one of us has attended school for at least thirteen years of our life. Educated and schooled are interchangeable in our language and in our interpretation of intelligence. In fact, Merriam- Webster uses the words educational institution to describe school.
Despite the reams of overwhelmingly contrary definitions of schooled, including the esteemed lexicographers, as well as cultural dictates, I continue to stand by my personal interpretation based on direct and antidotal experience, as well as scientific research.
To be clear, I do believe an education can be acquired in our existing structure of school, though, only if the student is self-directed --- dedicated and open to asking questions and seeking out pertinent answers. A successfully educated person, within this institutionalized system, understands there is usually more than one way to achieve the answer, as there is more than one solution to every problem (with the probable exception of mathematics).
The possession of legions of facts and details from a variety of subjects, alone, does not mean you are educated or smart; understanding how to obtain the knowledge that is important and relevant to you --- does.
photo credit: Jake R.
DRC NEWS Vacation! The Center will be closed July 6th – 23rd. If you need to get in touch, send an email or connect through the DRC Facebook page. Someone will get back to you within 24 hrs. Summer Programs Aug 14th – 18th – Theater Week with Karen Wells Aug 21st -25th – Music Week with Christopher Raymo Aug 28th – Sept 1st – Arts and Crafts Week with Maria Register on-line.