Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition
of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods
include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed
Education frequently takes place under the guidance of
educators, but learners may also educate themselves.
take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has
a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be
considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called
Education is commonly divided formally into such stages as preschool
or kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and then college,
university, or apprenticeship.
A right to education has been recognized by some governments and the
United Nations. In most regions, education is compulsory up to a
3 Formal education
3.4 Tertiary (higher)
4 Other educational forms
4.3 Informal learning
4.4 Self-directed learning
Open education and electronic technology
6 Development goals
Education and technology
Education and technology in developing countries
6.3 Private vs public funding in developing countries
7 Educational theory
7.1 Educational psychology
7.2 The intelligence–education relationship
7.4 Mind, Brain and Education
7.6 Purpose of education
Economics of education
9 The future of education
10 See also
13 External links
Etymologically, the word "education" is derived from the Latin
ēducātiō ("A breeding, a bringing up, a rearing") from ēducō ("I
educate, I train") which is related to the homonym ēdūcō ("I lead
forth, I take out; I raise up, I erect") from ē- ("from, out of") and
dūcō ("I lead, I conduct").
History of education
Madrasah in Baku, Azerbaijan
Nalanda, ancient centre for higher learning
Plato's academy, mosaic from Pompeii
Education began in prehistory, as adults trained the young in the
knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society. In
pre-literate societies, this was achieved orally and through
imitation. Story-telling passed knowledge, values, and skills from one
generation to the next. As cultures began to extend their knowledge
beyond skills that could be readily learned through imitation, formal
education developed. Schools existed in Egypt at the time of the
Matteo Ricci (left) and
Xu Guangqi (right) in the Chinese edition of
Euclid's Elements published in 1607
Plato founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher
learning in Europe. The city of
Alexandria in Egypt, established in
330 BCE, became the successor to Athens as the intellectual cradle of
Ancient Greece. There, the great Library of
Alexandria was built in
the 3rd century BCE. European civilizations suffered a collapse of
literacy and organization following the fall of Rome in CE 476.
Confucius (551–479 BCE), of the State of Lu, was the
country's most influential ancient philosopher, whose educational
outlook continues to influence the societies of
China and neighbours
like Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.
Confucius gathered disciples and
searched in vain for a ruler who would adopt his ideals for good
governance, but his
Analects were written down by followers and have
continued to influence education in East Asia into the modern
After the Fall of Rome, the
Catholic Church became the sole preserver
of literate scholarship in Western Europe. The church established
cathedral schools in the Early Middle Ages as centres of advanced
education. Some of these establishments ultimately evolved into
medieval universities and forebears of many of Europe's modern
universities. During the High Middle Ages, Chartres Cathedral
operated the famous and influential
Chartres Cathedral School. The
medieval universities of Western Christendom were well-integrated
across all of Western Europe, encouraged freedom of inquiry, and
produced a great variety of fine scholars and natural philosophers,
Thomas Aquinas of the
University of Naples, Robert
Grosseteste of the
University of Oxford, an early expositor of a
systematic method of scientific experimentation, and Saint Albert
the Great, a pioneer of biological field research. Founded in 1088,
University of Bologne is considered the first, and the oldest
continually operating university.
Elsewhere during the Middle Ages,
Islamic science and mathematics
flourished under the Islamic caliphate which was established across
the Middle East, extending from the
Iberian Peninsula in the west to
Indus in the east and to the
Almoravid Dynasty and
Mali Empire in
The Renaissance in
Europe ushered in a new age of scientific and
intellectual inquiry and appreciation of ancient Greek and Roman
civilizations. Around 1450,
Johannes Gutenberg developed a printing
press, which allowed works of literature to spread more quickly. The
European Age of Empires saw European ideas of education in philosophy,
religion, arts and sciences spread out across the globe. Missionaries
and scholars also brought back new ideas from other
civilizations – as with the Jesuit
China missions who played a
significant role in the transmission of knowledge, science, and
China and Europe, translating works from
Euclid's Elements for Chinese scholars and the thoughts of Confucius
for European audiences.
