What is the purpose of education in our life?
Why is it so important?
Dr. Jennifer Jones
Founder, Green Ivy Schools
We, especially our children, are facing some of history’s greatest challenges. The world is increasingly complex, seamless and dynamic. Education is the vehicle for ensuring that we can navigate this complexity with understanding, collaboration, and problem-solving across cultures and languages.
Education is essential for our children to address global warming, increased vulnerability to disease, the increasingly rapid development of technologies and the accompanying need for ethical governance and protections. It is the key to ensuring that in an age of advanced robotics and artificial intelligence, human potential and contribution is maximized.
The future requires much more than a simple knowledge of facts and basic skills. Education is the tool for building a society that can interpret, analyze, and think critically and creatively through unpredictable challenges across disciplines. The future demands solutions across disciplines rather than in silos of expertise.
Education will be the key to supporting a broad understanding of systems and the way in which all disciplines work in tandem.
Josie Urbistondo, Ph.D.
Educator, University of Miami | Founder, Write Your Acceptance, Inc.
Education allows individuals to fully participate in our world in two major ways.
From a knowledge perspective, a comprehensive education exposes people to a shared sense of identity, purpose, and language.
We learn how to move within social and professional spaces, and at its best education deepens our emotional and psychological intelligence. We learn to be more empathetic to difference, compassionate to our self and flexible with our view of the world.
Education in its purest form is expansive in nature. The opposite would be narrow indoctrination where you learn a sliver of half-truths and believe that one idea needs to blanket all experiences at any cost.
From a social perspective is the aspect of belonging. Being educated affords us a shared set of cultural and historical references from Greek mythology to the connection between the War of the Roses and Game of Thrones. Education creates an archive of references that then makes even our leisure experiences richer.
Educator & Director, Education Revolution
Education is vital in our life because it is the foundation on which we build everything else.
First, though, let’s eliminate the notion that education is something formal linked to an institution. It’s not. Classrooms are not the start or end of human education. Simply put, education is being enlightened to new thoughts, ideas, or potential. It might be achieved in a systematic formal way, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Education is when the mind grows and expands.
It doesn’t matter what someone wants to do; it will involve education. Besides the innate knowledge, we have as babies–for example that that gravity isn’t something to mess with–we’re clean slates.
If a human wants to try, achieve, or participate in something, they have to learn how.. That first time a baby realizes they want to be able to get to the table and grab that toy themselves, they decide to educate themselves on the process of crawling. Looking around they’ll soon realize there is a quicker way to get what they want–walking. And thus that milestone of progress begins.
For our entire lives, humans can desire to do something new or do something differently. It’s human nature to see problems and try to solve them, to see mountains and try to climb them, to see a void and fill it. And while we might all focus on different things, and learn in different ways, education is the only way to accomplish anything new, to improve, or grow. We must shed light on the darkness to see where we are going.
So if it is someone learning to decorate cakes, an architecture student, a kid on a bike, or a physicist contemplating the matter of the galaxy, education is the backbone of what will lead them to success.
Retired Educator & Author, Venus Chronicles
Education can open doors to unlimited opportunities. With the high cost of college today and rising student loan obligations, many are questioning whether it is important and the expense worth it. However, I am a witness to how far a person can possibly go with education.
My story. I always intended to go to college, taking all the college prep classes offered in high school. Then one day my mom retired from her civil service job in a big city and announced we would be moving to her small hometown in Virginia. Alas, I was entering my senior year in high school. A factory town, jobs were limited upon graduation so I accepted a dead-end job at the local shoe factory. With no money to go to college, I felt I was destined to factory life forever. While I am not knocking factory work, I wanted more.
One day on break, I saw an ad for the Air Force. Taking the entrance exam and entering military service my life took a turn for the better. Earning bachelors and masters degrees courtesy of GI Bill (no student loans) my positions and careers have included a short stint as a mental health counselor, adjunct professors at colleges/universities in the US and abroad, nearly 24 years as a university administrator and today a published author and freelance writer.
