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term: education

One of the terms used on this wiki.

Education is hard to define well, and terms in different languages often do not match exactly. The English term can be used in at least two ways: first, to mean what is taught, and what is learned, in educational institutions; and second, in a broader sense, to mean how someone is brought up – to key into the Latin origins of the word, how they are led, usually by older or more experienced people. In Dutch, onderwijs is more about the institutional side, like instruction, and opvoeding more about upbringing, like the Italian educazione, which does not primarily mean what happens in schools.

I see an educational system as one that is designed to enable learning — as contrasted with the education that happens, unplanned, through the ubiquitous and spontaneous tendency of people to learn from whatever they experience. People can learn in many ways, including through any combination of:

  • their own personal experience, including trial and error;
  • reading, listening, watching;
  • formal instruction in educational institutions;
  • asking questions of people with more knowledge or experience;
  • self-motivated research.

We have not discovered any theoretical limits to what can be learned by people, though for any individual at any particular time what can be learned is limited by how they understand the world as a whole. Different kinds of educational system are adapted to different objectives or outcomes, and also to different ways of learning.

t/education.txt · Last modified: 2023-05-20 07:00 by simongrant