Education Meaning

Education is the term used to refer to learning by which knowledge, belief and habits as well as skills and values of one group of people is passed to another, from generation to generation through various aspects such as discussion, storytelling, teaching and training. It not only denotes the ‘formal transmission’ through these factors to a group of people but also ‘informal transmission’ from one person to another.

It is the system where learning takes place under the guidance of teachers and tutors; in the same way, those who teach can also educate themselves further. This is called ‘autodidactic learning’.

Education can also be used to denote ‘the knowledge gained from an experience that has an impacted effect on a person’s beliefs, thoughts, feelings and actions’.

The word ‘education’ has its origin from the Latin word ‘educatio’ used to refer to ‘a bringing up’. Broadly, ‘educo’ relates to the meaning “I train, I educate”; ‘educo’ itself is the combination of ‘e’ (from) and ‘duco’ (I conduct).

The ‘right to education’ is a fundamental right accorded to the citizens of many governments worldwide. The United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights endorses and recognizes the right to education for all the citizens. In most countries, education is compulsory for children up to a certain age. In developed and developing countries, formal education is that where children go to school to learn from qualified and skilled teachers. More often these days, school attendance is not always compulsory and that leads many parents to ‘home school’ or ‘home tutor’ their children with the assistance of either private teachers or through methods involving e-learning, which is the use of electronic material and technology to learn. This is a kind of informal learning.

The ‘art and science’ of education, which translates into ‘how best to teach’ is called Pedagogy. At school level, education is categorized into stages like preschool, primary, secondary, higher or tertiary etc while beyond school higher education is slotted into college and university and/or apprenticeship.

History of Education

In ancient history, there is the reference of the ‘Academy’ founded by Plato in Athens before 300 BC. The city of Alexandria, founded in 330 BC surpassed Athens as the ‘cradle of intellect’ in ancient Greece. The Library of Alexandria, a historical monument contained translations of the Bible from Hebrew to Greek under the patronage of mathematicians and astronomers like Euclid and Herophilus. The supremacy of the earliest European civilizations came to an end when the Roman Empire declined in 476 AD.

The focus then shifted eastward with the Chinese philosopher-scholar Confucius whose outlook on education and reforms influenced many south-east Asian nations like Korea, Japan and Vietnam. His teachings and discussions were recorded by his followers and his philosophies continue to exert influence to this day in many parts of Asia. In India, for instance, the gurukul tradition of teaching and learning where a teacher or trainer taught knowledge and skills to his ‘wards’ by living and training with the master in a community set up has continued in some form to this day at institutes and schools where fine arts, music and dance forms are taught.

In various regions around the world, adults of one generation trained the young of the following one in the knowledge, values and skills through oral teaching and through imitation prior to the birth of literary societies and skill sets. As cultures flourished, a system of formal education appeared to impart knowledge and skills; there is evidence of the presence of schools in Egypt in ancient days.

The Early Middle Ages saw the rise of the Catholic Church as the preserver of literary teaching and skills; many medieval universities of Christendom across Europe encourage freedom of thought, speech and enquiry producing a vast number of fine philosophers and scholars. Among the oldest continually operating universities of Europe, the University of Bologne is considered the first and the finest.

With the advent of the printing press in its earliest form, literary works of art and education flourished and spread more quickly through the continents. Missionaries and scholars, particularly the Jesuits played a significant role in the transmission of knowledge from Europe to Asia.

Getting Important Methodologies Like ABA in Your Child’s Special Education Program

Are you the parent of a young child with autism that thinks that your child needs an applied behavioral analysis (ABA)program? Are you the parent of a child with dyslexia or other learning disabilities who thinks that your child needs an Orton-Gillingham Based multisensory reading program? Would you like to learn how to advocate for these particular methodologies for your child? This article will discuss what methodology means, and information that you can use to advocate for the appropriate methodology for your child.

Methodology means the specific curriculum or program that special education personnel are going to use, to teach your child. Some of the most popular methodologies for teaching children are ABA (for children with autism) or an Orton-Gillingham based multisensory reading program for children with dyslexia or other reading disabilities.

Many special education personnel continue to tell parents that they have no right to tell them what methodology to use. Below are 4 points that you can make with school personnel to get the methodology that your child needs in order to benefit from their education.

1. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 states under 300.26 that: special education means specially designed instruction means adapting as appropriate to the needs of the eligible child . . .the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction.

This section is one of the most important clarifications in the IDEA law. It
gives parents the right to discuss the content, methodology and delivery of education to their child. The discussion of methodology is important for all children but especially those children with autism or language based learning disabilities.

2. In a recent court case entitled KL vs. Mercer Island School District found that: The particular teaching methodology that will be used. . .will need to be discussed at the IEP meeting and incorporated into the student’s IEP.

3. Another court case the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois discussed methodology in the case of TH vs. Palatine School District. The court held that the school’s argument that it had the right to choose methodology was not valid since the school district had no methodology. The US Supreme Court decision in Rowley could only apply if the school had chosen and implemented a methodology calculated to allow the child to make meaningful progress.

