Free Custom «The Definition of “Educated”» Essay Sample
Nowadays, education is a legal obligation for any citizen in almost all developed countries. The majority of children all over the world go to schools and a large proportion of these children later enter various colleges or universities. An uneducated person does not have many chances of personal and career development in the modern world, thus education becomes one of the most important aims for everyone. However, it would be also a big mistake to say that, now, the majority of people in the world are educated as they often make wrong decisions and show their ignorance in different spheres. Such a paradox leads to the necessity of defining the term “educated” that has quite a vague meaning. Being educated means to have good knowledge in different spheres and be able to use that knowledge to solve both practical and theoretical tasks in everyday life.
To prove the above-mentioned definition of “educated” it is necessary to compare various dictionary definitions of this term. They focus on extremely different aspects of this notion that proves that “educated” is a very complex and multidimensional term. Cambridge Dictionary of English argues that “educated” means “having learned a lot at school or university and having a good level of knowledge” (Educated, Cambridge). Therefore, according to this dictionary, formal education received either at school or university is an obligatory component. However, the Cambridge Dictionary also highlights that mere attending of the university or relevant educational establishment is not enough. A person should receive a “good level of knowledge” during the period of study (Educated, Cambridge). In addition, it is important that this dictionary denies any opportunity of being self-educated. A different approach can be seen in Merriam Webster Dictionary. In broad terms “educated” means only a person who has education that can be acquired in a number of different ways. Moreover, this dictionary says that to be educated one may only give “evidence of training or practice” (Educated, Merriam). Another important aspect of this definition is that being educated means to have education “beyond the average” (Educated, Merriam). It means that a person that managed to acquire basic education of medium level, sufficient for doing many types of work, cannot be considered educated. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary definition, an individual may be called “educated” only when he or she surpasses the average majority. These two definitions are quite controversial and highlight different aspects of the analyzed concept. Moreover, they even contradict one another in terms of the importance of formal education.
However, in the modern world the necessity of formal education becomes doubtful. The Internet, different cutting-edge digital devices and general trends of information exchange allow any individual to receive very good education without attending any official institution. The only things required are the person’s willingness to study, readiness to work hard and the ability to search information filtering the irrelevant one (Kiss & Euben 145). A good example of it is a story about a family who lived in isolation in the mountains of California and neither of their children went to school. However, three older sons were admitted to Harvard University when they reached the college age as the education given to them by their parents was enough even for such a prestige educational establishment (Patterson). Therefore, the definition of term “educated” should not include any reference to school or university.
Another aspect of being “educated” is to have enough knowledge in different spheres. Sherlock Holmes, a famous detective from Doyle’s novels, was a genius in the areas of chemistry, logics and others, but he did not know that the earth rotates around the sun (Doyle). Such a person can be an exceptionally good specialist in his sphere, but it is very doubtful that it would be just to call him “educated.” The knowledge available to humans is diverse and complex, thus, limiting oneself to only one or two spheres means rejecting too much that cannot be considered a characteristic feature of a truly educated person. To be educated one must not have perfect knowledge of all the spheres as it is impossible for any human being. However, it is vital to have a harmoniously developed base of knowledge and skills.
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In addition, an educated person is not a mere storage place for facts and data. A person should be able to effectively use his/her knowledge to solve a variety of everyday tasks of both theoretical and practical nature. Education is power that is given to a person, and if he/she is not able to use the information he/she obtained, the studying process was in vain and the person cannot be called educated (Kiss & Euben 67). Moreover, being educated in the modern world should cover, by all means, theoretical spheres, such as philosophy, logics and others, but at the same time the educated person should not be at a loss with everyday practical tasks, such as buying goods online or booking a flight.
All things considered, the definition of the term “educated” still remains unclear. Any society may add some new aspects to this definition as the understanding of functions and purposes of education greatly varies from country to country. Nevertheless, to be educated a person must have rather good knowledge in different spheres and be able to apply this information and skills to solve the variety of theoretical and practical tasks. All other aspects of this notion are optional and may differ depending on the community or time period. Therefore, if all educational establishments focused on these aspects, there would be no paradox mentioned above as all the people graduated from colleges and universities would have a right to be called truly educated.
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