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"Educated" men

For discussions related to education and educational institutions.
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kaIanus
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"Educated" men

#1 Post by kaIanus » May 23rd, 2010, 9:40 am

In German there is a difference of meaning between "Erziehung" and "Bildung", both called "education" in English. The latter one draws the attention to the basic foundations of knowledge (classics, literature, arts...), which are crucial in order to be honoured as "educated". But what does it mean to be "educated" - and not wise or enlightened?

cura ut valeas,

kaIanus

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jaywhat
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Re: "Educated" men

#2 Post by jaywhat » May 23rd, 2010, 10:21 am

It seems to that there are not only different degrees of education but also different meanings of the word.... and, of course, there are some educated women as well :smile:

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Re: "Educated" men

#3 Post by Maria Mac » May 23rd, 2010, 10:24 am

Welcome kaIanus. jaywhat is right. I think we mostly use 'educated' to describe someone who's had a lot of formal education or someone who's read widely enough to appear as if they have. It has little to do with wisdom or enlightenment and I'm frequently surprised at how stupid some highly educated people appear to be.

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Re: "Educated" men

#4 Post by jaywhat » May 23rd, 2010, 12:02 pm

Like really top scientists believing in mumbo jumbo!

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Paolo
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Re: "Educated" men

#5 Post by Paolo » May 24th, 2010, 12:08 pm

I would make a distinction between the Educated (people who have been taught) and the Learned (people who independently gather knowledge). Of course, many Learned people are also Educated, but it is not a prerequisite, so there are Learned people without an education and Educated people who have never learned anything independently (see Venn diagram below). I guess that boils down to a difference between getting answers and asking questions.

I personally have little time for people who are Educated if they are not also Learned - after all, if we don't question what we've been told we'll believe any old rubbish that we get as an answer.

Wisdom and intelligence are more about the subsequent processing of knowledge, whether that knowledge is from education or learning.
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grammar king
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Re: "Educated" men

#6 Post by grammar king » May 25th, 2010, 12:40 am

Welcome kaIanus,

It's interesting how words can have significantly different meanings in different languages. For example, mal educado, which literally means 'badly educated' in Spanish, is used to mean 'rude' or 'ill-mannered'. You gave an insight into the second word but what baggage does the first, 'Erziehung', have?

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Re: "Educated" men

#7 Post by Dave B » May 26th, 2010, 8:15 pm

I have always thought of wisdom as being something innate - you have it, or at least the potential for it, or you do not.

Perhaps I see education as being knowledge imposed by another which leaves it available for "good", "poor" and "bad" and everything from "basic" to "higher".

As Paolo says it is the person who questions what the education is supplying that may gain the higher, intellectual, ground. In that questioning do we "learn" how apply the knowledge that education stuffs in? There is the old saying that a degree course only teaches (educates) you how to learn - the learning is up to you to accomplish. Many only accomplish it so far as to pass the course.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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jaywhat
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Re: "Educated" men

#8 Post by jaywhat » May 27th, 2010, 5:59 am

Education should not regarded as 'stuffing in', but rather as 'leading out' - which is what the word means.

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Re: "Educated" men

#9 Post by Dave B » May 27th, 2010, 10:53 am

jaywhat wrote:Education should not regarded as 'stuffing in', but rather as 'leading out' - which is what the word means.
OK, jaywhat, I was a bit sloppy with my language there - but I implied that later. But, you cannot "lead out" what is not yet there - so education can surely only apply to innate faculties if you stick to that meaning. That we can only encourage and develop that which the student has already?

Factual input is necessary and that is, perhaps, what most think of as "education". There must be a scale of those able to accept that input, process it and then utilise it in life - some never achieve this, others may go on to use it to add to the sum knowledge of the race.

But manners, as implied in an earlier post, may have nothing to do with IQ or the level of education achieved.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

kaIanus
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Re: "Educated" men

#10 Post by kaIanus » August 7th, 2010, 8:05 am

Salve,
sorry for being absent so long.
As I was saying, the term "education" is split into both meanings:
1. education at home: learning good manners
2. education at school: learning abilities and knowledge of the world.

In Germany, Humboldt has a huge impact on all the discussion about this topic. His idea of a comprehensive education that "forms" the whole mankind to its best. I consider "education" as a overfilled word, kind of waffle. Every politician regards education as the most important sort of resources in the developed world. But each views it in a different way. In my view, there is no basic meaning, which everybody would -at least- choose.

Would you give an explanation of "education" that everyone agrees with?

@jaywhat: If you are in favour for its original meaning, how do you know, if someone is lead out? What are the aims and objectives?

@Maria: "It has little to do with wisdom or enlightenment and I'm frequently surprised at how stupid some highly educated people appear to be." - In what situation? What criteria do you use to judge someone as stupid, even if he regards himself as educated?

vale

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Paolo
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Re: "Educated" men

#11 Post by Paolo » August 7th, 2010, 9:06 am

jaywhat wrote:Education should not regarded as 'stuffing in', but rather as 'leading out' - which is what the word means.
This puts me in mind of the motto of my old University "Vim promovet insitam" which translates to "[Learning] promotes one's innate power1"

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jaywhat
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Re: "Educated" men

#12 Post by jaywhat » August 7th, 2010, 10:01 am

@jaywhat: If you are in favour for its original meaning, how do you know, if someone is lead out? What are the aims and objectives?

Not sure that I am 'in favour' but rather seeing education as the development of the person; of the mental capacities and of the logical thinking as well as the factual knowlege from teaching and reading and discovery etc.

