The importance of education may be different than you were taught.
"We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish." - F. A. Hayek
The supposed purpose of education, as marketed by the education industry, is career advancement, higher pay, and empowering a college graduate's job search. This represents the current personal importance of education as determined by a few studies performed back when bureaucratic machines were still humming. We will discuss the social importance of education later.Educational importance before the industrial revolution was tied to:
2) preparation for wise leadership and personal achievement,
3) opening your mind to new ideas.
What about today? More importantly, what about tomorrow?
The bureaucratic era is ending.
You must now determine what may be most important, to you and your children, in the future.
Doing something is not important.
Doing the right things at the right times is crucial.
Education should open the mind.
Effective learning involves creating and solving our own errors. Go ahead; over-step, stretch, become too enthusiastic. When you make those mistakes common to all high achievers, use them to learn. Then enthusiastically attack again.
Pry open your mind, don't let your education rust it shut. Learn to think, not to follow. Combine your learning with action, letting unavoidable errors impel you to seek greater understanding.
Coco Chanel is quoted as saying "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." As the bureaucratic age winds down college degrees as requirements are replaceable; independent thinkers and visionary leaders are not. Cultivating a love of learning is becoming imperative for success.
"I know very well that because I am unlettered some presumptuous people will think they have the right to criticize me, saying that I am an uncultured man. What stupid fools! Do they not know that I could reply to them as Marius did to the Roman patricians: 'Do those who pride themselves on the works of other men claim to challenge mine?" - Leonardo da Vinci
Churchill has been attributed with a statement to the effect that "to be young and not be liberal is to have no heart, to be older and not be conservative is to have no brain". If this is a mostly true insight than why must institutions of higher learning spend so much energy shouting long and hard on ideas that students will probably embrace naturally.
If you are a student, ignore repetitious bombast, seek out convincing counter arguments. Then, through synthesis born of contradictory views, make up your own mind. Until you wisely decide to change your mind once again. Open your eyes and observe even as your ears are assaulted.
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." - Noam Chomsky
Question authority, scientifically test and verify answers, embrace fully only self-proven knowledge. If a pronouncement isn't subject to rigorous challenge, repeatedly verified, and made ever more accurate; it is opinion, not knowledge. History is littered with debris of false, expert-authority opinions. Human progress has been accomplished by those that ignored "established facts," doing the impossible, advancing against the scorn of brilliant and highly educated naysayers. A kite rises against the wind, not with it.
We need freedom of expression if we are to discover truth - if like that kite we seek to soar.
Do not remain two dimensional. Question those of us with educational authority. Expand your thoughts to understand all views that pertain to an issue. "We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us" - Virginia Satir
We each learn differently
Shouldn't education be forced to discern and approach individual needs? The bureaucratic answer is consistent - "we need more teachers, and smaller class sizes." If each student is taught the same curriculum, regardless of their skills, desires, temperament, and abilities; class size is immaterial (except as it grows the power and wealth of protected education industries and unions).
"Does the inherent impossibility of traditional education, training, and other formal learning processes drive insane all of those involved for too long?" - Clark Aldrich
In commerce the day of one size fits many is just about over, replaced by self crafted solutions. In education everyone must fit our size is still the rule. You have three choices: you can settle for diminishing expectations of programmed mediocrity, you can fight toward a bureaucratic peak of a settling heap, or you can become a powerfully unique individual.
It is your life you are developing.
Your life, and the lives of your children, will prosper to the degree you can openly structure self-directed learning and keep it pleasurable. This is the educational importance of the Internet - you can discover and test thousands of ways to learn, finding what suits you best.
As just one option: in computer based learning we can experience life in a more realistic format than common schools. Play a complex computer game, and you learn not by memorization and testing, but by trial and error - and then perhaps a bit of study to improve results.
People act differently as they disassociate game play from reality; they experiment, learn to sacrifice for victory, compare risk to reward, use personal patterns to enhance development, consider trade-offs and negotiations, plan for the future. These types of skills become useful in meatspace (real life), if thought is used to realize the power of gaming decision trees (flexibly planned development) to our futures.
"If you treat an individual ... as if he were what he ought to be, and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be."
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
I'm convinced Bill Gates played Microsoft Corporation as a business simulator game - and learned to hack victories against ever tougher opponents. William Gates Jr. ended his business career playing deity level games against megalomaniacal governments that kept changing the rules. He changed games, learning how to play a game called Philanthropist.
Bill Gates is trying to be a philanthropic team player with wife Melinda Gates and friend Warren Buffett. They will keep improving their game play, charity will win. They are already beating the socks off jet-set NGOs and unwieldy governments by using logic and creativity rather than cheat codes and politics.
