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Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, however learners can also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy.
A right to education has been recognized by some governments and the United Nations. In most regions, education is compulsory up to a certain age. There is a movement for education reform, and in particular for evidence-based education.
Etymologically, the word "education" is derived from the Latin word ?duc?ti? ("A breeding, a bringing up, a rearing") from ?duc? ("I educate, I train") which is related to the homonym ?d?c? ("I lead forth, I take out; I raise up, I erect") from ?- ("from, out of") and d?c? ("I lead, I conduct").
Education began in prehistory, as adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society. In pre-literate societies, this was achieved orally and through imitation. Story-telling passed knowledge, values, and skills from one generation to the next. As cultures began to extend their knowledge beyond skills that could be readily learned through imitation, formal education developed. Schools existed in Egypt at the time of the Middle Kingdom.
Plato founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in Europe. The city of Alexandria in Egypt, established in 330 BCE, became the successor to Athens as the intellectual cradle of Ancient Greece. There, the great Library of Alexandria was built in the 3rd century BCE. European civilizations suffered a collapse of literacy and organization following the fall of Rome in CE 476.
In China, Confucius (551?479 BCE), of the State of Lu, was the country's most influential ancient philosopher, whose educational outlook continues to influence the societies of China and neighbours like Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Confucius gathered disciples and searched in vain for a ruler who would adopt his ideals for good governance, but his Analects were written down by followers and have continued to influence education in East Asia into the modern era.
The Aztecs also had a well-developed theory about education, which has an equivalent word in Nahuatl called tlacahuapahualiztli. It means "the art of raising or educating a person" or "the art of strengthening or bringing up men." This was a broad conceptualization of education, which prescribed that it begins at home, supported by formal schooling, and reinforced by community living. Historians cite that formal education was mandatory for everyone regardless of social class and gender. There was also the word neixtlamachiliztli, which is "the act of giving wisdom to the face." These concepts underscore a complex set of educational practices, which was oriented towards communicating to the next generation the experience and intellectual heritage of the past for the purpose of individual development and his integration into the community.
After the Fall of Rome, the Catholic Church became the sole preserver of literate scholarship in Western Europe. The church established cathedral schools in the Early Middle Ages as centres of advanced education. Some of these establishments ultimately evolved into medieval universities and forebears of many of Europe's modern universities. During the High Middle Ages, Chartres Cathedral operated the famous and influential Chartres Cathedral School. The medieval universities of Western Christendom were well-integrated across all of Western Europe, encouraged freedom of inquiry, and produced a great variety of fine scholars and natural philosophers, including Thomas Aquinas of the University of Naples, Robert Grosseteste of the University of Oxford, an early expositor of a systematic method of scientific experimentation, and Saint Albert the Great, a pioneer of biological field research. Founded in 1088, the University of Bologne is considered the first, and the oldest continually operating university.
Elsewhere during the Middle Ages, Islamic science and mathematics flourished under the Islamic caliphate which was established across the Middle East, extending from the Iberian Peninsula in the west to the Indus in the east and to the Almoravid Dynasty and Mali Empire in the south.
The Renaissance in Europe ushered in a new age of scientific and intellectual inquiry and appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Around 1450, Johannes Gutenberg developed a printing press, which allowed works of literature to spread more quickly. The European Age of Empires saw European ideas of education in philosophy, religion, arts and sciences spread out across the globe. Missionaries and scholars also brought back new ideas from other civilizations ? as with the Jesuit China missions who played a significant role in the transmission of knowledge, science, and culture between China and Europe, translating works from Europe like Euclid's Elements for Chinese scholars and the thoughts of Confucius for European audiences. The Enlightenment saw the emergence of a more secular educational outlook in Europe.
In most countries today, full-time education, whether at school or otherwise, is compulsory for all children up to a certain age. Due to this the proliferation of compulsory education, combined with population growth, UNESCO has calculated that in the next 30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of human history thus far.
Formal education occurs in a structured environment whose explicit purpose is teaching students. Usually, formal education takes place in a school environment with classrooms of multiple students learning together with a trained, certified teacher of the subject. Most school systems are designed around a set of values or ideals that govern all educational choices in that system. Such choices include curriculum, organizational models, design of the physical learning spaces (e.g. classrooms), student-teacher interactions, methods of assessment, class size, educational activities, and more.
The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) was created by UNESCO as a statistical base to compare education systems.In 1997, it defined 7 levels of education and 25 fields, though the fields were later separated out to form a different project. The current version ISCED 2011 has 9 rather than 7 levels, created by dividing the tertiary pre-doctorate level into three levels. It also extended the lowest level (ISCED 0) to cover a new sub-category of early childhood educational development programmes, which target children below the age of 3 years.
