Education is an interesting thing. The process begins when we are young, and as we grow up, we are told that we need to go to college to get a good job. When we are told to do this, what people really mean is that we need to go to college to make more money. But do we?
The purpose of education has never been about money. Those who think it is, have no real appreciation for the value of knowledge.
The purpose of education is to become a more well-rounded person. An educated person is someone who can think critically, research and learn about new things, and who can find answers to whatever questions about which he or she is faced.
While college may be for some, it is not for everyone. I actually think that too many people attend college. Odd as it may sound, I think fewer people need bachelor’s degrees. I think even fewer need Master’s degrees, and fewer still need doctoral degrees.
The higher one climbs in knowledge, the more specific the field of study becomes. Unless the degree is needed for what one wants to become, then the degree may not be necessary.
Parents like to push their children to go to college, and they mean well when doing so, but if the child does not know what he or she wants to do, they may be wasting money. Not always, but sometimes.
The thing is, at least in Texas, our primary schools (K-12) are failing us. They are continually dropping standards due to budget constraints and other reasons. As a result, the primary schools are no longer teaching the critical thinking skills necessary for most people to function well in a vocational environment. As a result, more people need to attend college, if for no other reason, to learn what they should have been taught in high-school.
Don’t get me wrong, I think we have many wonderful teachers in public school and in private schools, I don’t think the teachers are primarily to blame for the lack of education. I think it is the educational agencies and the government stipulations that stifle good quality teaching. Perhaps that is one reason many teachers are leaving their jobs in Texas.
But back to my original point, education is intended to make someone a more well-rounded person. It is intended to make the person more complete. Education teaches people about a wide range of subjects, and gives them the tools they need to continue learning about those subjects on their own for the duration of their lifetime. True education produces lifelong learners. Learners who desire to know. Learners who seek the truth. Learners who love wisdom and seek it.
Education, when done well, may not expand one’s bank account, but it will expand one’s mind. I hope and pray that in our country, we can open people’s minds to this kind of love for knowledge and understanding. God’s world is vast and I believe he expects us to learn as much about it and as much about life as we can.
If you are an educator, regardless of stipulations and constraints, I hope you will not lose sight of the vision of shaping people’s minds and helping them to love life more deeply and seek wisdom more fervently.
The task of the educator is daunting on every level, but the fruit of the labor is well worth joining the fight.
If you are an educator, I urge you to carry your students along, mentor and guide them on the journey, and instill in them a love for the truth, a love for knowledge, and a love for wisdom.