Wednesday, 14 October 2015


I spend most of my days right now thinking, writing, talking and musing on many issues surrounding education and development. Many of my thoughts are discussed in my book, but I also enjoy challenging my own thoughts by sharing and discussing with others. Thus here are a few blog-posts of my current thoughts on a few topics to share with you all. Comments, ideas, questions back are greatly encouraged J

...On Education

What is an educated person? Is it somebody that has a degree? Is it somebody that has been to school? Is it somebody that has a skill or something of value to offer the world? Is it somebody that can think?

The value of education is something I consider a great deal, as more and more we are being led to believe that only if someone has jumped through the hoops and spent time in an educational institution are they Educated. By this rationale, we are calling half of the world “uneducated”. Absurd as a notion and failing to recognise how much value there is in an education system outside of school.

Here’s a little clip to demonstrate.

Formalised education systems are hierarchical – there are many reasons for this (and the history of formal schooling shows how this structure has evolved), yet we now seem to have an elitist system within our societies that brands “an educated person” above “a non-educated person” (the former meaning somebody who has been given the golden tickets gained through the process of formal education). 

Yet why are we being told to see someone with a degree as “better educated” than someone who has, for example, never had formal schooling, but has learned valuable skills through experience and informal educators? (for example, somebody that has learned to grow their own food, build their own house, make their own clothes, tend their own crops and animals etc.)
Within formal schooling systems themselves exists a hierarchy that values people’s brains over their bodies. For example, if you have been educated in a “brain subject” you are systematically deemed as being “better educated” by our society than someone who has perhaps learned a craft or a skill. Why is this? Why do we think that educating the brain is somehow better, more valuable, more worthy than educating the body? Why is vocational training so often seen as inferior to academic training? After all, the world only works with a balance (in fact, our world would simply fail to work without skilled workers, but would manage to sustain itself readily enough without academics).

There is also now an inherent global belief or faith that education is the solution to the world’s problems (albeit causing many more problems in its current structure, about which I’ll write another time) whilst “fighting poverty through education” is a maxim bandied around the modern psyche. But what is the real value of education? If somebody spends six, nine, twelve, sixteen years within an education system that trains them how to think in a particular way (national systems are, after all, being channeled and chosen by a higher power; the material within curriculums processing a particular view of the world),  are they “better educated” than someone who has acquired their own knowledge through myriad of self-directed systems and has learned to critically think as an independent, creative self?

What, fundamentally, is Education? Is Education thinking? Is Education Wisdom? Is Education knowledge? Is Education Information? Is any sort of formal school education categorically better than no education? (By no education, I mean someone not going to a school).

What is the value of education?

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