Besides jobs, having an education teaches you many life long skills such as how to communicate with others, introduces folks to educators and other scholars that have had major influences on our world and lives today. It did this for me.
Adjunct Professor, South Mountain Community College, and Grand Canyon University
When I think of education, I am forced to look at our history of species. We have made mistake after mistake, but “good” education was the key to bringing us out of the dark ages (literally). Education is synonymous with knowledge and wisdom. I would characterize good education as the following:
Knowledge of oneself that gives you a sense of identity. For example, there is widespread movement in the African-American community to research their family history.
Knowledge of others that gives you a sense of purpose and allows you to relate to someone outside of your tribe/culture. These are the most basic notions of human philosophies and arguably the most important.
Formal education has been regarded as the highest ranking kind, however independently seeking out wisdom from the coffers of historical books and current philosophers is a good place to start. And I would rather live in this world with a person who is open to knowledge and wisdom than one that is not.
A good education is important to help us get along and most would agree that we need that now more than ever!
Researcher | Author | Speaker | Podcast Host, Exam Study Expert
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Josaia Marr, who retired from his post as one of Shell’s Chief Executive and Managing Directors some years ago.
The story of how he reached the top table of corporate life was truly remarkable: as a native Fijian, he had not only had to break through the “bamboo ceiling” early in his career but before even that, he had had to fight hard to get a quality education, as a child of a third-world village with no electricity or running water. The difference between the world Josaia came from and the one he was to succeed in is beautifully illustrated by the following anecdote he tells.
He was aged 11 and had just won a prestigious scholarship to the boarding school on Fiji. He walked into the ironing room in his first week to find, to his bemusement, none of the coconut shells he was used to set light to in the belly of a great metal iron to generate heat to de-crease clothes. Instead, “fire” seemed to be coming down wires from sockets in the walls. Entranced, he stuck his finger into one of the holes. He got quite the shock – literally, as well as intellectually!
His fascination with science was kindled and coupled with his passion for education as a whole and a thirst to succeed in life, he did well at school and landed a rare university scholarship in Australia.
The power of education eventually transformed a boy who’d never seen an electric iron into a world-leading businessman. Education has the power to change lives – and the data shows it’s not just Josaia who has benefited.
Education makes us smarter. Each additional year of education increases intelligence by 1-5 IQ points.
Education makes us healthier. Each additional year of education increases life expectancy at age 35 by as much as 1.7 years.
Education makes us richer. For every extra year that you spend in education beyond secondary school, you can expect to add 11%-13% to your paycheck.
For example, data from the current US population survey shows those with a Bachelor’s degree earn on average $1,137 per week, compared to the average high school graduate on $678.
Josaia’s story shows that quality education is one of the great leveling forces in society: you may have to fight tooth and nail at every step like he did, but if you’re committed to bettering your lot in life, nothing is beyond your reach.
Founder, CEO and Admissions Consultant, Going Ivy
My son is learning to read, sounding out words like C-A-T or B-O-X. He sees these same words again and again, and he doesn’t have to sound it out. He just reads them. He reads more. He is so proud of himself and calls himself a reader. He confidently tells friends that he can read.
Education, whether formal or informal, has its wonderful benefits of giving a person a higher starting salary or more options for moving up in her career, but there are altruistic reasons that education is so important to a person and to society.
We can raise the next generation to be confident by educating them and praising them for what they’re learning. We can better appreciate excellence in art, science, sports, math, music or anything if we understand it. We can engage with others in a more meaningful way.
We can learn discipline by becoming educated in any subject. We can satisfy an innate sense of curiosity about the world and discover not only our strengths but also our passions.
Higher education often comes with breaking down boundaries and being exposed to more people of different perspectives outside of our home or immediate neighborhood.
This is a wonderful benefit of education because we can gain a social intelligence and awareness of how other people work and learn and judge and lead, and in turn, we can be more self-aware of how we do the same.