The Enlightenment saw the emergence of a more
secular educational outlook in Europe.
In most countries today, full-time education, whether at school or
otherwise, is compulsory for all children up to a certain age. Due to
this the proliferation of compulsory education, combined with
UNESCO has calculated that in the next
30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of
human history thus far.
Formal education occurs in a structured environment whose explicit
purpose is teaching students. Usually, formal education takes place in
a school environment with classrooms of multiple students learning
together with a trained, certified teacher of the subject. Most school
systems are designed around a set of values or ideals that govern all
educational choices in that system. Such choices include curriculum,
organizational models, design of the physical learning spaces (e.g.
classrooms), student-teacher interactions, methods of assessment,
class size, educational activities, and more.
Young children in a kindergarten in Japan
Main article: Early childhood education
Preschools provide education from ages approximately three to seven,
depending on the country when children enter primary education. These
are also known as nursery schools and as kindergarten, except in the
US, where kindergarten is a term used for primary education.[citation
Kindergarten "provide[s] a child-centred, preschool curriculum
for three- to seven-year-old children that aim[s] at unfolding the
child's physical, intellectual, and moral nature with balanced
emphasis on each of them."
Primary school students with their teacher, Colombia, 2014
Main article: Primary education
Primary (or elementary) education consists of the first five to seven
years of formal, structured education. In general, primary education
consists of six to eight years of schooling starting at the age of
five or six, although this varies between, and sometimes within,
countries. Globally, around 89% of children aged six to twelve are
enrolled in primary education, and this proportion is rising.
Education For All programs driven by UNESCO, most countries
have committed to achieving universal enrollment in primary education
by 2015, and in many countries, it is compulsory. The division between
primary and secondary education is somewhat arbitrary, but it
generally occurs at about eleven or twelve years of age. Some
education systems have separate middle schools, with the transition to
the final stage of secondary education taking place at around the age
of fourteen. Schools that provide primary education, are mostly
referred to as primary schools or elementary schools. Primary schools
are often subdivided into infant schools and junior school.
In India, for example, compulsory education spans over twelve years,
with eight years of elementary education, five years of primary
schooling and three years of upper primary schooling. Various states
in the republic of
India provide 12 years of compulsory school
education based on a national curriculum framework designed by the
National Council of Educational
Research and Training.
Students working with a teacher at Albany Senior High School, New
Main article: Secondary education
Chilean high school students during a class photograph, 2002
In most contemporary educational systems of the world, secondary
education comprises the formal education that occurs during
adolescence. It is characterized by transition from the typically
compulsory, comprehensive primary education for minors, to the
optional, selective tertiary, "postsecondary", or "higher" education
(e.g. university, vocational school) for adults. Depending on the
system, schools for this period, or a part of it, may be called
secondary or high schools, gymnasiums, lyceums, middle schools,
colleges, or vocational schools. The exact meaning of any of these
terms varies from one system to another. The exact boundary between
primary and secondary education also varies from country to country
and even within them but is generally around the seventh to the tenth
year of schooling.
Secondary education occurs mainly during the
teenage years. In the United States, Canada, and Australia, primary
and secondary education together are sometimes referred to as K-12
education, and in
New Zealand Year 1–13 is used. The purpose of
secondary education can be to give common knowledge, to prepare for
higher education, or to train directly in a profession.
Secondary education in the
United States did not emerge until 1910,
with the rise of large corporations and advancing technology in
factories, which required skilled workers. In order to meet this new
job demand, high schools were created, with a curriculum focused on
practical job skills that would better prepare students for white
collar or skilled blue collar work. This proved beneficial for both
employers and employees, since the improved human capital lowered
costs for the employer, while skilled employees received higher wages.