Education designed to support early development in preparation for participation in school and society. The programmes are designed for children below the age of 3. This is ISCED level 01. Preschools provide education from ages approximately three to seven, depending on the country when children enter primary education. The children now readily interact with their peers and the educator. These are also known as nursery schools and as kindergarten, except in the US, where the term kindergarten refers to the earliest levels of primary education. Kindergarten "provide[s] a child-centred, preschool curriculum for three- to seven-year-old children that aim[s] at unfolding the child's physical, intellectual, and moral nature with balanced emphasis on each of them." This is ISCED level 02.
This is ISCED level 1. Primary (or elementary) education consists of the first five to seven years of formal, structured education. In general, primary education consists of six to eight years of schooling starting at the age of five or six, although this varies between, and sometimes within, countries. Globally, around 89% of children aged six to twelve are enrolled in primary education, and this proportion is rising. Under the Education For All programs driven by UNESCO, most countries have committed to achieving universal enrollment in primary education by 2015, and in many countries, it is compulsory. The division between primary and secondary education is somewhat arbitrary, but it generally occurs at about eleven or twelve years of age. Some education systems have separate middle schools, with the transition to the final stage of secondary education taking place at around the age of fourteen. Schools that provide primary education, are mostly referred to as primary schools or elementary schools. Primary schools are often subdivided into infant schools and junior school.
In India, for example, compulsory education spans over twelve years, with eight years of elementary education, five years of primary schooling and three years of upper primary schooling. Various states in the republic of India provide 12 years of compulsory school education based on a national curriculum framework designed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training.
This covers the two ISCED levels, ISCED 2: Lower Secondary Education and ISCED 3: Upper Secondary Education.
In most contemporary educational systems of the world, secondary education comprises the formal education that occurs during adolescence. In the United States, Canada, and Australia, primary and secondary education together are sometimes referred to as K-12 education, and in New Zealand Year 1?13 is used. The purpose of secondary education can be to give common knowledge, to prepare for higher education, or to train directly in a profession.
Secondary education in the United States did not emerge until 1910, with the rise of large corporations and advancing technology in factories, which required skilled workers. In order to meet this new job demand, high schools were created, with a curriculum focused on practical job skills that would better prepare students for white collar or skilled blue collar work. This proved beneficial for both employers and employees, since the improved human capital lowered costs for the employer, while skilled employees received higher wages.
Secondary education has a longer history in Europe, where grammar schools or academies date from as early as the 6th century, in the form of public schools, fee-paying schools, or charitable educational foundations, which themselves date even further back.
It spans the period between the typically universal compulsory, primary education to the optional, selective tertiary, "postsecondary", or "higher" education of ISCED 5 and 6 (e.g. university), and the ISCED 4 Further education or vocational school.
Depending on the system, schools for this period, or a part of it, may be called secondary or high schools, gymnasiums, lyceums, middle schools, colleges, or vocational schools. The exact meaning of any of these terms varies from one system to another. The exact boundary between primary and secondary education also varies from country to country and even within them but is generally around the seventh to the tenth year of schooling.
Programmes at ISCED level 2, lower secondary education are usually organized around a more subject-oriented curriculum; differing from primary education. Teachers typically have pedagogical training in the specific subjects and, more often than at ISCED level 1, a class of students will have several teachers, each with specialised knowledge of the subjects they teach. Programmes at ISCED level 2, aim is to lay the foundation for lifelong learning and human development upon introducing theoretical concepts across a broad range of subjects which can be developed in future stages. Some education systems may offer vocational education programmes during ISCED level 2 providing skills relevant to employment.
Programmes at ISCED level 3, or upper secondary education, are typically designed to complete secondary education process. They lead to skills relevant to employment and the skill necessary to engage in tertiary courses. They offer students more varied, specialised and in-depth instruction. They are more differentiated, with range of options and learning streams.
Community colleges offer another option at this transitional stage of education. They provide nonresidential junior college courses to people living in a particular area.
Higher education, also called tertiary, third stage, or postsecondary education, is the non-compulsory educational level that follows the completion of a school such as a high school or secondary school. Tertiary education is normally taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as vocational education and training. Colleges and universities mainly provide tertiary education. Collectively, these are sometimes known as tertiary institutions. Individuals who complete tertiary education generally receive certificates, diplomas, or academic degrees.
The ISCED distinguishes 4 levels of tertiary education. ISCED 6 is equivalent to a first degree, ISCED 7 is equivalent to a masters or an advanced professional qualification and ISCED 8 is an advanced research qualification, usually concluding with the submission and defence of a substantive dissertation of publishable quality based on original research. The category ISCED 5 is reserved for short-cycle courses of requiring degree level study.
Higher education typically involves work towards a degree-level or foundation degree qualification. In most developed countries, a high proportion of the population (up to 50%) now enter higher education at some time in their lives. Higher education is therefore very important to national economies, both as a significant industry in its own right and as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the economy.
University education includes teaching, research, and social services activities, and it includes both the undergraduate level (sometimes referred to as tertiary education) and the graduate (or postgraduate) level (sometimes referred to as graduate school). Some universities are composed of several colleges.
