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Nature of Education

January 5, 2009

Why do we educate?

As a father of three girls this question directs me to consider the end goal of education, the end I desire for my children.

I know that for my own education the goal was a specific career.  My education was a means for that particular end.  However, having achieved that end my education has continued.  This leads me to conclude that a job cannot be a sufficient end for education.  At least, it does not fulfill or satisfy my basic human drive to learn, or to know.  So I come back to the question of “Why do we educate?”  The answer must rest in the nature of being human.



From → Education

  1. Nichomachean Ethics:
    the life of happiness is the life of quiet contemplation,
    continual education and development of the one thing
    setting us apart.
    It is also interesting that having graduated college, a job is not immediately
    offered to you–as the myth proclaims: “Go to college and you’ll get a better
    Some of my good friends, and tradesmen, are making six figures in their twenties, and will continue to “make their ends meet in this way,” for a long time to come, meanwhile, I sit broke and in debt with a post-graduate degree, and yet I wouldn’t give it up for second. I’d rather be broke and educated, than not and un-. (Teehee…) Why is that?

  2. I have not yet read Aristotle’s “Ethics,” but it is on my list.

    You are touching on the core distinction between two educational purposes: the one socio-political economic ($), and the other human composition.

    The many seem to view education as a necessary component for perpetuating the current economic state. Education is not a good in itself, but only insofar as it contributes to modern conventions.

    The few look on education as a fundamental exercise for the discovery of what it means to be human. Education in this sense does not serve human creations, but rather attends created humanity. It is a good within itself because it does not seek a profit, but an unveiling — an unveiling of what is true.

    Education directed towards industrial/technological vocation as opposed to human composition marks an important difference that shades our perception of education’s purpose.


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