Secondary education has a longer history in Europe, where grammar
schools or academies date from as early as the 16th century, in the
form of public schools, fee-paying schools, or charitable educational
foundations, which themselves date even further back.
Community colleges offer another option at this transitional stage of
education. They provide nonresidential junior college courses to
people living in a particular area.
Students in a laboratory, Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical
Higher education and
Higher education, also called tertiary, third stage, or postsecondary
education, is the non-compulsory educational level that follows the
completion of a school such as a high school or secondary school.
Tertiary education is normally taken to include undergraduate and
postgraduate education, as well as vocational education and training.
Colleges and universities mainly provide tertiary education.
Collectively, these are sometimes known as tertiary institutions.
Individuals who complete tertiary education generally receive
certificates, diplomas, or academic degrees.
Higher education typically involves work towards a degree-level or
foundation degree qualification. In most developed countries, a high
proportion of the population (up to 50%) now enter higher education at
some time in their lives.
Higher education is therefore very important
to national economies, both as a significant industry in its own right
and as a source of trained and educated personnel for the rest of the
University education includes teaching, research, and social services
activities, and it includes both the undergraduate level (sometimes
referred to as tertiary education) and the graduate (or postgraduate)
level (sometimes referred to as graduate school). Universities are
generally composed of several colleges. In the United States,
universities can be private and independent like Yale University;
public and state-governed like the Pennsylvania State System of Higher
Education; or independent but state-funded like the
Virginia. A number of career specific courses are now available to
students through the Internet.
One type of university education is a liberal arts education, which
can be defined as a "college or university curriculum aimed at
imparting broad general knowledge and developing general intellectual
capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical
curriculum." Although what is known today as liberal arts
education began in Europe, the term "liberal arts college" is more
commonly associated with institutions in the United States.
Carpentry is normally learned through apprenticeship.
Main article: Vocational education
Vocational education is a form of education focused on direct and
practical training for a specific trade or craft. Vocational education
may come in the form of an apprenticeship or internship as well as
institutions teaching courses such as carpentry, agriculture,
engineering, medicine, architecture and the arts.
In the past, those who were disabled were often not eligible for
public education. Children with disabilities were repeatedly denied an
education by physicians or special tutors. These early physicians
(people like Itard, Seguin, Howe, Gallaudet) set the foundation for
special education today. They focused on individualized instruction
and functional skills. In its early years, special education was only
provided to people with severe disabilities, but more recently it has
been opened to anyone who has experienced difficulty learning.
Other educational forms
Main article: Alternative education
While considered "alternative" today, most alternative systems have
existed since ancient times. After the public school system was widely
developed beginning in the 19th century, some parents found reasons to
be discontented with the new system.
Alternative education developed
in part as a reaction to perceived limitations and failings of
traditional education. A broad range of educational approaches
emerged, including alternative schools, self learning, homeschooling,
and unschooling. Example alternative schools include Montessori
schools, Waldorf schools (or Steiner schools), Friends schools, Sands
School, Summerhill School, Walden's Path, The Peepal Grove School,
Sudbury Valley School, Krishnamurti schools, and open classroom
schools. Charter schools are another example of alternative education,
which have in the recent years grown in numbers in the US and gained
greater importance in its public education system.
In time, some ideas from these experiments and paradigm challenges may
be adopted as the norm in education, just as Friedrich Fröbel's
approach to early childhood education in 19th-century Germany has been
incorporated into contemporary kindergarten classrooms. Other
influential writers and thinkers have included the Swiss humanitarian
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi; the American transcendentalists Amos
Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau; the
founders of progressive education,
John Dewey and Francis Parker; and
educational pioneers such as
Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner, and
more recently John Caldwell Holt, Paul Goodman, Frederick Mayer,
George Dennison, and Ivan Illich.
