Education encompasses teaching and learning specific skills, and also something less tangible but more profound: fostering character growth while transmitting knowledge and wisdom. One of its fundamental aspects is imparting culture even as it is observed that "the family is the channel through which the river of culture and knowledge flows from one generation to another."
Education means 'to draw out', facilitating realisation of self-potential and latent talents of an individual. It is an application of pedagogy, a body of theoretical and applied research relating to teaching and learning and draws on many disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, computer science, linguistics, neuroscience, sociology and anthropology.
The education of an individual human begins at birth and continues throughout life. (Some believe that education begins even before birth, as evidenced by some parents' playing music or reading to the baby in the womb in the hope it will influence the child's development.) For some, the struggles and triumphs of daily life provide far more instruction than does formal schooling (thus Mark Twain's admonition to "never let school interfere with your education"). Family members may have a profound educational effect, often more profound than they realize, because family instruction functions so largely by informal means.
Remember, year-by-year progress through an established educational regime does not necessarily mean intellectual progress, much less spiritual growth. Enlargement of vocabulary does not signify development of character. Growth is not truly indicated by mere products but rather by progress. Real educational growth is indicated by enhancement of ideals, increased appreciation of values, new meanings of values, and augmented loyalty to supreme values.
Education recently passed from the control of the clergy to that of lawyers and businessmen. Eventually it must be given over to the philosophers and the scientists. Teachers must be free beings, real leaders, to the end that philosophy, the search for wisdom, may become the chief educational pursuit.
Education is the business of living; it must continue throughout a lifetime so that mankind may gradually experience the ascending levels of mortal wisdom, which are:
- The knowledge of things.
- The realization of meanings.
- The appreciation of values.
- The nobility of work--duty.
- The motivation of goals--morality.
- The love of service--character.
- Cosmic insight--spiritual discernment.