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Re: "Educated" men

#13 Post by CurtisB » August 9th, 2010, 11:53 am

jaywhat wrote:Not sure that I am 'in favour' but rather seeing education as the development of the person; of the mental capacities and of the logical thinking as well as the factual knowlege from teaching and reading and discovery etc.
One thing to consider - education takes countless forms, in practise. Each teacher has their own focus and style, and so as well with each student. It's like going to Wild Wing where they have 1000 flavours of wing from a base of one dozen sauces :)

What *should* education accomplish, in the general sense? In no specific order, and probably not a comprehensive list, merely what is coming to mind right now:

o Imparting of knowledge...
o Exposure to methods, ideas, creativity: allowing the student to learn their own method for finding solutions...
o Teach a student how to learn, and what their own style of learning *is*...
o Teach a student how to teach - having done tutoring I realize that if you think you know a subject the best way to find the holes in your knowledge are when you try to teach the material to another...

I am against 'education' that boils down to learning by rote and testing regurgitation under duress, but I also see that such a system is very helpful to those in power because: it diminishes the odds that the populace will critically challenge policy and work together efficiently to effect change; also, we need lot's of happy automatons to work in the factories, call-centres, etc... and if they are all busy thinking critically about everything they'll get uppity and not be very efficient at putting their cogs into the apparatus on the assembly line.
"Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind"
-Dr. Seuss

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Re: "Educated" men

#14 Post by jaywhat » August 9th, 2010, 11:57 am

Agree with a lot of that. One certainly learns from trying to teach.

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Dave B
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Re: "Educated" men

#15 Post by Dave B » August 9th, 2010, 12:19 pm

Good post, Curtis (I don't know what "Wild Wings" actually are but can guess this would be a place that I would avoid!)

For me opening up and developing inherent and latent talents is one of the most important things, that includes ability. I does not matter than a person only has the ability to be a labourer, say, but they should be given the education, skills and opportunities to become the best possible labourer.

Some parents, often dads from my experience, think that their kids should be mini versions of themselves, with the same ambitions. I helped with an adult literacy group many years ago and we were asked to help a girl of 15. She had done very well in all her exams except maths and science (because of her bad maths). After getting her confidence I found out the story. Dad was an accountant and insisted in helping her with her home-work, but using short cuts and methods that the school did not teach. When the daughter could not grasp these at first telling she was told, "You are stupid girl, you will never learn!" So she didn't.

She did pass her exam the second time round.

There is an old saying, something like, "To learn, teach" - it is very true!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

Gottard
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Re: "Educated" men

#16 Post by Gottard » August 11th, 2010, 9:01 pm

...in other words:
Education:"is not important what the word means, it is rather important what you inherently mean"
(thought of the evening at 22:00 CET)
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

kaIanus
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Re: "Educated" men

#17 Post by kaIanus » August 13th, 2010, 6:18 pm

@Curtis
So do you think education is rather a "way of life", comprising curiousness and openness, the will to acquire certain facts or ideas, being able and willing to reflect about yourself, a thirst for knowledge and for broadening your horizon?
But does this understanding too much depend on your own character? The way your parents "handle" their education, the things your friends also are interested in, namely your whole surrounding in your childhood and youth have such a huge impact on these traits and abilities -how could a school achieve those attributes, so that everyone is able to foster their own education?

vale

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Re: "Educated" men

#18 Post by CurtisB » August 15th, 2010, 12:06 pm

kaIanus wrote:@Curtis
So do you think education is rather a "way of life", comprising curiousness and openness, the will to acquire certain facts or ideas, being able and willing to reflect about yourself, a thirst for knowledge and for broadening your horizon?
But does this understanding too much depend on your own character? The way your parents "handle" their education, the things your friends also are interested in, namely your whole surrounding in your childhood and youth have such a huge impact on these traits and abilities -how could a school achieve those attributes, so that everyone is able to foster their own education?

vale
Great questions, sorry for taking so long to get back to you, Vale.

Well, for *me* I feel that education is a way of life. As for how can schools foster that, when your environment is more weighted toward familial and friend influences... I still think they could do better; teaching students to pass tests, and little (or nothing) more is antithetical to the ends which you describe, in my opinion. I truly feel that most children, when given the ability to be creative and try different things on their own volition will learn to become true students, perhaps for life.
"Be who you are, and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind"
-Dr. Seuss

kaIanus
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Re: "Educated" men

#19 Post by kaIanus » November 13th, 2010, 4:31 pm

@Curtis,
I totally agree, but in terms of achievement:
Which is more important to accomplish such an "educated" scholar - the teacher or the curriculum?
I. When the lessons are based on the teachers' work, intuition and competence, how do you response to their incompentence, shortness of time or overload of work? Change in institutions and their education? Foremost, is that actually important?
II. I feel uneasy and partially angry when unsuccessful and incompetent teachers try to stuff children and force them to learn every single bit of the curriculum by heart.
Otherwise, a well-organised and well-established form of program is -for me- a sufficient way for pupils to train their thinking. This means that the reflection on the topic and its contents is paramount, of higher priority than just memorising every single fact.

vale

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Dave B
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Re: "Educated" men

#20 Post by Dave B » November 13th, 2010, 4:46 pm

Surely an "educated man" needs ability, opportunity, and either predilection or ambition? If the person has the ability to become of that status and the ambition to achieve it "he" will do so possibly regardless of the ability of the teachers. I cannot recall any specific names but memory (not so good these days I will agree) tells me that I have heard tales of achievement far beyond the background education of those with all the personal attributes.

I think there may be academics who do not fit into the way "educated" has been used here - "trained, manipulators, gatherers and describers of knowledge", might be a better description. Perhaps I have it wrong but is not an ability to transcend the limits of "normal" thought not required - maybe not philosophy exactly but the ability to see all the corners of the matter and integrate them?

No-one can truly teach that, you either have it - and use it - or not.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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