Teaching indigenous knowledge, models, methods in Yanyuan County,
Sichuan in China
Main article: Indigenous education
Indigenous education refers to the inclusion of indigenous knowledge,
models, methods, and content within formal and non-formal educational
systems. Often in a post-colonial context, the growing recognition and
use of indigenous education methods can be a response to the erosion
and loss of indigenous knowledge and language through the processes of
colonialism. Furthermore, it can enable indigenous communities to
"reclaim and revalue their languages and cultures, and in so doing,
improve the educational success of indigenous students."
Main article: informal learning
Informal learning is one of three forms of learning defined by the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Informal learning occurs in a variety of places, such as at home,
work, and through daily interactions and shared relationships among
members of society. For many learners, this includes language
acquisition, cultural norms, and manners.
In informal learning, there is often a reference person, a peer or
expert, to guide the learner. If learners have a personal interest in
what they are informally being taught, learners tend to expand their
existing knowledge and conceive new ideas about the topic being
learned. For example, a museum is traditionally considered an
informal learning environment, as there is room for free choice, a
diverse and potentially non-standardized range of topics, flexible
structures, socially rich interaction, and no externally imposed
While informal learning often takes place outside educational
establishments and does not follow a specified curriculum, it can also
occur within educational settings and even during formal learning
situations. Educators can structure their lessons to directly utilize
their students informal learning skills within the education
In the late 19th century, education through play began to be
recognized as making an important contribution to child
development. In the early 20th century, the concept was broadened
to include young adults but the emphasis was on physical
activities. L.P. Jacks, also an early proponent of lifelong
learning, described education through recreation: "A master in the art
of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play,
his labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and
his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his
vision of excellence through whatever he is doing and leaves others to
determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always
seems to be doing both. Enough for him that he does it well."
Education through recreation is the opportunity to learn in a seamless
fashion through all of life's activities. The concept has been
revived by the
University of Western Ontario to teach anatomy to
Main article: Autodidacticism
Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is a term used to describe
self-directed learning. One may become an autodidact at nearly any
point in one's life. Notable autodidacts include
Abraham Lincoln (U.S.
Srinivasa Ramanujan (mathematician), Michael Faraday
(chemist and physicist),
Charles Darwin (naturalist), Thomas Alva
Tadao Ando (architect), George Bernard Shaw
Frank Zappa (composer, recording engineer, film
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci (engineer, scientist, mathematician).
Open education and electronic technology
Open education and Educational technology
In 2012, the modern use of electronic educational technology (also
called e-learning) had grown at 14 times the rate of traditional
Open education is fast growing to
become the dominant form of education, for many reasons such as its
efficiency and results compared to traditional methods. Cost of
education has been an issue throughout history, and a major political
issue in most countries today. Online courses often can be more
expensive than face-to-face classes. Out of 182 colleges surveyed in
2009 nearly half said tuition for online courses was higher than for
campus-based ones. Many large university institutions are now
starting to offer free or almost free full courses such as Harvard,
MIT and Berkeley teaming up to form edX. Other universities offering
open education are Stanford, Princeton, Duke, Johns Hopkins,
Edinburgh, U. Penn, U. Michigan, U. Virginia, U. Washington, and
Caltech. It has been called the biggest change in the way we learn
since the printing press. Despite favourable studies on
effectiveness, many people may still desire to choose traditional
campus education for social and cultural reasons.