One type of university education is a liberal arts education, which can be defined as a "college or university curriculum aimed at imparting broad general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum." Although what is known today as liberal arts education began in Europe, the term "liberal arts college" is more commonly associated with institutions in the United States such as Williams College or Barnard College.
Vocational education is a form of education focused on direct and practical training for a specific trade or craft. Vocational education may come in the form of an apprenticeship or internship as well as institutions teaching courses such as carpentry, agriculture, engineering, medicine, architecture and the arts.
Post 16 education, adult education and further education involve continued study, but a level no different from that found at upper secondary, and are grouped together as ISCED 4, post-secondary non-tertiary education.
In the past, those who were disabled were often not eligible for public education. Children with disabilities were repeatedly denied an education by physicians or special tutors. These early physicians (people like Itard, Seguin, Howe, Gallaudet) set the foundation for special education today. They focused on individualized instruction and functional skills. In its early years, special education was only provided to people with severe disabilities, but more recently it has been opened to anyone who has experienced difficulty learning.
While considered "alternative" today, most alternative systems have existed since ancient times. After the public school system was widely developed beginning in the 19th century, some parents found reasons to be discontented with the new system. Alternative education developed in part as a reaction to perceived limitations and failings of traditional education. A broad range of educational approaches emerged, including alternative schools, self learning, homeschooling, and unschooling. Example alternative schools include Montessori schools, Waldorf schools (or Steiner schools), Friends schools, Sands School, Summerhill School, Walden's Path, The Peepal Grove School, Sudbury Valley School, Krishnamurti schools, and open classroom schools.
Charter schools are another example of alternative education, which have in the recent years grown in numbers in the US and gained greater importance in its public education system.
In time, some ideas from these experiments and paradigm challenges may be adopted as the norm in education, just as Friedrich Fröbel's approach to early childhood education in 19th-century Germany has been incorporated into contemporary kindergarten classrooms. Other influential writers and thinkers have included the Swiss humanitarian Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi; the American transcendentalists Amos Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau; the founders of progressive education, John Dewey and Francis Parker; and educational pioneers such as Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner, and more recently John Caldwell Holt, Paul Goodman, Frederick Mayer, George Dennison, and Ivan Illich.
Indigenous education refers to the inclusion of indigenous knowledge, models, methods, and content within formal and non-formal educational systems. Often in a post-colonial context, the growing recognition and use of indigenous education methods can be a response to the erosion and loss of indigenous knowledge and language through the processes of colonialism. Furthermore, it can enable indigenous communities to "reclaim and revalue their languages and cultures, and in so doing, improve the educational success of indigenous students."
Informal learning is one of three forms of learning defined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Informal learning occurs in a variety of places, such as at home, work, and through daily interactions and shared relationships among members of society. For many learners, this includes language acquisition, cultural norms, and manners.
In informal learning, there is often a reference person, a peer or expert, to guide the learner. If learners have a personal interest in what they are informally being taught, learners tend to expand their existing knowledge and conceive new ideas about the topic being learned. For example, a museum is traditionally considered an informal learning environment, as there is room for free choice, a diverse and potentially non-standardized range of topics, flexible structures, socially rich interaction, and no externally imposed assessments.
While informal learning often takes place outside educational establishments and does not follow a specified curriculum, it can also occur within educational settings and even during formal learning situations. Educators can structure their lessons to directly utilize their students informal learning skills within the education setting.
In the late 19th century, education through play began to be recognized as making an important contribution to child development. In the early 20th century, the concept was broadened to include young adults but the emphasis was on physical activities. L.P. Jacks, also an early proponent of lifelong learning, described education through recreation: "A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play, his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always seems to be doing both. Enough for him that he does it well." Education through recreation is the opportunity to learn in a seamless fashion through all of life's activities. The concept has been revived by the University of Western Ontario to teach anatomy to medical students.
Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is self-directed learning. One may become an autodidact at nearly any point in one's life. Notable autodidacts include Abraham Lincoln (U.S. president), Srinivasa Ramanujan (mathematician), Michael Faraday (chemist and physicist), Charles Darwin (naturalist), Thomas Alva Edison (inventor), Tadao Ando (architect), George Bernard Shaw (playwright), Frank Zappa (composer, recording engineer, film director), and Leonardo da Vinci (engineer, scientist, mathematician).
Evidence-based education is the use of well designed scientific studies to determine which education methods work best. It consists of evidence-based teaching and evidence-based learning. Evidence-based learning methods such as spaced repetition can increase rate of learning. The evidence-based education movement has its roots in the larger movement towards evidence-based-practices.
Many large university institutions are now starting to offer free or almost free full courses such as Harvard, MIT and Berkeley teaming up to form edX. Other universities offering open education are prestigious private universities such as Stanford, Princeton, Duke, Johns Hopkins, the University of Pennylvania, and Caltech, as well as notable public universities including Tsinghua, Peking, Edinburgh, University of Michigan, and University of Virginia.
