The Value of Education
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Education is the process of providing and receiving theoretical and practical knowledge. If there is a value of acquired knowledge and skills, there is a sense of educational process in general. If individuals can be important to themselves and their society by effectively applying their knowledge after they received an education then such schooling is valuable and is worth investing in. Various authors and activists, such as Malcolm X, Stephen King, Hsun Tzu and John Dewey, reflect several approaches to education that are worth mentioning to support this argument.
The value of educational process lies in the quality of knowledge and skills applied for the benefits of society as well as for personal ones. Education is a beneficial investment because it will pay off in the future. For example, teaching children chemistry, biology and other sciences is a valuable investment in the future development of technology and science.
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According to the article of Humboldt University of Berlin, despite the financial profitability of investment in education, there is a non-monetary benefit to it, namely, the protection of environment. Education is able to promote an importance of the environmental problems as well as emphasize the necessity of scientific knowledge and skills aimed to solve these problems. Thus, there is a purpose to promote a need for knowledge among young individuals. If, for example, in their early years they are eager to learn about the way sun functions, they have a potential to become a part of a scientific investigation in future and discover new effective methods to use solar energy (Meyer, n.d.). Hence, the value of education is the means to the positive result of scientific progress and a valuable contribution to solving problems, thus, becoming beneficial to society.
Education has an instrumental value for people who receive it. Acquiring knowledge for its own sake is desirable by human beings. For example, an individual must possess certain information and skills in order to be qualified for particular job opportunities. Besides, education directly improves life by providing a qualit experience of gaining knowledge. According to the article of Humboldt University of Berlin, concentration and attentiveness used during the educational process produce valuable experiences. Comprehension that accompanies the knowledge acquisition can be utterly enriching. The pursuit of education enhances the possibility of fulfilled effort and time. For example, when it comes to art education, aesthetic appreciation that includes admiring of an artwork is the valuable experience. Education is the means to understanding the essence of art through explaining the nature of its every aspect. Experiences of art comprehension are meaningful on their own, apart from their instrumental value (Meyer, n.d.). Hence, precious experiences go along with the knowledge enrichment.
My experience of receiving value from an educational process goes back to school. I knew that I had to study in order to get my diploma so that I would be able to apply for college, and later have better opportunities to get a good job that would pay off my educational investments in the form of a high salary. This was a monetary or instrumental value I received from educational process at school. On the other hand, I also received the non-monetary one of education. It was the experience of studying itself which included small and big wins that kept me motivated to study well. Those were not grades which I attribute to an instrumental value, but the intrinsic successes from different accomplished tasks. I also believe that the value I received from the educational process will be beneficial for the society I live in, because I will be able to apply acquired knowledge and skills practically to improve the quality of people’s lives. Stephen King, an American author, once expressed an idea that among the national responsibilities of America there is educating its young. Hence, he is willing to pay more tax to the government. He believes that there is a great necessity to invest in infrastructure, debt repayments, poor and sick, and most importantly, education (Kingsley, 2012). My experience is similar to the idea expressed by King because I also believe that investing in education will help enhance its value. It will provide more oppoortunities for individuals like me to acquire knowledge and skills, and apply them for the individual and public benefits. Malcolm X, an American human rights activist, believed that education is one’s so-called passport to tomorrow. He argued that the future ultimately belongs to educated people because individuals with knowledge and skills are better prepared for it (Malcolm X, n.d.). My experience at school made me ready for future by providing the knowledge I needed for college, and the latter, in turn, prepares me for my potential job. This whole process is valuable because it builds up the foundation an individual needs in order to reach his full potential.
John Dewey, an American philosopher, suggested a “hands on” approach which is part of the concept of progressive education and pragmatism. According to it, people learn by doing. Dewey believed that individuals can learn only through the interaction with their environment. He promoted democratic ideas in education, where equal voice of all participants of the educational process is important (Jordan, n.d.). I agree with this approach because democracy in the classroom gives an opportunity to express ideas freely, which in my classroom often ends up with being some of the highest-quality thoughts. Dewey’s philosophy also assumes working in groups which during our school years helped us learn the nuances of conversation methods, collaboration and cooperation.
I expect changes in the value of education for the better because we live in the era of technological advances, such as Internet, which allow us to learn easier and faster. Besides, people discover something new every day, including the new vaccines against deadly viruses. There are a lot of needs of society that must be fulfilled, and until they are met, people will strive for advancement. However, development is impossible without the educational process.
Hence, the value of educational process is the benefit that an individual receives for himself as well as for society he lives in. He must acquire more education in order to understand the world to make it a better place to live.
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