Even if you don't like him (who taught you to despise winners and mock risk takers? Why?), Bill Gates seems to have become what he ought and could be. His magnificent run may have started when he acknowledged his creativity as paramount, dropped out of Harvard, and started Microsoft.
Of course rules are now changing for all of us, including governments, as the Netcohort Age begins.
Since you were likely constrained from excelling at creativity by your coercive schooling, it is up to you to discover what you ought to be and can be -- and start treating yourself that way.
Do the same for your children.
Software is available that tailors itself to the needs and abilities of an individual student.
Better and more appropriate learning is available online than in classrooms. Real change violates industrial learning traditions and the desires of entrenched educational bureaucracies.
Powerful learning tools are played with only in the margins.
Computers are pack saddled to existing educational models in an inefficient pretense. At common schools most technologies are used like hitching horses to a sports car. The horse drawn car does not compare favorably with traditional horse and buggy. It doesn't matter if the modern conveyance is an ignorant or intentional misapplication; it will be better to properly enjoy car and horse separately.
Re-engineering education is not enough, we must participate in re-engineering the way education is re-engineered. It must be we ourselves making personal choices; you can't get elected or appointed if you are willing to make tough choices and then fairly act contrary to any entrenched and combative interests.
The future will reward the prepared yet adaptive mind. Your life, and the lives of your children can achieve greater accomplishments by a simple process. Find how each individual student learns most pleasurably and effectively, and let them fly.
Provide the resources, and get out of their way. Start a reading, reasoning, and rhetoric adventure with simple learning rules:
There must be more to education than monopolizing ears with boring litanies so students cease to engage their brains. In your life let reason and passion, not memorization and repetition, be your guide.
Once your eyes are open - concentrate on the positive, there are too many negatives on which to waste your time.
"My days of whining and complaining about others have come to an end. Nothing is easier than fault finding. All it will do is discolor my personality so that none will want to associate with me. That was my old life. No more." - Og Mandino
Thank You Teachers
for the honest gift you've given.
Voltaire Applied on Copyright and Patents
"Ainsi presque tout est imitation. L'idée des Lettres persanes est prise de celle de l'Espion turc. Le Boiardo a imité le Pulci, l'Arioste a imité le Boiardo. Les esprits les plus originaux empruntent les uns des autres."
Almost everything is imitation. The idea of The Persian Letters was taken from The Turkish Spy. Boiardo imitated Pulci, Ariosto imitated Boiardo. The most original writers borrowed from one another.
Education Is Important - but all education is self education.
"knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind" - Plato
It is a student's desire to know that impels learning.
"The desire to know is natural to good men." - Leonardo da Vinci
* If you want to learn - seek out knowledge for yourself.
* If you need to fulfil requirements for a bureaucracy you do not have to learn; you only need a diploma from a bureaucratically approved school.
* If you wish to define and achieve your own success - you need wisdom and understanding. That will be found within yourself while seeking wise counsel and considering it until understanding is found. Good books are one source of wise counsel.
We enjoy study from at least two personal sources:
1) Where does our curiosity lead us?
2) What are our goals?
Use formal schools where they are the best source of knowledge. Be very open to other avenues of information, discovery of actionable wisdom should be your primary motivation. Read good books!
The bureaucratic age is ending, to prepare for the age of the empowered individual you will need to be flexible and knowledgeable. Soon the largest employer in the world will be "self" - concentrate on making you more valuable. Continually apply action as you learn how to change the world.
"The world cares very little about what a man or woman knows;
it is what the man or woman is able to do that counts."
Booker T. Washington
Do it. Seek to fulfill your potential. Take the initiative. It is for you; why not do your best?
"Live ahead not behind, crafting not replicating, choose adventure rather than to be sure. Much of life's joy is found in surprises that overtake us as we dare." - Allan Wallace
What is the importance of education? It is preparation of yourself for an improving future -- how far do you choose to go?
An important factor in your education - read good books
Investments, college, religion, everything - read good books with opposing viewpoints before you make commitments.
A passion filled life, one where you enhance your knowledge by delving deeper into what is most important to you, is endorsed by many - sought by few. If you want an educational goal: dedicate yourself to understanding all sides of issues -- increasing your ability for discerning truth.
Quality education responds to a desire of the student to learn. Instead we have let power brokers decide what children need to know and believe to be useful for the authorities.
"Academies that are founded at public expense are instituted not so much to cultivate men's natural abilities as to restrain them." - Baruch Spinoza (1632 - 1677)
No one, government or private, will give you an education worth having. A valuable education is something you have to give yourself.
A definition of education:
Freedom awaits ...
Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling
John Taylor Gatto taught for thirty years in public schools before resigning from school-teaching in the op-ed pages of The Wall Street Journal during the year he was named New York State's official Teacher of the Year.
"The love for her child propels her on a journey that sweeps her own children, and the children around her, into a learning environment driven by joy, exuberance and passion instead of heartbreak and defeat."
BFU: changing education and society.
"Wisdom and understanding are enthusiastic pursuits rather than an academic record." - Allan Wallace
Documenting the creation of a renewing form of education.
Bastiat Free University offers student directed learning for visionaries and entrepreneurs. Rediscover the pleasures to be found in pursuing learning that enables your most audacious dreams.
"If you see change as a problem rather than an opportunity you'll always be too late."
Allan R. Wallace
Preparing yourself to make maximum use of opportunities; to live, to love, and to learn; that is the personal purpose of education. Exploring the balance between society and individualism, that is a proper social purpose of education. That balance needs to be discovered and maintained, by you, for yourself.
Discover - Learn - Act - Repeat
Succeed for yourself.
The BFU Journal has been supplanted by a combination of BFuniv at twitter and educational Squidoo lenses. The archives of the BFU Journal will be kept, they are still valuable.
And now BFU itself has closed. It was a wonderful decade, the site will be kept open for historic reasons, but will no longer be maintained. There are now many great universities offering free or affordable courses by top flight instructors -- find them and . . .
Education quotes on the current social importance of education
"Make me the the master of education, and I will undertake to change the world." - Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Daniel Webster
"I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more if they had known they were slaves." - Harriet Tubman
Modern schools and colleges are based on early industrial age Prussian schools - where the importance of education in society became the manufacturing of servile citizens. Students at government approved schools are trained to be easily managed.
The bureaucratic age is ending, making common schools of the bureaucratic age inappropriate, from both a personal and a social viewpoint. Over emphasizing math and science to help government and industry while blotting out individual student potential and temperament has become counter-productive. We therefore need learning platforms that will empower and encourage creative individuals and teams. Visionary networkers are needed to develop a better future.
Most of these quotes show how and why industrial age education was developed; others highlight changes we must consider as we discover and embrace better ideas. You will find here many ideas ingrained in the education bureaucracy, ideas we need to leave behind. I've set up links for a few of the lesser know names. Google or Wikipedia any other quotes that generate thought.
"Let our pupil be taught that he does not belong to himself, but that he is public property. Let him be taught to love his family, but let him be taught at the same time that he must forsake and even forget them when the welfare of his country requires it." - Benjamin Rush
"What is the task of higher education? To make a man into a machine. What are the means employed? He is taught how to suffer being bored." - F W Nietzsche
"The schools must fashion the person, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will." - Johann Gottlieb Fichte
"What's the difference between a bright, inquisitive five-year-old, and a dull, stupid nineteen-year-old? Fourteen years of the British educational system." - Bertrand Russell
"Government will not fail to employ education, to strengthen its hands and perpetuate its institutions." - William Godwin
"After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp, and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd." - Alexis de Tocqueville (1835)
"The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone would be interdependent." - John Dewey 1899
"Only a system of state-controlled schools can be free to teach whatever the welfare of the State may demand." - Ellwood P. Cubberley
"It is the State which educates its citizens in civic virtue, gives them a consciousness of their mission, and welds them into unity." - Benito Mussolini
"It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion." - Joseph Goebbels
"Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." - Joseph Stalin
"The shocking possibility that dumb people don't exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the millions of careers devoted to tending them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my central proposition: the mass dumbness which justifies official schooling first had to be dreamed of; it isn't real." - John Taylor Gatto
"The only difference between propaganda and education, really, is in the point of view. The advocacy of what we believe in is education. The advocacy of what we don't believe in is propaganda." - Edward L. Bernays
How are we doing so far?
Did you find some ideas on the importance of education, both personal and social.
Did This lens help you understand the <i>importance of education</i>?
Education is becoming a fungible commodity.
What a common school of the last age provided at great cost to students and society, can become available to all interested students for the cost of a comic book.
The costs of accessing knowledge and acquiring training are approaching zero.
The real work is personally extracting wisdom.
Micro learning may be the future of education.
The importance of Squidoo lenses, e-books by experts, online tutorials, and Wikipedia is: they allow you to learn what you want, when you are ready.
This page about educational importance is a Squidoo lens. It provides enough information to answer questions, provides links to more information, and let's you decide if you need more. A simple step by step tutorial on crafting Squidoo lenses is in this e-book, at no charge - the virtual world is overflowing with such tools. You can create and discover whenever you wish, in amounts you tailor for yourself.