Music Teacher | Founder, Guitar Domination
As someone who has worked in education and currently teaches people of retirement age how to play musical instruments and achieve recognized qualifications in music, I can share a unique perspective.
Education for the elderly is often ignored by society at large but has an important role to play within society itself. Many elderly people lack a lot of confidence to learn and try new things but the ones that do often improve their lives and the lives of others around them.
This is shown by my students who go from never having played a musical instrument in their lives and sometimes living an isolated life to being someone who is reinvigorated by life, makes new friends and is ready to take on new skills.
They often become members of music clubs such as guitar or ukulele clubs and even perform live gigs to other retired people or charities. These students become role models for other members of society which include their friends of a similar age and their young family members such as grandchildren.
It is important for all of society that the elder generation are happy, vibrant and living life to the full rather the hermit-like grumpy image many in society give them. The inspiring image of the former helps everyone in society and not just a happy older person.
From something as simple as casual music education, the above can be achieved and an independent, happy and joyful older generation can continue to thrive.
If society helped the older generation learn other things as well as music, such as learning another language (which is common in Sweden at retirement age) a sport, chess-clubs or more, then the world would surely be a better place.
David J. Demko, Ph.D.
Education is important because of the following reasons:
- It is knowledge gained, enabling you to answer your teacher’s questions.
- The greatest thing about education is the wisdom gained, empowering you to question your teacher’s answers.
- Democracy requires an educated society because freedom cannot ring from dumbbells.
- Ignorance is the fertilizer that makes prejudice grow.
- Micromanagement is the trademark of a micro-mind.
- Lifelong learning is the vital sign sets the pulse of human progress.
- What you learn today determines what you earn tomorrow.
- What you earn is a large part of what you learn.
Founder & CEO, Prep Expert
Education is not about memorizing facts and numbers; it is about giving ourselves the ability to engage the worlds around us, and within us, with clarity and action.
Learning English and Literature, for example, isn’t about collecting a list of authors and knowing how to construct a sentence. Those subjects teach every person how to grapple with the abstract sensations we all feel every day: thoughts, emotions, ideas.
Not only do we learn how to understand them for ourselves, but we see the commonality of them in all people, no matter where they come from or what their lives entail. Science and Math aren’t about memorizing formulas and facts. They exist to provide the language of reality around us and how it operates.
Furthermore, the fact that they are always changing and deepening shows that our urge to know more doesn’t end.
Shashank Shalabh, MBA, BS
CEO & CMO, OmniDigit
There is a famous quote in Sanskrit that translates into:
Education makes a person humble. Being humble makes a person noble. With nobility, money, and righteousness come. And these finally lead to peace.
Let’s examine our society for a minute. What’s the cause of violence, unhappiness, and overall chaos? We can always argue and cite various reasons for this – lack of money, or inequality. But all those reasons do not address the core of the issue. A little introspection will reveal that it is “ignorance” that causes a disturbance in a healthy society. And what’s the cause of ignorance? Lack of education.
Please understand that when I use the word “education”, I am not referring to mere formal education that you can get in schools and colleges. My focus in a 360-degree growth of human beings – an educational approach that can make us think.
As human beings, what we receive in life is directly related to what we think and do. You can use the term “karma” to explain this aspect. In other words, every decision of ours has a direct impact on our future. Hurting or loving someone, supporting or abandoning someone, hugging or hitting someone…all these are results of a decision. Often, our decisions happen in a fraction of a second. So if our minds (not just the brain) are trained to think clearly and analyze before “acting” upon a thought, most of the problems of the world would disappear.
Education is a powerful tool to address that core issue. It can develop a positive thought process in a child, thus allowing the child to think rationally before acting quickly.
How To Start?
Imparting education is not only the responsibility of teachers. That’s where we go wrong.
Education is not about “reading” books or memorizing things. The best form of education is through observation, analysis, and experimentation. Observe a small baby, and you will see these three things in “action”.
So, if parents are not setting an example of “positive” education, how can we expect a child to grow into a noble human being?
