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Essentials of higher education Let me start my essay from the words of one wise man. He once said that if you want to destroy a nation then dont let them educate themselves. And he was right! Education is the skeleton, the backbone of every nation. It gives people knowledge and this is what defines as being humans but not animals. If we were just like animals and were fulfilling only our desires, then we would not be different from the lower creatures. The possibility and desire to educate ourselves makes us superior.
. But what are the essentials of schooling and higher education in particular? Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one, said Malcolm Forbes. Before answering this question I would like to give a definition of higher education from my perspective. I believe that it is the process by which members of a society, particularly high school graduates, acquire norms, values, morality and particular skills by attending formal educational institutions, colleges and universities. Defining the purpose of higher education I believe we need to answer the question: does everybody have the right to higher education and what basic thing are the foundations for a common schooling? I believe that national unity, equal opportunity, morality, and citizenship preparation are the historic foundations of common schooling in the United States. Looking back into the history some of our early political leaders were concerned about the uneven nature of schooling and the educational needs of a new country.
But it wasnt until after the American Revolution that Thomas Jefferson became the first American leader to propose a publicly supported system of free schools for all persons. He considered education to be his highest priority. But not just education itself, but rather education for democracy, education for development, and education for building a common identity. He had three basic objectives: to make good people, to make good citizens, and to enable each student to find some area of interest in which he (it was usually he because girls were not considered to need an education) could develop his maximum potential. He believed the government should support higher education and that the chance to get a quality education should be open to everyone, regardless of their wealth, social status, or other circumstances. Like Jefferson, Benjamin Rush also saw the value of education in a free society.
He believed that without learning, men would become savages or barbarians. (p.27) This is what I consider the most important essential of education no matter whether it is a high school or university. Every person should be taught to feel this equality in every aspect of their lives and to treat people as equal beings. We experience this inequality the most when we enter the higher formal educational institute. People being at college might feel very oppressed by others because of his/her color of skin, religion believes or social status. The importance and purposes of education are quite clear. Education is the knowledge of putting one's potentials to maximum use. One can safely say that a human being is not in the proper sense till he is educated. This importance of education is basically for two reasons.
The first is that the training of a human mind is not complete without education. Education makes man a right thinker. It tells man how to think and how to make decision. The second reason for the importance and necessity of education is that only through the attainment of education, man is enabled to receive information from the external world; to acquaint him with past history and receive all necessary information regarding the present. Without education, man is as though in a closed room and with education he finds himself in a room with all its windows open towards outside world. Looking on the purpose of high education from less broad perspective I believe that such things as the desire to educate students and eagerness to help students find happiness, meaning, enlightenment and the right life path in their lives can be considered other purposes of education. Educational institutions together with professors and staff have to help students to learn the basics of their profession and to inculcate in them a confidence in the future world. Unfortunately, many people have perceived education just as a mean to acquire enough skills to earn money. Education not only gives us an opportunity to earn our livelihood, but also gives us values which lead us to become a source of betterment for the whole humanity and make this earth a better place to live in.
If a person receiving education does not learn to give away and only learn to take in has not achieved the purpose of education. Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. Will Durant (1885 - 1981) College education and the real-life skills that one can achieve through it are invaluable. One of the most significant consequences of education is wealth and prosperity. As Lyndon Johnson said during the War on Poverty in the 1960s, "Poverty has many roots, but the tap root is ignorance." According to the statistics the holders of bachelors degrees will earn an average salary twice higher then just high school graduates. College education is a great tool for our self enhancement. College education gives us a sneak peek at the cultures and values of the world.
Subjects like history, anthropology, comparative religion, international politics, and humanities can make us a much more accommodating and sympathetic to other culture, race and religion resulting in a better bond among international communities. That is why I consider these disciplines to be very crucial in higher education. By learning about others values make us able to perform at our best latter in our life contributing to sound political, business related or economic decisions; it also gives us the readiness to work internationally or even locally in a diverse work force. Math and science classes in college gives us the more than just a few basic skills to run the accounting of our life. Math and its deeper studies can help us becoming good engineers, architects or accountants. Science and its deeper studies can lead us to contribute to the advancement of technology in the new millennium.
Education is also very crucial to build an overall sound financial condition in any nation. To be financially successful we will need to accumulate the appropriate knowledge on how to use new technologies and on how to make financial decisions in an informed manner. That is why I believe that students of higher educational institutes should be taught the innovations in technological and scientific worlds. I dont say that the whole semester should be dedicated to the newly invented washing machine. There are thing that are very important to every person, though he/she might not feel it. And college students should not be ignorant in these questions.
In conclusion, education fills up the empty ignorant minds to bring about positive changes, which affect individuals, society, nations and then the world as a whole. Until we learn we dont know the benefit of learning; until we achieve knowledge we dont realize how ignorant we were. The world without education would be a world full of disorder. Therefore, to be successful in this life we must carry on the pursuit of enhancing our skills and knowledge through the virtue of education. Bibliography Fraser, James W. The School in the United States: A Documentary History.
New York: McGraw Hill, 2001. Simmons, John R. Higher Education: Is It Important or Not? New York: Graphic Society, 1994 Forbes, Malcolm. The Purpose of the Higher Education. New York. Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999. Di Rado, Alicia. Trekking through College: Classes Explore Modern Society Using the World of Star Trek. Los Angeles Times 15 Mar.
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