You can construct a school year of knowledge and backup links on a single page, or study a similar page crafted by a renaissance person similar to yourself.
Technology is leading toward the disappearance of office buildings and bloated bureaucracies. Why is it harder to see it leading to the disappearance of public schools?
Schools serve local functions, accessing information, connecting with people, providing civic conformity. These occur both in the virtual world and real space; but the results are different. The flexibility of the virtual world allows each learner to discover how they learn best. Persisting in comparisons to other's memorization skills is less important than discovery of each student's talents and passions.
"A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals." - Larry Bird
Yesterday's impossible is today's normal.
Schools can be replaced by playgrounds and sports complexes - and free form libraries that invite both small group and quiet individual learning projects. As office buildings will disappear - so will schools. To nurture the transition, we need to cultivate transformational change.
"You can't learn to write in college. It's a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do-and they don't. They have prejudices. They may like Henry James, but what if you don't want to write like Henry James? . . . The library, on the other hand, has no biases. The information is all there for you to interpret. You don't have someone telling you what to think. You discover it for yourself." Ray Bradbury
We have to quit thrusting our expanding hierarchies on children. Hive structure never worked for humans, except for those at the top. It is even less appropriate today. Initiative and reputation are now more important than structure. Compulsory schools of the industrial era are counterproductive, however noble our motives. Solutions for our endangered future reside in individual integrity, creativity, and action; not in bureaucratic entanglements.
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
To succeed we need to keep learning, but our education does not have to be in formal institutions. We do not need to ask permission to study, learn, ask new questions, and understand new ideas. You have personal authority over your own life, it's time to use it.
Think - Learn - Act - Grow
What do you believe is the importance of education?
What do you think is most important in education; (1) certificate acquisition, (2) what you learn, (3) how well you blend with common society, or (4) discovering how best to live a rewarding life?
"Civilization's development has always been initiated by individuals balancing interactions within their intimate groups against their personal needs for independence, creativity, and identity. Social engineers and planners always err at this point. What they endeavor is to convert humankind from caring tribes into a collective with one mind (their mind of course).
They want to make all the complex human herds and packs composed of individuals into a single hive of drones. They have always failed, they will always fail; for outstanding individuals will continue to emerge - imagining and accomplishing exceptional goals - changing everything." - Allan R. Wallace
As a human, you alone are important. Human progress has been shaped by visionary individuals and their actions, will you join them?
(Do not be concerned if English is not your first language. We will work at understanding you, just as you have first worked at understanding us.)
Enjoy the conversation.
Love of reading is the foundation of education.
If you read, you can acquire any knowledge you wish. If you love to read and think, you can acquire wisdom and understanding.
"Fear of failure creates conformity that scales. Courage empowers. To become valuable you must advance yourself." - Allan Wallace
You acquire a love of reading by reading for entertainment first; then by reading entertaining works with opinions you can challenge; finally with the satisfaction of adding knowledge in areas of personally chosen priorities.
You can finish by creating your own works, that others will hopefully enjoy.
What really matters
The most important point on the importance of education:
What do You want to learn?
How to keep developing your understanding of educational importance.
The following education lenses may provide just the insights you desire
For the roughly one third of you (9/16/08) that indicated in the poll I should try again, I will.
If you want an even broader selection of lenses that seek a cure for the common education, check the educational section of my lensography.
Books Are Like Laws
Even when ethically handled:
They are written by people with political views they consider normal. They are taught to others by teachers possessing an intrinsic political slant. They are perceived by readers according to individual interpretations.
Because they contradict each other in writing, teaching, perception of intent, and application they can be honestly selected to support any political position. Know this of everyone.
Books and laws will reinforce your views -- confirm what you do.
Almost Three Hours . . .
and sometimes dry.
"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."
Consider this a semester of reality to counter those twelve forced years of questionable value.
Are you worth it?
Do you want to be?
Radical Educational Futurism
Sitting still as we decay is not an attractive option.
Turn the page. What we have to learn from the past bureaucratic age: it's ending. There is already enough good thought on what is now available for us to start learning, and applying, newer educational tools.
Choose Your Own Life
Inertia may control you now.
First strive to consider alternatives, then if warranted -- act.
To re-read, rate, link, buy books, quote, contact the author, and email this lens to friends, students and educators:
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Will YOUR life move forward in doing what you want to accomplish, or be grounded by random responses to conflicting urges?
"Bastiat Free University was not built to segment and distribute information - BFU existed as a catalyst to reignite your love of learning. Today the site remains as a historical marker of the route to free, internet based, higher education." - Allan R. Wallace
The majority of business people are honest, and they still honour a handshake.