Thursday, October 27, 2011


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There are stories and stories...There are songs, also, that are taught. Some are whimsical. Some are very intense. Some are documentary...Everything I have known is through teachings, by word of mouth, either by song or legend. (Terrance Honvantewa.). This statement was made by a Hopi Native American regarding his education. Having an education is an essential part of being successful in the world today, but very few people actually take the time to learn what the word education really means. Although people have a clear understanding of ignorance, the word education is often misinterpreted.

Before stating an in-depth discussion of the word education, it is important to look at a formal definition. Websters dictionary says that education is, 1a the action or process of educating or being educated; also a stage of such a process b the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process a man of little education

the field of study that deals manly with methods of teaching and learning in schools.

The formal definition of education is exactly what most people would think of as an accurate description of the word. But the above definition leaves out so many aspects of education. Education does not only occur is schools, but is a life-long process. The formal definition also fails to tell us that education occurs in many different ways, through first-hand experiences that are different for each person. If a person who had no knowledge of the word education used the dictionary as their source, they could easily misunderstand what education is.

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A good way to learn more about the definition of a word is to examine its origin. In the book, Take Our Word for It, Educate literally means lead out. The word comes from the past

participle of Latin educare bring up, rear and educate. It was related to the Latin educere lead out (source of English educe), a compound verb formed from the prefix ex- out and ducere lead (source of English duct, duke, and a whole host of derivatives such as deduce and seduce). Education, which first appears in the 16th century, was formed by the edition of the suffix -ion to educate, and -ion comes from Latin -ionem, a suffix forming nouns of condition and action. (Tiere). It is interesting to see that the word education does not come from words that mean to be told to do something, but rather, are related to words that mean to lead and to figure out, or deduce. This gives us a good indication of how people learn most successfully, and that is through experience. Education is not only seen in a teacher/student scenario.

Another good way to understand the meaning of a word is to understand what the word is not. Education is not the process of being told what to do. If teachers sat around telling their students what to do, the students would learn very little. A good example of teachers showing instead of telling students what to do is field trips. Students, especially younger students, retain more information if they have a first-hand memory of a topic, and not just have read about it in a book. Another good example of showing students in education is science labs. It is essential, especially in the subject of science, to actually see how things work. It is difficult for most people to picture complicated scientific processes in their head. A person would never understand exactly what a kidney, or a heart looked like, from a drawing or picture. That is why it is important to do dissections in high school and college. The band Live has a lyric in one of their songs that says, The greatest of teachers wont hesitate, to leave you there by yourself chained to die. This example may be a bit extreme, but it does illistrate a good point. The greatest teachers do not bail their students out at the smallest hint of struggle. If they did, their students would never learn to do anything on their own, and would always reliey on other people. Education is not based on unchangeable information. A student should have the right to question a teachers opinion, because all teachers were students at one point. Sometimes a student can bring a fresh perspective to a subject that the teacher would not have seen on their own. Our knowledge of the world is always changing and expanding. We as human beings need to bounce ideas off of each other to learn more about ourselves and our surroundings.

We should also examine some Synonyms to the word education. In Websters Thesaurus it says, Text The act or process of educating devoted herself to the education of illiterate adults

Synonyms instruction, schooling, teaching, training, tuition, tutelage.

Related word coaching, pedagogy, tutorage, tutoring, tutorship, direction, guidance.

. The product or result of being educated obtained his education in local schools and in college

Synonyms erudition, knowledge, learning, scholarship, science.

Related word culture, edification, enlightenment, learnedness, literacy.

Contrasted words ignorance, illiteracy. So we learn from the synonyms that education is not just a process, but a result as well. It is important to take notice that if a teacher does everything for a student, then the result, the students education, is damaged in a way. The students educatio is not all that it could be. It is interesting to see that the word tuition is among the synonyms of the word education. What exactly is the price of an education. Not only does an education require a great deal of money, but it also requires a lot of determination and dedication. Those who actually make it as high as they can in their education, that is, receive a PhD, should have the feeling of climbing Mt. Everest. They stand proud at the top of the mountain and look down at the whole world. It is true that the whole world is accessible for a person with an education.

Thus it can be seen that the word education can mean many things. It is an important word in every language, country, and part of the world. People with an education are respected. They save lives, and change the world for the better or for worse. So while ignorance still exists throughout the world, having an education is what people desire.

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