The conventional merit-system degree is currently not as common in
open education as it is in campus universities, although some open
universities do already offer conventional degrees such as the Open
University in the United Kingdom. Presently, many of the major open
education sources offer their own form of certificate. Due to the
popularity of open education, these new kind of academic certificates
are gaining more respect and equal "academic value" to traditional
degrees. Many open universities are working to have the ability to
offer students standardized testing and traditional degrees and
A culture is beginning to form around distance learning for people who
are looking to social connections enjoyed on traditional campuses. For
example, students may create study groups, meetups, and movements such
The education sector or education system is a group of institutions
(ministries of education, local educational authorities, teacher
training institutions, schools, universities, etc.) whose primary
purpose is to provide education to children and young people in
educational settings. It involves a wide range of people (curriculum
developers, inspectors, school principals, teachers, school nurses,
students, etc.). These institutions can vary according to different
Schools deliver education, with support from the rest of the education
system through various elements such as education policies and
guidelines – to which school policies can refer – curricula and
learning materials, as well as pre- and in-service teacher training
programmes. The school environment – both physical (infrastructures)
and psychological (school climate) – is also guided by school
policies that should ensure the well-being of students when they are
in school. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development has found that schools tend to perform best when
principals have full authority and responsibility for ensuring that
students are proficient in core subjects upon graduation. They must
also seek feedback from students for quality-assurance and
improvement. Governments should limit themselves to monitoring student
The education sector is fully integrated into society, through
interactions with a large number of stakeholders and other sectors.
These include parents, local communities, religious leaders, NGOs,
stakeholders involved in health, child protection, justice and law
enforcement (police), media and political leadership.
Several UN agencies claim comprehensive sexuality education should be
integrated into school curriculum.
World map indicating
Education Index (according to 2007/2008 Human
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United
Nations (UN) General Assembly in September 2015, calls for a new
vision to address the environmental, social and economic concerns
facing the world today. The Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs), including SDG 4 on education.
Since 1909, the ratio of children in the developing world attending
school has increased. Before then, a small minority of boys attended
school. By the start of the 21st century, the majority of all children
in most regions of the world attended school.
Universal Primary Education is one of the eight international
Millennium Development Goals, towards which progress has been made in
the past decade, though barriers still remain. Securing charitable
funding from prospective donors is one particularly persistent
problem. Researchers at the
Overseas Development Institute have
indicated that the main obstacles to funding for education include
conflicting donor priorities, an immature aid architecture, and a lack
of evidence and advocacy for the issue. Additionally, Transparency
International has identified corruption in the education sector as a
major stumbling block to achieving
Universal Primary Education in
Africa. Furthermore, demand in the developing world for improved
educational access is not as high as foreigners have expected.
Indigenous governments are reluctant to take on the ongoing costs
involved. There is also economic pressure from some parents, who
prefer their children to earn money in the short term rather than work
towards the long-term benefits of education.
A study conducted by the
UNESCO International Institute for
Educational Planning indicates that stronger capacities in educational
planning and management may have an important spill-over effect on the
system as a whole. Sustainable capacity development requires
complex interventions at the institutional, organizational and
individual levels that could be based on some foundational principles:
national leadership and ownership should be the touchstone of any
strategies must be context relevant and context
plans should employ an integrated set of complementary interventions,
though implementation may need to proceed in steps;[clarification
partners should commit to a long-term investment in capacity
development while working towards some short-term achievements;
outside intervention should be conditional on an impact assessment of
national capacities at various levels;
a certain percentage of students should be removed for improvisation
of academics (usually practiced in schools, after 10th grade).
Nearly every country now has Universal Primary Education.
Similarities – in systems or even in ideas – that schools share
internationally have led to an increase in international student
exchanges. The European Socrates-
Erasmus Program facilitates
exchanges across European universities. The Soros Foundation
provides many opportunities for students from central Asia and eastern
Europe. Programs such as the
International Baccalaureate have
contributed to the internationalization of education. The global
campus online, led by American universities, allows free access to
class materials and lecture files recorded during the actual classes.
The Programme for International
Student Assessment and the
International Association for the Evaluation of Educational
Achievement objectively monitor and compare the proficiency of
students from a wide range of different nations.