Open education has been called the biggest change in the way people learn since the printing press. Despite favourable studies on effectiveness, many people may still desire to choose traditional campus education for social and cultural reasons.
Many open universities are working to have the ability to offer students standardized testing and traditional degrees and credentials.
The conventional merit-system degree is currently not as common in open education as it is in campus universities, although some open universities do already offer conventional degrees such as the Open University in the United Kingdom. Presently, many of the major open education sources offer their own form of certificate. Due to the popularity of open education, these new kind of academic certificates are gaining more respect and equal "academic value" to traditional degrees.
Out of 182 colleges surveyed in 2009 nearly half said tuition for online courses was higher than for campus-based ones.
A recent meta-analysis found that online and blended educational approaches had better outcomes than methods that used solely face-to-face interaction.
The education sector or education system is a group of institutions (ministries of education, local educational authorities, teacher training institutions, schools, universities, etc.) whose primary purpose is to provide education to children and young people in educational settings. It involves a wide range of people (curriculum developers, inspectors, school principals, teachers, school nurses, students, etc.). These institutions can vary according to different contexts.
Schools deliver education, with support from the rest of the education system through various elements such as education policies and guidelines ? to which school policies can refer ? curricula and learning materials, as well as pre- and in-service teacher training programmes. The school environment ? both physical (infrastructures) and psychological (school climate) ? is also guided by school policies that should ensure the well-being of students when they are in school. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has found that schools tend to perform best when principals have full authority and responsibility for ensuring that students are proficient in core subjects upon graduation. They must also seek feedback from students for quality-assurance and improvement. Governments should limit themselves to monitoring student proficiency.
The education sector is fully integrated into society, through interactions with numerous stakeholders and other sectors. These include parents, local communities, religious leaders, NGOs, stakeholders involved in health, child protection, justice and law enforcement (police), media and political leadership.
Chimombo pointed out education's role as a policy instrument, capable of instilling social change and economic advancement in developing countries by giving communities the opportunity to take control of their destinies. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in September 2015, calls for a new vision to address the environmental, social and economic concerns facing the world today. The Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 4 on education.
Since 1909, the ratio of children in the developing world attending school has increased. Before then, a small minority of boys attended school. By the start of the 21st century, the majority of all children in most regions of the world attended school.
Universal Primary Education is one of the eight international Millennium Development Goals, towards which progress has been made in the past decade, though barriers still remain. Securing charitable funding from prospective donors is one particularly persistent problem. Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute have indicated that the main obstacles to funding for education include conflicting donor priorities, an immature aid architecture, and a lack of evidence and advocacy for the issue. Additionally, Transparency International has identified corruption in the education sector as a major stumbling block to achieving Universal Primary Education in Africa. Furthermore, demand in the developing world for improved educational access is not as high as foreigners have expected. Indigenous governments are reluctant to take on the ongoing costs involved. There is also economic pressure from some parents, who prefer their children to earn money in the short term rather than work towards the long-term benefits of education.
A study conducted by the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning indicates that stronger capacities in educational planning and management may have an important spill-over effect on the system as a whole. Sustainable capacity development requires complex interventions at the institutional, organizational and individual levels that could be based on some foundational principles:
Nearly every country now has universal primary education.
Similarities ? in systems or even in ideas ? that schools share internationally have led to an increase in international student exchanges. The European Socrates-Erasmus Programme facilitates exchanges across European universities. The Soros Foundation provides many opportunities for students from central Asia and eastern Europe. Programs such as the International Baccalaureate have contributed to the internationalization of education. The global campus online, led by American universities, allows free access to class materials and lecture files recorded during the actual classes.
The Programme for International Student Assessment and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement objectively monitor and compare the proficiency of students from a wide range of different nations.
The internationalization of education is sometimes equated by critics with the westernization of education. These critics say that the internationalization of education leads to the erosion of local education systems and indigenous values and norms, which are replaced with Western systems and cultural and ideological values and orientation.
Technology plays an increasingly significant role in improving access to education for people living in impoverished areas and developing countries. However, lack of technological advancement is still causing barriers with regards to quality and access to education in developing countries. Charities like One Laptop per Child are dedicated to providing infrastructures through which the disadvantaged may access educational materials.
The OLPC foundation, a group out of MIT Media Lab and supported by several major corporations, has a stated mission to develop a $100 laptop for delivering educational software. The laptops were widely available as of 2008. They are sold at cost or given away based on donations.
In Africa, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has launched an "e-school program" to provide all 600,000 primary and high schools with computer equipment, learning materials and internet access within 10 years. An International Development Agency project called nabuur.com, started with the support of former American President Bill Clinton, uses the Internet to allow co-operation by individuals on issues of social development.
India is developing technologies that will bypass land-based telephone and Internet infrastructure to deliver distance learning directly to its students. In 2004, the Indian Space Research Organisation launched EDUSAT, a communications satellite providing access to educational materials that can reach more of the country's population at a greatly reduced cost.
