Wednesday, July 18, 2007

On Being Educated vs Getting An Education

I try and share at times to others the meaning and value in a life-long self-directed education.
With a college-given education one acquires in a relatively short period of time as much knowledge as possible about certain subjects. One also inherently accepts the knowledge that is given in the form of a teacher and textbooks. This form of learning is not generally questioned and is conveyed to the student as being authoritative and complete. Once "graduated" from this form of learning, few individuals have the desire to continue any further to explore or inquire about the subjects they were taught. It is as though subconsciously they feel that they "know" the subject and have no need to continue any further sans the required continuing education that is needed to maintain their licensing or employer requests.
Because of this it is extremely difficult for an individual to morph from a college-given education to a more self-directed education than vice versa.
With a self-directed learning approach one searches for the knowledge of a given subject and conducts a more critical thinking type of component, questioning the source of information, comparing viewpoints and most importantly continuing to strive to get to a place where they feel they understand the subject, as a result it keeps the self-directed learner never getting to the point where they have "graduated" in the pursuit of that subject simply because they don't know where that point is and creates a catch-22 if you will. More learning to 'graduate' = No 'graduation' exists so more learning is needed....and on and on.
It perhaps helps to balance these two ideologies in such a way as to meet accredited coursework necessary and still pursue a life-long interest in learning.

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