Education and technology
Education and technology in developing countries
The OLPC laptop being introduced to children in Haiti
Education and technology
Technology plays an increasingly significant role in improving access
to education for people living in impoverished areas and developing
countries. Charities like
One Laptop per Child
One Laptop per Child are dedicated to
providing infrastructures through which the disadvantaged may access
The OLPC foundation, a group out of
MIT Media Lab
MIT Media Lab and supported by
several major corporations, has a stated mission to develop a $100
laptop for delivering educational software. The laptops were widely
available as of 2008. They are sold at cost or given away based on
In Africa, the
New Partnership for Africa's Development
New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has
launched an "e-school program" to provide all 600,000 primary and high
schools with computer equipment, learning materials and internet
access within 10 years. An International Development Agency
project called nabuur.com, started with the support of former
American President Bill Clinton, uses the
Internet to allow
co-operation by individuals on issues of social development.
India is developing technologies that will bypass land-based telephone
Internet infrastructure to deliver distance learning directly to
its students. In 2004, the Indian Space
Research Organisation launched
EDUSAT, a communications satellite providing access to educational
materials that can reach more of the country's population at a greatly
Private vs public funding in developing countries
Research into LCPS (low-cost private schools) found that over 5 years
to July 2013, debate around LCPSs to achieving
Education for All (EFA)
objectives was polarized and finding growing coverage in international
policy. The polarization was due to disputes around whether the
schools are affordable for the poor, reach disadvantaged groups,
provide quality education, support or undermine equality, and are
financially sustainable. The report examined the main challenges
encountered by development organizations which support LCPSs.
Surveys suggest these types of schools are expanding across Africa and
Asia. This success is attributed to excess demand. These surveys found
Equity: This concern is widely found in the literature, suggesting the
growth in low-cost private schooling may be exacerbating or
perpetuating already existing inequalities in developing countries,
between urban and rural populations, lower- and higher-income
families, and between girls and boys. The report findings suggest that
girls may be underrepresented and that LCPS are reaching low-income
families in smaller numbers than higher-income families.
Quality and educational outcomes: It is difficult to generalize about
the quality of private schools. While most achieve better results than
government counterparts, even after their social background is taken
into account, some studies find the opposite. Quality in terms of
levels of teacher absence, teaching activity, and pupil to teacher
ratios in some countries are better in LCPSs than in government
Choice and affordability for the poor: Parents can choose private
schools because of perceptions of better-quality teaching and
facilities, and an English language instruction preference.
Nevertheless, the concept of 'choice' does not apply in all contexts,
or to all groups in society, partly because of limited affordability
(which excludes most of the poorest) and other forms of exclusion,
related to caste or social status.
Cost-effectiveness and financial sustainability: There is evidence
that private schools operate at low cost by keeping teacher salaries
low, and their financial situation may be precarious where they are
reliant on fees from low-income households.
The report showed some cases of successful voucher and subsidy
programmes; evaluations of international support to the sector are not
widespread. Addressing regulatory ineffectiveness is a key
challenge. Emerging approaches stress the importance of understanding
the political economy of the market for LCPS, specifically how
relationships of power and accountability between users, government,
and private providers can produce better education outcomes for the
A class size experiment in the
United States found that attending
small classes for 3 or more years in the early grades increased high
school graduation rates of students from low income families.
Main article: Educational theory
Main article: Educational psychology
Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational
settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the
psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as
organizations. Although the terms "educational psychology" and "school
psychology" are often used interchangeably, researchers and theorists
are likely to be identified as educational psychologists, whereas
practitioners in schools or school-related settings are identified as
Educational psychology is concerned with the
processes of educational attainment in the general population and in
sub-populations such as gifted children and those with specific
Knowledge Day in Donetsk, Ukraine, 2013
Educational psychology can in part be understood through its
relationship with other disciplines. It is informed primarily by
psychology, bearing a relationship to that discipline analogous to the
relationship between medicine and biology. Educational psychology, in
turn, informs a wide range of specialties within educational studies,
including instructional design, educational technology, curriculum
development, organizational learning, special education and classroom
Educational psychology both draws from and contributes to
cognitive science and the learning sciences. In universities,
departments of educational psychology are usually housed within
faculties of education, possibly accounting for the lack of
representation of educational psychology content in introductory
psychology textbooks (Lucas, Blazek, & Raley, 2006).
