Episode two of our educational discussion. We continue from where we stopped from the last episode which was an introduction of what my philosophy of education was centered on, which as we now know is all about ‘training in knowledge and for Purposeful service.’ Of course, this is entirely based on my perspective and my experience gleaned from thirty years as a classroom teacher.
In the process of our discussion, we were privy to what the term ‘training in knowledge and for Purposeful service’ meant and how it is supposed to play out in the life of the individual, group of individuals, and society at large. We also learned that it was vital for individuals to be trained in this process for us to maintain sustainable, viable, and effective societies.
In this second episode, we will have our focus on education. Since education is the vehicle for which teaching and learning can occur, and thus, through which knowledge is imparted, hence it holds an important position in our discussion.
Therefore, education as an ideology and as a tool plays a huge role in training in knowledge and for Purposeful service.’ For this reason, it would be most beneficial that we look at the role, purpose, and meaning of education and how this ties into my philosophy of teaching and learning.
Please come with me as we continue to explore.
Training in Knowledge and For Purposeful Service
Ignorance has been a major foe of man and therefore a problem to civilization and human development. It is because of the attempt to combat the ignorance that man has over the centuries sort for knowledge, light, and enlightenment. Education thus comes to play a salvaging role in this problem. In his article “Notes on the Emergence of Protestant Education in Germany,” Christian Higher Education, Robinson D. W. (2012) clearly reveals Martin Luther’s vile disdain for ignorance which is strongly termed as darkness and alluded to’ Satan,’ Martin Luther proclaims the need for education as he states.
As [Satan’s] various crafty devices, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, is to delude the common people into withholding their children from school and instruction…..
In the light of the foregoing statement, we may deduce that education not only plays a vital role in knowledge acquisition but is wholly intrinsic to the concept of the acquisition of knowledge. Therefore, what could be the purpose of education? Could we just say it is merely the process of the acquisition of knowledge? If we think about this carefully, knowledge could be anything we could randomly apply our thought process to, that may be negative or positive; but can we truly call that education? So, in essence, what we could be seeking is what we may call true, viable, and sustainable education.
In this regard, I would think a good place to start is to obtain an understanding of the meaning of ‘education.’ Annick M Brennen in her attempt to explain ‘education’ purposefully does this, states.
Education is the most important and most noble of human endeavors. All other activities have their foundation in education. Education is so important that it will continue even in eternity. It enables humans to achieve their fullest personal, spiritual, mental, social, and physical potential. The ability to be educated is what distinguishes humans from animals. Education transforms an individual and allows them to effect change in their environment. (Brennen, 1999).
Education itself is derived from two Latin words “Educare” (Educere) and “Educatum.” With the first, ‘Educare’ we may say it is the process of an act to draw out, lead-out, bring up, train, or mold; involving an inward execution to the outward. While “Educatum” refers to the act of teaching.(Satish Kumar and Sajjad Ahmad, n.d.). Invariably we may begin to elucidate from all this the true meaning of education, which as stated by Ellen G. White goes beyond the pursuance of a course study but:
It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being and with the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, mental, and spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and for the higher joy of wider service in the world to come.
(Ellen G. White)
With all the above references, we may conclusively state that the purpose of education is the process by which we impart knowledge in deliberate ways to develop skills, attitudes, and concepts to eliminate ignorance and darkness.
In addition, it will help us build and maximize fully certain potentials, capabilities, callings, gifting, perceptions that God has most graciously endowed on an individual.
Furthermore, it will give such an individual the opportunity to apply the mechanisms of the knowledge acquired by fully expressing this in the service of mankind or humanity, which ultimately will lead to restoration, development, prosperity, and happiness.
Finally, in summary, we can certainly say that education is indeed an indispensable tool and vehicle for teaching and learning, which cannot be separated from the whole aspect of the training of an individual for knowledge and purposeful service.