Tony Blair has banged on about education for all and made a huge statement with these damning words ‘education, education, education’. It’s very easily said and perhaps understood by some but doesn’t this vary from individual to individual and from society to society?
There are many issues involved defining the term education. In general, education is defined as going to school, then university or college and thereafter getting a job. Obviously, passing of exams reflects how clever an individual is. However, do exams reflect how intelligent a person is or have we as a society attached a label to it? It needs to be noted that some people are ‘academically’ bright. By this, I mean they are enthused by learning theory at schools and study hard for exams and then pass getting pretty high grades. On the other hand, it needs to be brought to attention that academically intelligent people may lack intelligence in other fields.
Have you ever thought of that? For example, a person who gets high grades for exams may not have the social skills required for the ‘real world’. So doesn’t this mean that their studies were a waste of time? Do we have to study really hard and get good grades to get the title ‘intelligent’? After all, if we look at historical figures, did they go to school? Did inventors start like this. These are the questions we need to ask ourselves.
For me, as a student at postgraduate level, I have met many people from around the world. From this experience I have learned that the way intelligence is measured in this contemporary society is something to be concerned about. From medical doctors to cleaning staff, I have met a range. From this, I can conclude that the way intelligence is measured in society is worrying. People with degrees are working in areas which has no relevance to their subject area and people are constantly being employed for reasons other than their academic qualifications. Therefore, are academic institutions preparing us for the big bad world? An answer we can get from looking at what is happening around us. I personally think that ‘intelligence’ is measured in the wrong way. After all, academic qualifications are purely based on gaining a title which sticks with wherever we go but our minds are continuously picking up information, ideas, you name it..from people we meet and engage with. In addition, countries where there is no formal institution to teach doesn’t mean that the people in that society are uneducated but perhaps more educated as they have to gain skills without any form of guidance from ‘so-called’ professional bodies which, let’s face it, aren’t always the most brightest.