The intelligence–education relationship
Psychology of education
Intelligence is an important factor in how the individual responds to
education. Those who have higher intelligence tend to perform better
at school and go on to higher levels of education. This effect is
also observable in the opposite direction, in that education increases
measurable intelligence. Studies have shown that while educational
attainment is important in predicting intelligence in later life,
intelligence at 53 is more closely correlated to intelligence at 8
years old than to educational attainment.
There has been much interest in learning modalities and styles over
the last two decades. The most commonly employed learning modalities
Visual: learning based on observation and seeing what is being
Auditory: learning based on listening to instructions/information.
Kinesthetic: learning based on movement, e.g. hands-on work and
engaging in activities.
Other commonly employed modalities include musical, interpersonal,
verbal, logical, and intrapersonal.
Dunn and Dunn focused on identifying relevant stimuli that may
influence learning and manipulating the school environment, at about
the same time as Joseph Renzulli recommended varying teaching
strategies. Howard Gardner identified a wide range of modalities
Multiple Intelligences theories. The Myers-Briggs Type
Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, based on the works of
Jung, focus on understanding how people's personality affects the
way they interact personally, and how this affects the way individuals
respond to each other within the learning environment. The work of
David Kolb and Anthony Gregorc's Type Delineator follows a similar
but more simplified approach.
Some theories propose that all individuals benefit from a variety of
learning modalities, while others suggest that individuals may have
preferred learning styles, learning more easily through visual or
kinesthetic experiences. A consequence of the latter theory is
that effective teaching should present a variety of teaching methods
which cover all three learning modalities so that different students
have equal opportunities to learn in a way that is effective for
them. Guy Claxton has questioned the extent that learning styles
such as Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic(VAK) are helpful,
particularly as they can have a tendency to label children and
therefore restrict learning. Recent research has argued,
"there is no adequate evidence base to justify incorporating learning
styles assessments into general educational practice."
Mind, Brain and Education
Educational neuroscience is an emerging scientific field that brings
together researchers in cognitive neuroscience, developmental
cognitive neuroscience, educational psychology, educational
technology, education theory and other related disciplines to explore
the interactions between biological processes and
education. Researchers in educational neuroscience
investigate the neural mechanisms of reading, numerical
cognition, attention, and their attendant difficulties including
dyslexia, dyscalculia, and
ADHD as they relate to
education. Several academic institutions around the world are
beginning to devote resources to the establishment of educational
John Locke's work
Some Thoughts Concerning Education
Some Thoughts Concerning Education was written in
1693 and still reflects traditional education priorities in the
Philosophy of education
As an academic field, philosophy of education is "the philosophical
study of education and its problems (...) its central subject
matter is education, and its methods are those of philosophy".
"The philosophy of education may be either the philosophy of the
process of education or the philosophy of the discipline of education.
That is, it may be part of the discipline in the sense of being
concerned with the aims, forms, methods, or results of the process of
educating or being educated; or it may be metadisciplinary in the
sense of being concerned with the concepts, aims, and methods of the
discipline." As such, it is both part of the field of education
and a field of applied philosophy, drawing from fields of metaphysics,
epistemology, axiology and the philosophical approaches (speculative,
prescriptive or analytic) to address questions in and about pedagogy,
education policy, and curriculum, as well as the process of learning,
to name a few. For example, it might study what constitutes
upbringing and education, the values and norms revealed through
upbringing and educational practices, the limits and legitimization of
education as an academic discipline, and the relation between
education theory and practice.
Purpose of education
There is no broad consensus as to what education's chief aim or aims
are or should be. Some authors stress its value to the individual,
emphasizing its potential for positively influencing students'
personal development, promoting autonomy, forming a cultural identity
or establishing a career or occupation. Other authors emphasize
education's contributions to societal purposes, including good
citizenship, shaping students into productive members of society,
thereby promoting society's general economic development, and
preserving cultural values.