A survey of literature of the research into low-cost private schools (LCPS) found that over 5 year period to July 2013, debate around LCPSs to achieving Education for All (EFA) objectives was polarized and finding growing coverage in international policy. The polarization was due to disputes around whether the schools are affordable for the poor, reach disadvantaged groups, provide quality education, support or undermine equality, and are financially sustainable. The report examined the main challenges encountered by development organizations which support LCPSs. Surveys suggest these types of schools are expanding across Africa and Asia. This success is attributed to excess demand. These surveys found concern for:
The report showed some cases of successful voucher where there was an oversupply of quality private places and an efficient administrative authority and of subsidy programs. Evaluations of the effectiveness of international support to the sector are rare.Addressing regulatory ineffectiveness is a key challenge. Emerging approaches stress the importance of understanding the political economy of the market for LCPS, specifically how relationships of power and accountability between users, government, and private providers can produce better education outcomes for the poor.
Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. Although the terms "educational psychology" and "school psychology" are often used interchangeably, researchers and theorists are likely to be identified as educational psychologists, whereas practitioners in schools or school-related settings are identified as school psychologists. Educational psychology is concerned with the processes of educational attainment in the general population and in sub-populations such as gifted children and those with specific disabilities.
Educational psychology can in part be understood through its relationship with other disciplines. It is informed primarily by psychology, bearing a relationship to that discipline analogous to the relationship between medicine and biology. Educational psychology, in turn, informs a wide range of specialties within educational studies, including instructional design, educational technology, curriculum development, organizational learning, special education and classroom management. Educational psychology both draws from and contributes to cognitive science and the learning sciences. In universities, departments of educational psychology are usually housed within faculties of education, possibly accounting for the lack of representation of educational psychology content in introductory psychology textbooks (Lucas, Blazek, & Raley, 2006).
Intelligence is an important factor in how the individual responds to education. Those who have higher intelligence tend to perform better at school and go on to higher levels of education. This effect is also observable in the opposite direction, in that education increases measurable intelligence. Studies have shown that while educational attainment is important in predicting intelligence in later life, intelligence at 53 is more closely correlated to intelligence at 8 years old than to educational attainment.
There has been much interest in learning modalities and styles over the last two decades. The most commonly employed learning modalities are:
Dunn and Dunn focused on identifying relevant stimuli that may influence learning and manipulating the school environment, at about the same time as Joseph Renzulli recommended varying teaching strategies. Howard Gardner identified a wide range of modalities in his Multiple Intelligences theories. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, based on the works of Jung, focus on understanding how people's personality affects the way they interact personally, and how this affects the way individuals respond to each other within the learning environment. The work of David Kolb and Anthony Gregorc's Type Delineator follows a similar but more simplified approach.
Some theories propose that all individuals benefit from a variety of learning modalities, while others suggest that individuals may have preferred learning styles, learning more easily through visual or kinesthetic experiences. A consequence of the latter theory is that effective teaching should present a variety of teaching methods which cover all three learning modalities so that different students have equal opportunities to learn in a way that is effective for them. Guy Claxton has questioned the extent that learning styles such as Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic(VAK) are helpful, particularly as they can have a tendency to label children and therefore restrict learning. Recent research has argued, "there is no adequate evidence base to justify incorporating learning styles assessments into general educational practice."
Educational neuroscience is an emerging scientific field that brings together researchers in cognitive neuroscience, developmental cognitive neuroscience, educational psychology, educational technology, education theory and other related disciplines to explore the interactions between biological processes and education. Researchers in educational neuroscience investigate the neural mechanisms of reading, numerical cognition, attention, and their attendant difficulties including dyslexia, dyscalculia, and ADHD as they relate to education. Several academic institutions around the world are beginning to devote resources to the establishment of educational neuroscience research.
As an academic field, philosophy of education is "the philosophical study of education and its problems (...) its central subject matter is education, and its methods are those of philosophy". "The philosophy of education may be either the philosophy of the process of education or the philosophy of the discipline of education. That is, it may be part of the discipline in the sense of being concerned with the aims, forms, methods, or results of the process of educating or being educated; or it may be metadisciplinary in the sense of being concerned with the concepts, aims, and methods of the discipline." As such, it is both part of the field of education and a field of applied philosophy, drawing from fields of metaphysics, epistemology, axiology and the philosophical approaches (speculative, prescriptive or analytic) to address questions in and about pedagogy, education policy, and curriculum, as well as the process of learning, to name a few. For example, it might study what constitutes upbringing and education, the values and norms revealed through upbringing and educational practices, the limits and legitimization of education as an academic discipline, and the relation between education theory and practice.
There is no broad consensus as to what education's chief aim or aims are or should be. Different places, and at different times, have used educational systems for different purposes. The Prussian education system in the 19th century, for example, wanted to turn boys and girls into adults who would serve the state's political goals.