Parents, teachers, and almost each one of us has a moral responsibility to set good examples for the next generation. Think before you act. Ponder before you say something impulsively.
Benefits of Education
Good education creates positive, compassionate human beings and this is the very basis of a successful society, nation, and world.
Education is the foundation of success. Let’s join hands to create a movement to educate one and all for personal and moral growth.
Owner, Innovate House Buyers
Getting educated is imperative in today’s society, world economies, commerce, and business are excelling at rapid paces with new emerging technologies. The pace that information is shared is astounding and those who cannot adapt will be left behind. The centerpiece to staying relevant in this fast-paced environment is educating yourself on current trends and advances.
Many think that a formal education from an institution that leaves you with a degree is the key, but to the contrary, it isn’t. Having a degree is essential to being marketable but that is the tip of the iceberg.
Many millennials with multiple degrees are having difficult times acquiring jobs thinking that a degree or in some cases an advanced degree will secure their future. You have to continue to add tools to your toolbelt to keep yourself in the game. Skills such as knowledge in technology, online marketing, networking, finance, and social media are a ground base of skills that you need to be adept in.
You can no longer be a one-trick pony in this world, the landscape is too competitive. The sharing of information is at an all-time high and through technology, you can gain these skills from places like Youtube, weekend or week-long Bootcamps, and Meetup groups.
A breakdown of the bare minimum things that everyone should know in today’s culture.
- Online Marketing. Learn about SEO, SEM, and Online Advertising. Having an understanding of these areas will greatly enhance what you bring to the table when it comes to knowing how to drive traffic in the online world.
- Networking. With the advances that came along with technology also brought along the unwillingness of people wanting to rub elbows. You need to know how to interact with others in social atmospheres.
- Finance. Knowing the driving factors of commerce is huge and finance is the cornerstone of it. Learn about Global Markets, different types of investing, Mutual Funds, ETF’s, Active vs Passive investing.
- Social Media. Social Media isn’t all about seeing the current status of your friend’s lives, there is an explosion in the online influencer world, learning how to tap into this market is vital.
Marisa De Marco-Costanzo
Executive Director and Co-Founder, Ivy & Quill Admission Essay Consulting and Editing Services
When one enters into the world, they have a unique set of DNA that accounts for their nature. Depending on location, society, socioeconomic background, and most importantly upbringing at home, one’s experience with nurture is shaped through early formative experiences that will either benefit or challenge them as they grow into young children, adolescents and later on into adults.
I believe that the only true factor into guiding an individual to live a decent and meaningful life is when they receive an education whether it is academically based, through life experience, or learned while on the job or by performing a task.
In the broadest sense, education is what gives people access to learning and when one learns something, they have the opportunity to acquire knowledge that can be processed, reflected upon, and recalled in a variety of circumstances and interpersonal relationships both personally and professionally.
In terms of scholastic education, when young children have a solid and positive foundation that instills the joy of learning through exploration and discovery, they start to form positive habits of becoming lifelong learners. By the time they approach middle school, they are prepared to take on more sophisticated challenges when approaching a range of subject matter that can help them define their path of study along with rediscovering themselves within the world as they go through physical, emotional, and mental changes.
Equally important is one’s transition into high school. In today’s day and age where higher education has become tremendously costly, one may initially feel deterred to pursue a college education. Yet if guided and supported by families, teachers, and the community, students can learn that there are many good organizations and scholarships out there that support college-bound students who strive for success upon their own merit.
Without having primary, secondary, and at the very least, undergraduate level education or vocational training, individuals will find themselves virtually “iced-out” of true possibility of financial stability as they enter into adulthood.
What the global community needs to understand is that education has to be at the forefront of our minds—starting within our homes, within school districts, society, and reaching up to the governing level. The day that we stop learning is the day that we stop living…
Head of Marketing, Pathfinder
Education is one of the most defining aspects of one’s life – if not the most important. Apart from the obvious reason of preparing a student for the professional world, it serves a much broader scope.
A good education should not only equip a student with specific knowledge but also provide a broader view of the possibilities available in today’s world, widening the horizons of the students.