4. There is no legal basis for school districts decision to not discuss or specify the methodology in a child’s IEP! School districts position on this contradicts common sense. IDEA regulations require that the IEP should include related services and supplementary aids and supports to be provided to the child, and a statement of the program, modifications or supports. It is mind blowing that school districts take the position that it should specify the supports and modifications which may be dependent on the methodology, but not specify the methodology.

If you feel that your child needs a particular methodology in order to benefit from their education, bring it up at an IEP meeting. If the IEP team feels that they do not have to put the methodology in your child’s IEP, bring up all of the 4 points above! Put special emphasis on the wording of IDEA which does include the word methodologies. You may have to fight for a particular methodology that your child needs, but it will be well worth it!

How to Teach Ethics Education

The quality of life depends on the quality of who you are. What you actually become. It all boils down to how morally good and ethical a person is. So the question is how do we make every one become a good moral person? Since ancient times we recognize the importance of teaching moral values. We teach it the same way we teach math and science by providing the knowledge of good and bad. One very important factor that the world of education has still not completely woken up to, in spite of all these thousands of years of research, is that as there are two kinds of intelligences – regular and emotional – both require a different set of rules for education. Emotional intelligence education alters the actual physical infrastructure of the brain. Emotional intelligence education starts from the womb. And continues through hugs and kisses and a nurturing childhood environment. By the time the child is 6 years old the moral character traits are well set for the rest of the person’s life.

So to really insure moral education we must learn how to educate the individual at the fetus and the child stage. Thus we must put together templates and manuals for future parents, current pregnant ones and those with little kids.

Please consider the following:

There was a king who was very troubled because his people were very poor. He did not know what to do. He heard of this kingdom where people were very prosperous and lived in mansions and even marble palaces. So he went to the king of this place and asked him how they were able to live like this. The king told him that it was very simple he just passed a building code which everyone in his kingdom had to follow. So our king came back and passed a law that everyone must build a marble palace!

Now in his kingdom most could afford a straw hut, others could afford a log cabin. Still others could afford a cement mansion and a few could afford a marble palace. So the kings law went into effect and nothing changed. Just a few marble palaces came up. Except for the select few the rest were incapable of building marble palaces.

It is the same when it comes to morality. We have moral laws and we expect everyone to follow them. We spend billions of dollars on crime prevention and containment yet nothing changes.

The only way to change and reduce crime is by changing the physical quality of the brain that generates the moral compass of the individual. Thus ethics education means not just telling people what is good and what is bad. It is about creating the right moral infrastructure generating brain.

The brain has four basic levels as follows:

1) Premature brain – (I have quantified it as -2) Those stuck on this level have the moral values of a snake. In their mind they are everything and everyone else is nothing. They are above the law and everyone else is below the law. No amount of moral education is going to change them. Punishment is the only deterrence and even this they often ignore. Their physically brain is too far morally gone.

2) Immature brain – (I have quantified it as -1). Those stuck on this level are corrupt. In their mind they deserve the best, by hook or by crook. Current ethics education will not change them much as their moral values are generated by an entrenched selfishness producing brain infrastructure. We have to wake up to the fact that we will have to change this brain infrastructure.

3) Mature brain – (I have quantified it as +1). Those stuck at this level are driven by a trophy self image as in ‘I am the best’. This is the group that is the easiest to change. But not by the current way of moral education which practically amounts to pleading with people to do good. The trophy self image will have to be gotten rid of and replaced with a selfless self.

4) Super mature brain – (I have quantified it as +2). The brain at this developed level already generates a selfless self so moral education is not required for this group.

Just like a man with the resources of building a log cabin cannot become a marble palace owner; a man with a -2, -1. or even +1 brain can ever become morally +2. No amount of current ethics education can make a -2 brain generate a +2 brain power. The only way real moral values can take root is by making the brain +2. And this requires brain therapy more than anything else. It requires brain changing education. The sooner we wake up to this the faster we will create a morally healthy society. Current moral education amounts to like our local pastor telling us to live virtuous lives. We hear it and applaud it and then go back to our old ways.

Notice how without exception all books on self help talk of ‘7/9 steps. There is just one goal/step as far as self help is concerned – become wise. Thus ethics education is more like self transformation education. It is more precisely about making ones self +2! It is more in line with self help education. Then again not like the current self help education. My main field of work is wisdom. And as philosophy is considered the love of wisdom which means one of the main goals of philosophy is to try to find out what is wisdom. Most experts on wisdom are still stuck where they define wisdom by its attributes and are still struggling to define wisdom.

As the wisdom potential is there in every brain just like blood and as absence of wisdom means presence of ignorance (where actually there is a mixture of the two) so every life is affected by lack of wisdom, from individual to group to country, so the stakes are very high. In fact much of the present mess in the world today from the economic crisis to the problems of war can all be traced to lack of wisdom. So if I can wake up main stream education/science to the correct path to ethics education, I think my work will be done.

Philosophy, religion and science in my view are much more connected then we realize! I have found that at the highest stage of the mind/brain development the quality of the character traits (as defined by religion, philosophy and science) of every person are all one and the same!!! Religion wants you to be altruistic, philosophy wants you to be wise/altruistic and science/education wants you to be emotionally super mature which is the same! So wisdom is the common thread in all of them. Thus we need philosophers, religious leaders and scientists/educationists all working together to create ethics education that transforms the brain to +2.