Some authors stress its value to the individual, emphasizing its potential for positively influencing students' personal development, promoting autonomy, forming a cultural identity or establishing a career or occupation. Other authors emphasize education's contributions to societal purposes, including good citizenship, shaping students into productive members of society, thereby promoting society's general economic development, and preserving cultural values.
The purpose of education in a given time and place affects who is taught, what is taught, and how the education system behaves. For example, in the 21st century, many countries treat education as a positional good. In this competitive approach, people want their own students to get a better education than other students. This approach can lead to unfair treatment of some students, especially those from disadvantaged or marginalized groups. For example, in this system, a city's school system may draw school district boundaries so that nearly all the students in one school are from low-income families, and that nearly all the students in the neighboring schools come from more affluent families, even though concentrating low-income students in one school results in worse educational achievement for the entire school system.
In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses and their content offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults. A curriculum is prescriptive and is based on a more general syllabus which merely specifies what topics must be understood and to what level to achieve a particular grade or standard.
An academic discipline is a branch of knowledge which is formally taught, either at the university ? or via some other such method. Each discipline usually has several sub-disciplines or branches, and distinguishing lines are often both arbitrary and ambiguous. Examples of broad areas of academic disciplines include the natural sciences, mathematics, computer science, social sciences, humanities and applied sciences.
Instruction is the facilitation of another's learning. Instructors in primary and secondary institutions are often called teachers, and they direct the education of students and might draw on many subjects like reading, writing, mathematics, science and history. Instructors in post-secondary institutions might be called teachers, instructors, or professors, depending on the type of institution; and they primarily teach only their specific discipline. Studies from the United States suggest that the quality of teachers is the single most important factor affecting student performance, and that countries which score highly on international tests have multiple policies in place to ensure that the teachers they employ are as effective as possible. With the passing of NCLB in the United States (No Child Left Behind), teachers must be highly qualified.
It has been argued that high rates of education are essential for countries to be able to achieve high levels of economic growth. Empirical analyses tend to support the theoretical prediction that poor countries should grow faster than rich countries because they can adopt cutting edge technologies already tried and tested by rich countries. However, technology transfer requires knowledgeable managers and engineers who are able to operate new machines or production practices borrowed from the leader in order to close the gap through imitation. Therefore, a country's ability to learn from the leader is a function of its stock of "human capital". Recent study of the determinants of aggregate economic growth have stressed the importance of fundamental economic institutions and the role of cognitive skills.
At the level of the individual, there is a large literature, generally related to the work of Jacob Mincer, on how earnings are related to the schooling and other human capital. This work has motivated many studies, but is also controversial. The chief controversies revolve around how to interpret the impact of schooling. Some students who have indicated a high potential for learning, by testing with a high intelligence quotient, may not achieve their full academic potential, due to financial difficulties.
Economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis argued in 1976 that there was a fundamental conflict in American schooling between the egalitarian goal of democratic participation and the inequalities implied by the continued profitability of capitalist production.
In The Case Against Education, Bryan Caplan argues that education is largely a waste of students' time and taxpayers' money. Specifically, all levels of education waste resources teaching many subjects that few students need to learn or have any real interest in. The bulk of what students learn is quickly forgotten after final examinations. University education, in particular, has become so vital to one's career only due to decades of credentialism and educational inflation. It merely serves the purpose of signalling to employers that a graduate is probably brilliant, diligent and willing to tolerate serious boredom. To remedy this situation, primary schools should teach nothing but writing and mathematics. Secondary schools should add nothing but vocational training. Public spending on university education should be drastically reduced so that underemployment-prone degrees will become less attractive to students. The vast public funds thus saved could then be redirected to other purposes.
Many countries are now drastically changing the way they educate their citizens. The world is changing at an ever quickening rate, which means that a lot of knowledge becomes obsolete and inaccurate more quickly. The emphasis is therefore shifting to teaching the skills of learning: to picking up new knowledge quickly and in as agile a way as possible. Finnish schools have even begun to move away from the regular subject-focused curricula, introducing instead developments like phenomenon-based learning, where students study concepts like climate change instead. There are also active educational interventions to implement programs and paths specific to non-traditional students, such as first generation students.
Education is also becoming a commodity no longer reserved for children. Adults need it too. Some governmental bodies, like the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra in Finland, have even proposed compulsory lifelong education.
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Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning.
Knowledge can refer to a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); it can be more or less formal or systematic. In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called epistemology; the philosopher Plato famously defined knowledge as "justified true belief", though this definition is now thought by some analytic philosophers to be problematic because of the Gettier problems, while others defend the platonic definition. However, several definitions of knowledge and theories to explain it exist.
