The Gonzo Education Carnival, Education. What's the Point?
Welcome to The Gonzo Education Carnival! We have a nice assortment of links related to education. Feel free to share your thoughts here, and on the contributor's blogs! Unless otherwise noted (EC for Editor's Choice), all entries were submitted by the participants.

Education. What's the Point?

The word education is derived from the Latin educare, a compound word combining ex- "out + ducere "to lead." Its primary sense, therefore, is to lead out. Out of ignorance. Out of childhood. Out of bondage. Noah Webster, in his 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language gives a four-point definition to education:
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.
Attempting to enlighten the understanding, Denise of Let's play math answers a question I asked a number of times in high school. Why do I need to know this stuff? Her answer is a lot better than my teachers' answers:
Because it will be on the test.
As Scatty desires to lead her children through Green Fields and Open Horizons, rather than force them into a predetermined mold, she shares a book I think I may have to acquire, Mathematician's Delight. (By the way, Scatty is homeschooling in Germany where it is illegal. She has an interesting post, Hacking Away at Schulpflicht, for those interested.)

How does the teacher engage the class? Monty Python is here to help. Well, there to help, across the pond in Great Britain, as diary from england shares.

If we are being led out of childhood, who are we following? Seeking Rest in the Ancient Paths ponders and finds not a school, nor a particular teacher but her father. And a vacuum cleaner. (HSB has some strange issues. If you get a blank page, hit refresh and her entry will pop up.)

All Things Hold Together examines how we perceive education to be something which occurs elsewhere (EC), in an institution, with certified staff. That is, after all, what schools are for, isn't it?

To me, education is foundational to liberty. We cannot make informed decisions, or sometimes even recognize our liberty is in danger, without the ability to find information and comprehend its meaning. As The Gonzo Papers shares, the warning signs go off, but you may be battling a hangover without a clue what the sirens mean. (Minor references to drugs, alcohol and I think a curse word, but what was college for in the 70s?)

An educated person should be able to reason, to form opinions and defend those opinions. We do not all have to agree, but we should be willing to engage in the conversation. Reasoned Audacity takes a look at a debate that is raging in America today.

It isn't all about textbooks, facts and discrete knowledge. It is about understanding. And it is about forming the manners and habits of youth, as SuperAngel is still figuring out over at The Daily Planet. (That HSB thing again...just hit refresh.)

If the heart of education is leading rather than molding, understanding rather than memorizing, and who we are rather than the stamp on the diploma, why are we so concerned about about that little stamp? Can You Repeat That...shares some thoughts. What? Jenn "only" has a GED?

Fitting a child for usefulness in his future station is a complicated process. Proving to a stranger that he is fit can be as challenging. The Lives and Times of...Anthony McCune shares how to go about proving yourself.

Shanan Trail takes a look at a more modern purpose for education, one we homeschoolers generally have a bit to say about. In 1981, Benjamin Bloom wrote in his book, All Our Children Learning,
The purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of the students.
Making a similar point with two short definitions, Educating Germany compares what education should be to what it has become.

What are the concrete effects of an education built on the pillar of socialization? Ed from the Flada Blog shares his thoughts on what he learned in public school (EC).

With a little cynicism, Feeling Stoopid (who in his email described his site as "a bit off color for some") takes a look at another popular purpose of education:
College is no longer about education. It is all about getting a little scrap of paper that says you ran the gauntlet of 5 years and survived.
Reasoning which is almost as inspiring as "Because it will be on the test." With such high purposes for modern education, would you believe that there is truancy in Hartford, Connecticut? Consent of the Governed shares.

How did we get here? From a nation with one of the highest literacy rates in the world, where the Federalist Papers were read by the common man, to a nation that dares not assign such things in college? Project Education Renovation explores this topic in depth on her blog. And Horace Mann (EC) had a lot to do with the shift in purpose.

Thank you for visiting this week's carnival. As I note in the dedication to this blog, the subject of education is the most important subject we as a nation can be involved in.

This carnival is part of the Gonzo carnival series and is maintained by For Your Success--Resources for Life.

Related Carnivals:

The 119th Carnival of Education is up over at the Education Wonks where you can read the reflections of educators on a variety of education related topics.

The 72nd Carnival of Homeschooling traveled to Hawaii last week, and is up at The Palm Tree Pundit.

Clip art from Clipart Heaven.

Related Tags: , ,