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Word: training Part of Speech: noun Syllables: train·ing Pronounciation: \ˈtrā-niŋ\
1) a:the act, process, or method of one that trains.
b:the skill, knowledge, or experience acquired by one that trains
2) the state of being trained.
For our purposes here at Andreas Philip Gross Enterprises, we are focusing chiefly on definition 1b for both these words (and definition number 2 of the word "education" for those of us who are educators "imparting" an education to others) - the knowledge, skills, and development that comes from following/being a part of a process that educates or trains......but now we are also stuck back with using our original words in the definition, something that is generally considered a major "no-no!" But thankfully that in and of itself partly helps to drive home the point I am trying to make here...
While a few sentences in a dictionary may give a good enough understanding of the word for some purposes, the "deeper" meaning of education and all that is can encompass has been debated by educators, philosophers, think-tanks, governments, parents, and students since the dawn of time. What is the difference, if any, between training and education, if any? What is the difference between education and a whole host of other very closely related words, for that matter?! When you are talking about an educator "imparting" (for want of a better word) an education to a student, what should or should not be included within the scope of education. What constitutes a "bad education" as opposed to a "good education?" Now, mind you these questions represent a very small sample of just some of the questions sitting on the top of the iceberg of this debate. An entire website could be built around this issue alone and still not "answer" the question or give simple definition of the term.
The "big picture" take away that I have learned about education over the course of my time working in the field (14.5 years as of the summer of 2022) is this:
There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to education that actually works well 100% of the time! There are a whole variety of reasons behind why this is the case - amount of knowledge and skills out there to learn, we all learn differently, we all see the world differently, the universe is changing around us all the time, and many more, but bottom line is that there just isn't! There are some people everywhere in countries around the world who like to pretend that there is some elusive "magic bullet" in the world of education; that when we find it we will have The Perfect educational system; but that just isn't the case and never will be the case. I think the old classic song Circle of Life from that beloved 1990s children's movie The Lion King sums this up best:
From the day we arrive on the planet And, blinking, step into the sun There's more to see than can ever be seen More to do than can ever be done There's far too much to take in here More to find than can ever be found But the sun rolling high Through the sapphire sky Keeps great and small on the endless round
Verse 3 (first English verse), Circle of Life Song by Carmen Twillie and Lebo M., 1994
Well, this is the case at least for single individuals on this planet we call our home. We are born, we live out our lives, many of us are able to grow old, and, at some point, eventually everyone dies. That's how it works. While knowledge, skills, processes, and growth may be added onto and into (or taken away from - we'll touch on that at another time, though) human society collectively as a whole with each passing generation, there is far more than any single individual person can ever do/see/discover/experience in this limited physical existence in one lifetime. No one single human is every going to just know or be able to do "everything" in a single lifetime on Earth - it just won't happen....at least not in any of our lifetimes for those of us reading these words right now. We all have our strengths, and we all have our areas we need to work at....and we all have our areas that we simply don't work on, won't work on, and shouldn't necessarily be working on right now - and that's not a bad thing (more on this later as well). This applies to human beings of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, ages, sexes, genders, religious beliefs - no one is immune to this fact of life!
But, back to the original question: "What is education?" For our purposes here we are going with education being the growth and development of skills and knowledge as the result of a variety of factors and inputs. More on this on the blog and throughout the site. Like I say, there is not necessarily one clear-cut answer to this question.
2) Wait a minute, Andreas! The way you describe "education" as the growth and development of skills and knowledge as the result of a variety of factors and inputs sounds like a variety of things - such as aspects of coaching, consulting, training, "traditional-style teaching," and mentoring - all combine into one practice.
Well, again, to piggyback off question #1, the straightforward response to this statement is: Yes! it is! You're getting the idea now! There is no "one-size-fits-all" educational system that will work 100% well for everybody all the time. While some practices may be highly specialized and easily describable through a precise dictionary definition, education is not one of those practices! In order for an educator to impart an education to a student, and in order for a student to be receptive to receiving the education, a variety of things have to happen in just the right way. If there are other students involved in this scenario (such as a class), some students might be "getting" what the educator is relating to them while others are not. To reach different people, the educator must implore a variety of different modalities and techniques.
But why do I put "traditional-style teaching" in quotes? Well, education - or, I should say, how "mainstream" (I also don't really like that term) societies around the world use to think of education - use to be different. Traditionally over the centuries, many mainstream societies around the world used the "filling a vessel with facts" concept of education. People of all ages, but generally we would be talking about children, teenagers, and young adults in most cases, "went to school" to "learn;" and "learning" tended to mean "learning facts." "Knowing facts" made you "smart." And being "smart" meant that you would "get ahead" in life. Why are you writing in "quotation marks" again? Well, because that might have worked back then.....but it's almost ridiculous to think of education like that now.....then again, some of our modern systems and practices in systemic, institutional education are still pretty laughable today! But things have still changed - although we are still very much in the midst of grappling with this change and trying to figure out what to "do with it."
Fast-forward to the 21st Century. Near the end of the 20th Century, the Internet and mass rapid communication in a variety of forms exploded overnight! Now, in the 21st Century, we have information at our fingertips all the time. No, this isn't the same old plug you always hear that "now we can become dumber and stop memorizing facts," because I don't actually believe that's true, but education has definitely become so much more than just "memorizing facts," because being a "walking encyclopedia" is not how a person gets ahead and successfully thrives in the modern world in most cases anymore.
Although I could write another thesis on this, I'll keep this one brief! This is just a F.A.Q. section after all, ha, ha! The straight-up answer to this is there is no "best type" of education system. This is for two reasons, with the first reason being, like I discussed in questions 1 and 2, there is no "perfect" way of educating anywhere in the world - there are too many constantly changing factors involved for any system or practice in education to ever be perfect. Secondly, different education systems have different approaches and different end-goals. Yes, while some education systems have been more mainstream around the world than others over the course of human history, there have been, and continue to be, a whole variety of different systems and schools-of-thought in education since the dawn of institutionalized educational systems - even since before this.
What you want out of an education, or what you want for your children out of an education, will depend on the type and system of education you choose. You don't go to a dermatologist to get your tooth pulled, you go to a dentist. Although both are medical professionals, each do different things with different short term goals (one helps your skin, one helps your teeth), but with the same long term goal (to help improve or maintain your health) in mind.
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