The definition of knowledge is a matter of ongoing debate among philosophers in the field of epistemology. The classical definition, described but not ultimately endorsed by Plato, specifies that a statement must meet three criteria in order to be considered knowledge: it must be justified, true, and believed. Some claim that these conditions are not sufficient, as Gettier case examples allegedly demonstrate. There are a number of alternatives proposed, including Robert Nozick's arguments for a requirement that knowledge 'tracks the truth' and Simon Blackburn's additional requirement that we do not want to say that those who meet any of these conditions 'through a defect, flaw, or failure' have knowledge. Richard Kirkham suggests that our definition of knowledge requires that the evidence for the belief necessitates its truth.
In contrast to this approach, Ludwig Wittgenstein observed, following Moore's paradox, that one can say "He believes it, but it isn't so," but not "He knows it, but it isn't so." He goes on to argue that these do not correspond to distinct mental states, but rather to distinct ways of talking about conviction. What is different here is not the mental state of the speaker, but the activity in which they are engaged. For example, on this account, to know that the kettle is boiling is not to be in a particular state of mind, but to perform a particular task with the statement that the kettle is boiling. Wittgenstein sought to bypass the difficulty of definition by looking to the way "knowledge" is used in natural languages. He saw knowledge as a case of a family resemblance. Following this idea, "knowledge" has been reconstructed as a cluster concept that points out relevant features but that is not adequately captured by any definition.
Symbolic representations can be used to indicate meaning and can be thought of as a dynamic process. Hence the transfer of the symbolic representation can be viewed as one ascription process whereby knowledge can be transferred. Other forms of communication include observation and imitation, verbal exchange, and audio and video recordings. Philosophers of language and semioticians construct and analyze theories of knowledge transfer or communication.
While many would agree that one of the most universal and significant tools for the transfer of knowledge is writing and reading (of many kinds), argument over the usefulness of the written word exists nonetheless, with some scholars skeptical of its impact on societies. In his collection of essays Technopoly, Neil Postman demonstrates the argument against the use of writing through an excerpt from Plato's work Phaedrus (Postman, Neil (1992) Technopoly, Vintage, New York, p. 73). In this excerpt, the scholar Socrates recounts the story of Thamus, the Egyptian king and Theuth the inventor of the written word. In this story, Theuth presents his new invention "writing" to King Thamus, telling Thamus that his new invention "will improve both the wisdom and memory of the Egyptians" (Postman, Neil (1992) Technopoly, Vintage, New York, p. 74). King Thamus is skeptical of this new invention and rejects it as a tool of recollection rather than retained knowledge. He argues that the written word will infect the Egyptian people with fake knowledge as they will be able to attain facts and stories from an external source and will no longer be forced to mentally retain large quantities of knowledge themselves (Postman, Neil (1992) Technopoly, Vintage, New York, p. 74).
Classical early modern theories of knowledge, especially those advancing the influential empiricism of the philosopher John Locke, were based implicitly or explicitly on a model of the mind which likened ideas to words. This analogy between language and thought laid the foundation for a graphic conception of knowledge in which the mind was treated as a table, a container of content, that had to be stocked with facts reduced to letters, numbers or symbols. This created a situation in which the spatial alignment of words on the page carried great cognitive weight, so much so that educators paid very close attention to the visual structure of information on the page and in notebooks.
Major libraries today can have millions of books of knowledge (in addition to works of fiction). It is only recently that audio and video technology for recording knowledge have become available and the use of these still requires replay equipment and electricity. Verbal teaching and handing down of knowledge is limited to those who would have contact with the transmitter or someone who could interpret written work. Writing is still the most available and most universal of all forms of recording and transmitting knowledge. It stands unchallenged as mankind's primary technology of knowledge transfer down through the ages and to all cultures and languages of the world.
Situated knowledge is knowledge specific to a particular situation. It was used by Donna Haraway as an extension of the feminist approaches of "successor science" suggested by Sandra Harding, one which "offers a more adequate, richer, better account of a world, in order to live in it well and in critical, reflexive relation to our own as well as others' practices of domination and the unequal parts of privilege and oppression that makes up all positions." This situation partially transforms science into a narrative, which Arturo Escobar explains as, "neither fictions nor supposed facts." This narrative of situation is historical textures woven of fact and fiction, and as Escobar explains further, "even the most neutral scientific domains are narratives in this sense," insisting that rather than a purpose dismissing science as a trivial matter of contingency, "it is to treat (this narrative) in the most serious way, without succumbing to its mystification as 'the truth' or to the ironic skepticism common to many critiques."
Haraway's argument stems from the limitations of the human perception, as well as the overemphasis of the sense of vision in science. According to Haraway, vision in science has been, "used to signify a leap out of the marked body and into a conquering gaze from nowhere." This is the "gaze that mythically inscribes all the marked bodies, that makes the unmarked category claim the power to see and not be seen, to represent while escaping representation." This causes a limitation of views in the position of science itself as a potential player in the creation of knowledge, resulting in a position of "modest witness". This is what Haraway terms a "god trick", or the aforementioned representation while escaping representation. In order to avoid this, "Haraway perpetuates a tradition of thought which emphasizes the importance of the subject in terms of both ethical and political accountability".