As of today, the traditional concept of education as a step well defined in time and duration towards a profession is no longer valid.
The ever-changing world we live in now, fast-paced and constantly progressing, demands for life-long learning in order to keep updated with the latest trends, technologies, and tools that can help us to become better suited and more effective in the pursuit of a fulfilling career.
Education becomes then all the more important, for it is no more a single step to face in order to reach a profession, a box to tick once done, but rather an on-going process that’s closely linked to self-development. It’s no longer about acquiring technical or vocational skills – instead, it’s about empowering students with a toolbox of transferable knowledge that will contribute to forming their mindset.
At a later stage, it’s about nurturing the skills and knowledge already mastered to develop a better understanding of the world and where it’s headed.
The most difficult challenge is to ensure that there are tools to support learners as they go through education, which is what we do at Pathfinder, as our vision is to provide a platform that leads students to find and prepare for a fulfilling career.
We believe that self-development, career-development, and education shouldn’t be perceived as siloed stages of life anymore. They are different aspects of the developing journey, intertwined and equally important.
So many people are faced with the problem of having the passion for something, but lacking the key skills they need to take it from hobby to profession. Think about the famous Abraham Lincoln quote for a second, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
A lack of proper education is like working with a dull axe. Sure, you will eventually accomplish your goal, but it will take you far longer and dramatically more effort.
Education sharpens your skills and even though you get off to a delayed start, you catch up and pass those who skipped it in short matter of time.
Lawyer | Freelance Writer and Blogger, Mrs. Daaku Studio
In my opinion, there are three reasons why education is so important in life:
First, education gives you the exposure and the ability to think independently that you require in life to succeed on all fronts. It helps you in creating opinions and distinguishing right from wrong.
Secondly, it helps you develop a unique perspective in life along with building confidence in your skills. This helps you in dealing with difficult situations in a sound and rational manner.
Thirdly, education helps you get innovative and creative. Let me give you one example – as a student, I was quick to make money writing articles for publications and covering some expenses. Similarly, I know of college students, who work as a virtual assistant and earn $1-2k a month which helps them pay student debt sooner than others.
Author, The Old Money Book
Aside from offering increased professional opportunities and the chance to make more money, education has some less tangible, but just as important, effects.
One is that we are presented with context, with history, with a realization that we are not the first generation to be unhappy with the status quo, to protest, to seek a better world. We get a sense of our present in relation to the past, and we can better frame the future.
On a personal level, we can also realize that we are not the first person to feel alone, vulnerable, or afraid. Literature, with its characters and stories, can shine a light on our troubles and perhaps make them more manageable. “Wow, that’s just how I feel!” is something more than one person has said after reading a line of Shakespeare.
Another major element of education is the development of critical thinking. This ability, to see the more complex and nuanced aspects of an issue, opinion, or challenge, is key. It plays a vital role as we make choices, personal, professional, and political.
Digital Marketer | Founder, CollegeNotRequired
In today’s constantly evolving world, it’s more important than ever to stay educated. Education comes with many benefits that you can apply to both your career and personal life.
By consistently learning, you are keeping your brain active and healthy. Not to mention, education provides you with new skills and the confidence to tackle new projects. Thankfully, you can find a ton of educational resources for free online to get you started with almost any subject.
Also, I believe the most beneficial aspect of education is the motivation it provides. One of the best ways to avoid feeling ‘stagnated’, or like you’re not going anywhere, is to learn something new and set goals for yourself. There’s nothing that feels better than achieving a goal from scratch. So if you’re ever feeling stuck, it’s probably a good idea to dive into something you’ve always wanted to learn.
Education can help you find new ways to enhance your life as well. You might find a new hobby, or even a cause you’re passionate about! Personally, I became enthralled by the government and politics when I was in high school.
I put a lot of time and effort into learning how our government functioned (and a whole lot of history). I’ve since put in hundreds of hours of volunteer work for various political campaigns, which has paved the way for a lot of opportunities to open up.