Main articles: Curriculum,
Curriculum theory, and List of academic
In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses and their
content offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum
stems from the
Latin word for race course, referring to the course of
deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature
adults. A curriculum is prescriptive and is based on a more general
syllabus which merely specifies what topics must be understood and to
what level to achieve a particular grade or standard.
An academic discipline is a branch of knowledge which is formally
taught, either at the university–or via some other such method. Each
discipline usually has several sub-disciplines or branches, and
distinguishing lines are often both arbitrary and ambiguous. Examples
of broad areas of academic disciplines include the natural sciences,
mathematics, computer science, social sciences, humanities and applied
Educational institutions may incorporate fine arts as part of K-12
grade curricula or within majors at colleges and universities as
electives. The various types of fine arts are music, dance, and
Instruction is the facilitation of another's learning. Instructors in
primary and secondary institutions are often called teachers, and they
direct the education of students and might draw on many subjects like
reading, writing, mathematics, science and history. Instructors in
post-secondary institutions might be called teachers, instructors, or
professors, depending on the type of institution; and they primarily
teach only their specific discipline. Studies from the United States
suggest that the quality of teachers is the single most important
factor affecting student performance, and that countries which score
highly on international tests have multiple policies in place to
ensure that the teachers they employ are as effective as
possible. With the passing of NCLB in the
United States (No
Child Left Behind), teachers must be highly qualified. A popular way
to gauge teaching performance is to use student evaluations of
teachers (SETS), but these evaluations have been criticized for being
counterproductive to learning and inaccurate due to student bias.
College basketball coach
John Wooden the Wizard of Westwood would
teach through quick "This not That" technique. He would show (a) the
correct way to perform an action, (b) the incorrect way the player
performed it, and again (c) the correct way to perform an action. This
helped him to be a responsive teacher and fix errors on the fly. Also,
less communication from him meant more time that the player could
Economics of education
Economics of education
Students on their way to school, Hakha, Chin State, Myanmar
It has been argued that high rates of education are essential for
countries to be able to achieve high levels of economic growth.
Empirical analyses tend to support the theoretical prediction that
poor countries should grow faster than rich countries because they can
adopt cutting edge technologies already tried and tested by rich
countries. However, technology transfer requires knowledgeable
managers and engineers who are able to operate new machines or
production practices borrowed from the leader in order to close the
gap through imitation. Therefore, a country's ability to learn from
the leader is a function of its stock of "human capital". Recent study
of the determinants of aggregate economic growth have stressed the
importance of fundamental economic institutions and the role of
At the level of the individual, there is a large literature, generally
related to the work of Jacob Mincer, on how earnings are related
to the schooling and other human capital. This work has motivated a
large number of studies, but is also controversial. The chief
controversies revolve around how to interpret the impact of
schooling. Some students who have indicated a high potential
for learning, by testing with a high intelligence quotient, may not
achieve their full academic potential, due to financial
Economists Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis argued in 1976 that there
was a fundamental conflict in American schooling between the
egalitarian goal of democratic participation and the inequalities
implied by the continued profitability of capitalist production.
The future of education
Many countries are now drastically changing the way they educate their
citizens. The world is changing at an ever quickening rate, which
means that a lot of knowledge becomes obsolete and inaccurate more
quickly. The emphasis is therefore shifting to teaching the skills of
learning: to picking up new knowledge quickly and in as agile a way as
possible. Finnish schools have even begun to move away from the
regular subject-focused curricula, introducing instead developments
like phenomenon-based learning, where students study concepts like
climate change instead.
Education is also becoming a commodity no longer reserved for
children. Adults need it too. Some governmental bodies, like the
Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra in Finland, have even proposed
compulsory life-long education.
Comprehensive sexuality education
Education for Sustainable Development
Glossary of education terms
Human rights education
Index of education articles
List of education articles by country
Outline of education
Right to education
Sociology of education
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