Just before the commencement of a financial summit I attended, I heard one of the invited speakers say to his colleague “once a graduate leaves school he stops learning and gradually becomes ignorant”.
I paused for a moment in my mind and thought about it, I said to myself ‘so schooling and most importantly leaving school can affect one’s education’?
I thought about the depth of his statement and it forced me to want to know the deep correlation and differences between schooling and education and also the role ignorance plays.
Schooling is simply the process of being taught (instructions, training, etc.) at school.
Have you ever heard someone say “Don’t let your children’s schooling get in the way of their education”? I have heard it quite a few times.
You may have completed many years of school (primary, secondary, university) and even enrolled in post graduate studies, but your view about learning may not change.
Sure, many graduates have been schooled, they have put in their time in class but they may not have been educated. Schooling did not encourage an inquisitive mind, critical thinking and creativity.
Rather, it trained us to memorize and regurgitate what the teacher taught us. Schooling was about facts and figures, rather than understanding moral formation.
Education on the other hand is a life-long process. Education is not limited to a classroom, a structured period of time or formal instruction.
Education can take place anytime, anywhere, in the middle of full life, in formal and informal ways. Real education calls for being on the learning curve.
A Quick Difference Between Schooling and Education
First, when we talk about schooling formal education comes to mind. I’m not a fanatic of formal education. In fact, formal education has done a great job and I appreciate the hard work teachers/lecturers put in to help students.
But I recently did a study of the words “schooling” and “education” using Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of American English and the Online Etymological Dictionary [OED]. The results were fascinating and confirmed the distinction.
In 1828, Noah Webster defined schooling as “instruction in school.” School is a place where instruction occurs. It’s just so painful that our schools today are filled with theoretical instructions and not practicable information.
While “school” denotes a building, “education” is associated with the formation of a life. In 1828, Noah Webster defined education as follows:
[L. educatio. ] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations.
Note that education is comprehensive. It deals with both the gaining of knowledge, being on the learning curve and the development of character – virtue. The combination of virtue and knowledge leads to wisdom.
Being educated includes (to give a short answer): a demonstrated ability to listen carefully, to think critically, to evaluate facts rigorously, to reason analytically, to imagine creatively, to articulate interesting questions, to explore alternative viewpoints, to maintain intellectual curiosity and to speak and write persuasively.
If we add to that a reasonable familiarity with the treasures of history, literature, theater, music, dance and art that previous civilizations have delivered, we are getting to close to the meaning of educated.
Why Schooling should not affect your education
I realized that ego comes with having a degree and makes some graduates feel on top of the world (most times, they’ve just been schooled and not educated)
Most graduates stop learning, even if it’s reading after graduation except they have an exam to write. They have reduced education to passing examination, to get increased salary or professional advancement.
If you have wondered, when some graduates open their mouth to speak, you are like where you are coming from? What kind of mind do you have?
Because conversation is an IQ test, you can discern how educated (not formal education here) the person is.
People can easily measure your IQ by your words which are a function of the quality of your thoughts. The question is – what are you feeding your mind?
Being on the learning curve at all times to gain universal knowledge is what keeps you relevant because you’re adding value to yourself. Most times you think you get this type of knowledge in school but that isn’t the case.
The 21st century is a knowledge worker age. The quality of knowledge you have will determine the results you will command.
Definitely, being on the learning curve and investing in personal development to learn things that are beyond the 4 walls of the class room pays a better dividend.
So painful that most graduates are ignorant of the fact that there’s a huge gap between what’s been thought in school and what’s needed outside school.
Also Read: Success at school VS Success in life
For example, what causes disruptions in today‘s business world is knowledge. A simple way of improving the production of a certain goods or improvement of services can bring about rapid increase in sales and profit.
The research and development department ensures this and being educated (on the learning curve to know how every other factor comes to play) is the key factor here.
Back to what I said in the beginning of this article, people gradually become ignorant after school. How is that? I’m sure the distinction between education and schooling above has done a little justice to that.
Learning – a key factor, when given no attention is what makes you become ignorant of so many things after school.
4 cure for Ignorance
So what is the cure for this ignorance? here are 4 things to know.
Go for knowledge
In the world we live in today, with the presence of the internet there no excuse for ignorance. You have loads of information in every possible niche to explore.
Read, stream videos, and attend online workshops and webinars to prepare for life’s exams and challenges.
What I have come to discover is that the truly rich people read daily and especially of things that they may not need in the now but have the information so that life’s challenge will not meet them unprepared.
The more knowledge you can gather, the less ignorant you’ll become.
Watch your association
Birds of a feather flock together. If your friends do not have hunger for success, they will not motivate you to seek knowledge.
Involve in reasonable discussions that gets you informed. Sometimes, all you need is to change your association to see new visions, set new goals and equip yourself to becoming that kind of person that can help you achieve your dreams.
Have strong dislike for mediocrity
One of my instructors said you cannot change what you tolerate. Become passionate about excellence. See yourself as a system and constantly upgrade yourself.
I read a book about mediocrity and realized not thinking above average is a disease, and it spreads like wild fire. It affects the kind of goals you set and your degree of success.
If you want to rise above average, change your mindset and belief system, don’t be lazy, it requires hard work and being on the learning curve. It is one reason hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work.
Become the change you want to see
Prosperous nations are built on having solid families and solid families are products of two individuals who have worked on themselves as singles.
They see learning as a lifelong process, have the right friends, are excellence-driven and productive.
I read somewhere that there is no productive nation, that all productive nations are productive because their citizens are productive.
The cumulative effort of these productive citizens now helps their country become prosperous and developed in their economies.
In conclusion, knowledge comes from countless hours of study and study is the place for inspiration. While in school don’t just be schooled, be hungry for knowledge.
Educate yourself in different areas of life, study and keep learning new things (during and after school) every day until it becomes a part of you.
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