Recently, the state of Wisconsin has been plunged into a long debate about education. Whether the actual practice of educating or the circumstances surrounding it. The opinions on this are varied and divisive. But I don't want to go into the politics of it all, I simply wish to give my views on what education really is.
In my mind there are two types of things a person can learn: The sort of things that you learn from instruction, and the sort of things you learn from listening. Now I know that these seem like the same thing at first but let me explain.
Things you learn from instruction are things that you watch, you try and and understand the intricacies of what's around you and then you attempt to mimic them. These sorts of things teach you how to operate in the world. Whether it be social skills or instructions on how to do your chosen job. The world needs these sorts of lessons or else it would fall apart. We need people to know how to do things and how to learn to do new things.
Things you learn from listening are a little bit harder to explain. But basically, these are the things that you learn about yourself. These are the things that show you your reasoning, your motivations, your potential, your desires and personal philosophies. These sorts of lessons teach you what your role in the world is and why. But to learn these lessons I feel that we all need to listen more. Listen to other people, listen to your own thoughts, listen to the world as a whole as it moves around us, listen to a higher power if you believe in one and listen to the examples of those who have done this before you. As soon as you start actually listening to it all you start to process it in your head. You begin to make sense of it all and piece it all together and once you start to do that your opinions of everything begin to get clearer.
Both types of things are incredibly important. The things you learn from instruction are important to the society you belong to and the things you learn by listening are important to your sense of self. So with that said, it's necessary for there to be a place where people have access to both of these things. To me this place is an obvious one, schools. I'm not saying that other places don't exist because they do, what I'm saying is that schools are places that we all have access to in this country. We're instructed by our teachers on the things we need to know to operate, and we listen to everyone around us and learn how we feel about it all. In my mind, the things we learn are necessary to live, so having a place to learn these things is equally necessary. In fact, not only do these places simply need to exist, they need to thrive. They need to be constantly evolving and becoming better as the world changes. They simply cannot fall by the wayside or be sacrificed for some other purpose that may have importance today.
Okay, so I lied a bit and did go a little into the politics, I apologize for that. But in conclusion, there are things out there that we must know to live, and there's things out there we must know to understand why we survive. We can only become necessary members of the world when we attempt to learn both, and to learn both we need places that gives us our lessons.