If you look up “education” on Wikipedia, you get this:
Etymologically, the word education is derived from educare (Latin) “bring up”, which is related to educere “bring out”, “bring forth what is within”, “bring out potential” and ducere, “to lead”.“
So, it starts off poorly insofar as our culture definitely views education as being about “delivering content – accumulated knowledge”. This is why I’ve come to call the model of traditional education/school a “content delivery system”. That’s what it is: put kids in a class segregated by age, a teacher at the front telling them stuff, expecting them to tell the stuff back (checking to see if they remember), and if they do “success!”. Pretty sad, really. As if remembering stuff says anything about understanding, integration of knowledge or thought.
But.. read on the the origins of the word and we get to the root of what education could be. If we really concern ourselves with the idea of “bringing forth” the person that is within, the potential of every person, then we’ll have something worth doing. That would be an appropriate thing to change the conversation to.
This takes us back to psychology, as reported by Dr. Steven Hughes: “In 1925, Charles Spearman, one of the fathers of modern psychology, wrote ‘Every normal man, woman, and child is … a genius at something … It remains to discover at what… This must be a most difficult matter. It certainly cannot be detected by any of the testing procedures at present in current usage’ “. Wow. This is the very message that creativity guru Ken Robinson has been arguing in recent years: find what you’re good at, passionate about and do that. This is the job of education.