Some methods of generating knowledge, such as trial and error, or learning from experience, tend to create highly situational knowledge. Situational knowledge is often embedded in language, culture, or traditions. This integration of situational knowledge is an allusion to the community, and its attempts at collecting subjective perspectives into an embodiment "of views from somewhere."
Even though Haraway's arguments are largely based on feminist studies, this idea of different worlds, as well as the skeptic stance of situated knowledge is present in the main arguments of post-structuralism. Fundamentally, both argue the contingency of knowledge on the presence of history; power, and geography, as well as the rejection of universal rules or laws or elementary structures; and the idea of power as an inherited trait of objectification.
One discipline of epistemology focuses on partial knowledge. In most cases, it is not possible to understand an information domain exhaustively; our knowledge is always incomplete or partial. Most real problems have to be solved by taking advantage of a partial understanding of the problem context and problem data, unlike the typical math problems one might solve at school, where all data is given and one is given a complete understanding of formulas necessary to solve them.
This idea is also present in the concept of bounded rationality which assumes that in real life situations people often have a limited amount of information and make decisions accordingly.
The development of the scientific method has made a significant contribution to how knowledge of the physical world and its phenomena is acquired. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning and experimentation. The scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. Science, and the nature of scientific knowledge have also become the subject of Philosophy. As science itself has developed, scientific knowledge now includes a broader usage in the soft sciences such as biology and the social sciences ? discussed elsewhere as meta-epistemology, or genetic epistemology, and to some extent related to "theory of cognitive development". Note that "epistemology" is the study of knowledge and how it is acquired. Science is "the process used everyday to logically complete thoughts through inference of facts determined by calculated experiments." Sir Francis Bacon was critical in the historical development of the scientific method; his works established and popularized an inductive methodology for scientific inquiry. His famous aphorism, "knowledge is power", is found in the Meditations Sacrae (1597).
Until recent times, at least in the Western tradition, it was simply taken for granted that knowledge was something possessed only by humans ? and probably adult humans at that. Sometimes the notion might stretch to Society-as-such, as in (e. g.) "the knowledge possessed by the Coptic culture" (as opposed to its individual members), but that was not assured either. Nor was it usual to consider unconscious knowledge in any systematic way until this approach was popularized by Freud.
Other biological domains where "knowledge" might be said to reside, include: (iii) the immune system, and (iv) in the DNA of the genetic code. See the list of four "epistemological domains": Popper, (1975); and Traill (2008: Table S, p. 31) ? also references by both to Niels Jerne.
Such considerations seem to call for a separate definition of "knowledge" to cover the biological systems. For biologists, knowledge must be usefully available to the system, though that system need not be conscious. Thus the criteria seem to be:
Scientific knowledge may not involve a claim to certainty, maintaining skepticism means that a scientist will never be absolutely certain when they are correct and when they are not. It is thus an irony of proper scientific method that one must doubt even when correct, in the hopes that this practice will lead to greater convergence on the truth in general.
The Old Testament's tree of the knowledge of good and evil contained the knowledge that separated Man from God: "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil..." ()
?????? ??? (Vidya Daan) i.e. knowledge sharing is a major part of Daan, a tenet of all Dharmic Religions. Hindu Scriptures present two kinds of knowledge, Paroksh Gyan and Prataksh Gyan. Paroksh Gyan (also spelled Paroksha-Jnana) is secondhand knowledge: knowledge obtained from books, hearsay, etc. Pratyaksh Gyan (also spelled Pratyaksha-Jnana) is the knowledge borne of direct experience, i.e., knowledge that one discovers for oneself. Jnana yoga ("path of knowledge") is one of three main types of yoga expounded by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. (It is compared and contrasted with Bhakti Yoga and Karma yoga.)
In Islam, knowledge (Arabic: ???, ?ilm) is given great significance. "The Knowing" (al-?Al?m) is one of the 99 names reflecting distinct attributes of God. The Qur'an asserts that knowledge comes from God () and various hadith encourage the acquisition of knowledge. Muhammad is reported to have said "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave" and "Verily the men of knowledge are the inheritors of the prophets". Islamic scholars, theologians and jurists are often given the title alim, meaning "knowledgeble".
In Jewish tradition, knowledge (Hebrew: ??? da'ath) is considered one of the most valuable traits a person can acquire. Observant Jews recite three times a day in the Amidah "Favor us with knowledge, understanding and discretion that come from you. Exalted are you, Existent-One, the gracious giver of knowledge." The Tanakh states, "A wise man gains power, and a man of knowledge maintains power", and "knowledge is chosen above gold".
According to the sociologist Mervin F. Verbit, knowledge may be understood as one of the key components of religiosity. Religious knowledge itself may be broken down into four dimensions:
The content of one's religious knowledge may vary from person to person, as will the degree to which it may occupy the person's mind (frequency), the intensity of the knowledge, and the centrality of the information (in that religious tradition, or to that individual).
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