Tag Archives: Bishop Creighton

Beliefs About the Purpose of Education

Education, simply stated, is the process of gaining knowledge, learning forms of proper conduct and acquiring technical competency in a specific field. It involves cultivating the mind and instilling values that enable an individual to distinguish between the right and the wrong. It includes developing skills pertaining to a specific field and also aims at achieving overall development.

Formal education is divided into phases starting from primary school, continuing through higher education followed by education in a specific field (specialization). But education never really ends. You learn something from every incident you are exposed to, every experience you have and every person you meet. The process of education is believed to begin in the mother’s womb and it continues throughout one’s life.

We seldom think of what the real purpose of education is. We hardly think of the reason why education is so important. It is while we grow up that we begin to realize the role of education and understand how it applies to daily life. We begin to realize the importance of education only after it begins finding applications in our professional and personal life. If education is the process of gathering knowledge, it can never really end as knowledge is infinite and one can never claim to have acquired all of it.

Goal of Education

The fundamental purpose of education is to teach a person to read and write, that is to make him literate. Reading abilities that are acquired in school, go a long way in enabling an individual to learn more. The fundamentals of science and math which one acquires in school, are pillars on which his understanding of life is based. How did you know the Earth is round? Who told you why the sky looks blue? How did you know 2 + 2 is 4? How did you know you have 10 fingers, two eyes and a nose? It’s through education that you learned about yourself and the world around you. That’s the basic purpose of education – to make an individual aware.

Education brings about an overall progress of society. It gives an individual, better prospects of earning a living. It makes him self-sufficient. It produces individuals who are not just resources but assets for the society. It develops people who can contribute to the wealth creation of a country. While people are earning for themselves, they are also creating wealth for the organization they work with. With every flourishing organization, the government earns (in the form of taxes paid or direct profit-making in case of government organizations). Every organization thus shares the nation’s responsibility of achieving monetary gains. The educated lot in a country helps it earn money, the means of living.

Education is believed to be responsible for the cultivation of a civilized society. Imparting education to people enables the development of a responsible society. Education helps in imbibing moral values in individuals and their education in turn, helps in the creation of a cultured society. Education gives one a deep understanding of life, making him capable of living.

Education helps an individual acquire social skills, which enable him to interact with people around, maintain social relations and blend well with the others in society. As a part of the educational system, each of us learns with a group of other individuals of our age. Throughout education, we are part of a larger group. These years expose us to competition. This is when an individual tastes both successes and failures. Education also helps in the building of interpersonal skills. This is what education is aimed at – development of social skills.

Education helps create good teachers. On acquiring education, an individual gains the ability to share what he has learned with those less learned. He acquires the ability to impart knowledge to the less knowledgeable, he gains the ability to teach. Now, not every educated individual is a good teacher. But education is definitely a doorway to learning – where one becomes the ambassador of education.

Bill Beattie, a famous author believes that education should teach us how to think, rather than telling us what to think. Education does play a role in developing one’s creative thinking skills and imaginative power. Eric Hoffer, an American social writer, believes that the main purpose of education is to build a will and facility to learn. He believes that the objective of education is to produce learning individuals and not necessarily learned ones. Bishop Creighton, on similar lines states that education should aim at creating people who continually ask questions. By this he means to say that education should fuel one’s thirst for knowledge.

It’s on the basis of education that an individual can pursue his dreams. Education helps a person meet his career objectives and achieve economic growth. It builds resourceful human beings out of illiterate individuals. It gives a sense of personal fulfillment. An educated individual having experienced its positive effects, encourages the idea of education. He promotes education in his family. Thus he contributes to the spread of it, starting from a small unit of society – his family. The idea of education and a strong belief in its benefits, are transferred from one generation to another. One educated individual can prove to be instrumental in the educational development of his family, the future generations and in turn the society. The spread of education is one of its purposes.