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This paper analyzes the two major characteristics that define an educated person. These characteristics include an understanding of real world knowledge and a love of lifelong learning. Steve Tobak (2012) suggest that real world knowledge is the key to being truly educated. The article “Life Long Learning” (2016) argues that a desire for lifelong learning defines and educated individual. This paper examines how both of these characteristics are crucial in the attributes of an educated person.
What qualifications are necessary to be considered an educated person? This is a question that has baffled many individuals and educators. Some would argue that it is the amount of education one has achieved or the degrees one has obtained. I argue that neither of these beliefs are valid or true. I believe that there are two characteristics that determine if one is truly educated. These characteristics include real world knowledge and a desire for life-long learning. If an individual contains these two characteristics, they are indeed considered and educated person.
Real World Knowledge
Many people correlate one’s educational level based on degrees from prestigious colleges or universities. I argue that it is not the degrees which define a person’s level of education, it is their understanding of the real world. Idealist, according to Gerald L. Gutek (2014), allow school curriculum to be “designed to prepare students for adult life” (p. 37). Individuals can learn and study a plethora of information, but if they are not able to positively impact society in the real world, all of the individual’s education is wasted. An educated person understands the importance of real world knowledge and its benefit to society. A person could know all of the multiplication facts, but if they cannot calculate sales tax, it is of no value. Steve Tobak (2012), in his article, “Why Real World Experience Trumps Everything,” argues that wisdom and information are not one in the same. He states, “You can gain a great deal of knowledge from books and school, but certain experiences can only be learned one-on-one, through direct experience, or they won’t sink in” (Tobak, 2012). An individual’s experience in the real world allows him or her to make valid and crucial judgments that could have a tremendous impact on his or her life.
Desire for Life Long Learning
An educated person knows the importance of having a desire for life-long learning. A person’s education does not merely stop once he or she receives his or her desired degree. To be truly educated means that one must never cease in wanting to know more. An educated individual realizes that knowledge is like a vast universe waiting to be explored. The article “Life-Long Learning” states that “Lifelong learners are motivated to learn and develop because they want to: it is a deliberate and voluntary act” (2016). This statement shows that an educated person is always willing to learn more. They understand that knowledge is endless and you can never know too much or be “educated enough.” Lifelong learning is vital to an educated person’s professional and personal development. An educated individual is always searching for new and innovative ways or ideas to better themselves professionally or on a personal level.
An educated individual is one that understands the importance of real world knowledge and pursues lifelong learning. An educated person realizes that education does not merely stop once they acquire their degree. They use the knowledge they learned in the classroom to experience the real world. Educated persons use their real world knowledge to positively impact society for the greater good. They know that education is endless and powerful and there is always something to be learned in the world. Educated individuals love all aspects of learning. These two characteristics exemplify the qualifications of an educated individual.
- Gutek, G. L. (2014). Philosophical, ideological and theoretical perspectives on education (02nd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
- Lifelong Learning. (2016). Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/lifelong-learning.html
- Tobak, S. (2012, June 12). Why real-world experience trumps — everything. Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-real-world-experience-trumps-everything/