If there would be one thing that one can carry with him from cradle to grave, it would be his knowledge, it would be his own wisdom that he used and will still continue to use in order to survive. Education has been man’s strength in this world, his mind is the power he uses to overcome even the most exigent challenge that comes his way. Education is, and will forever be, man’s greatest treasure and life will be his greatest teacher. Education is supremacy, gained from a life-long process of learning and understanding, not just only inside the classroom but outside the real world as well.
Education is a process of mutual learning, learning of not only the lessons taught for the day but more importantly the intangible things that are gained from interacting with others. Through education, knowledge is established, judgment is practiced and wisdom is developed. From my own experiences, I have discovered that several education systems are made available to individuals to guide them as they advance from one level to another. These systems are guided by curriculums which set as guidelines set for the students.
Likewise, these systems are mediums for imparting information, doctrines and ideals that will mold the characteristics of a child. Usually, the system begins with the primary education. This is where the first years of formal learning and structured training begin. The importance of primary education is stressed by the UNESCO’s Education for All Program which persuades different countries to commit themselves in achieving widespread enrollment by the year 2015. Perhaps, such importance is given emphasis because it is also within this stage that children begin to develop their moral reasoning.
As Piaget, Kohlberg and Steiner believe, moral reasoning has an impact in the formation of one’s moral behavior. Thereafter, during the adolescence age, one enters the Secondary education. This is also an important part in the education process for an individual, because this is the stage when the adolescents, who are in their most curious and most turbulent stages of their lives, are given the guidance in dealing with the stressful changes that are happening within them.
More often than not, the experiences gained by the adolescents during this phase of their lives shape what they become in the future. And then follows the tertiary education, which becomes an option for those who want to pursue a degree. Although education is perceived by many as addressed to children, it is important to note that education is a life-long process. Several education systems may have been set up but even before one enters the walls of any educational institution, he is already learning.
Humans discover something from their own experiences, and as one steps from one stage of his life to another, he learns. For instance, during infancy, there is already the cognitive development as described by Piaget. According to this theory, there are sensorimotor stages, which when hurdled by the infant, would help him develop some skills starting from reflexes and habits until he reaches creativity. Bottom line is that education does not necessarily depend on the teachers and what one learns from going to school. Education is an on-going process which is enhanced by every single act that one does.
Perhaps this is a result of experiential learning – the kind of learning wherein no teacher is required; the process wherein one makes meaning by mere direct experience. If I try to relate this with Conroy’s essay, I will further understand that in life, we are given the opportunity to learn more things; and these things are presented to us either in formal or an informal matter. We learn from schools, but there are things that we learn even from outside the classrooms. The difference between learning from school and learning from oneself is that school usually spoon feeds the students.
The school gives the students all the data they need while the students retain as much information as they can, On the other hand, self-learning will require contemplation and reflection, because experience will teach the lesson straight to the face of the learner. As I see it, this is the essence of Conroy’s essay – to let us know that there are still a lot to know outside the bounds of universities. Yes, we learn from our alma mater, but we have a greater teacher, and we have much more lessons to learn from it; this teacher is our life.
. As what Frank Conroy discussed, education will not end until one’s life ends. To quote, he said “Education doesn’t end until life ends, because you never know when you’re going to understand something you hadn’t understood before. ” Perhaps he said this because he wants people to understand that learning is not automatic. There is an effort that is to be exerted in order for one to fully comprehend the things that are presented to him. Like in the other learning theories, we learn things that are taught to us; however we have to exert our own efforts as well to further our understanding about it.
It is not often that one will understand things right away for sometimes these things will just unveil themselves in their own time. And it is in the nature of man that one strives harder to grasp the meaning of things. As one treks his life’s path, he will begin to understand more things, things that are not taught in formal education, things that can only be learned through maturity. Life is certainly the biggest school, where everyone is a student and everyone is a teacher. This is where the biggest mutual learning takes place – through the interaction of man with the people around him and his surroundings.
No one intends to go through life without learning something from it, and without leaving a mark on it. Man lives to learn, and man learns to live. He can never be too definite on where he is situated at the present, he can never stop his journey of discovery because there might be greater knowledge further down the road; just like how the learned have put it into words, when a man stops striving for perfection, he might as well be dead. This perfection is man’s destination; only upon reaching it that he can stop his voyage.
For as the words of Frank Conroy go, “…the active mind embraces the tension of never being certain, never being absolutely sure, never being done as it engages the world. ” Thus, it is only logical to say that we are living a life of uncertainty. However, God gave us the gift of wisdom, for us to learn the things which we do not understand at first. We enter in this lifelong education to help us grow wiser, and this is accompanied by experience which makes us more mature. Together, these two make us a better person. Education, therefore, is our greatest wealth and our strongest power.