Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habit (psychology). Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but learners may also autodidacticism. Education can take place in Formality or Informal education 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 pedagogy.
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.Article 13 of the United Nations' 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recognizes a universal right to education. ''ICESCR'', Article 13.1 In most regions, education is compulsory education up to a certain age.
Education began in prehistory, as adults trained the young in the knowledge and skills deemed necessary in their society. In pre-Literacy 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 Middle Kingdom of Egypt.
Plato founded the Platonic Academy in Ancient 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.Geoffrey Blainey; ''A Very Short History of the World''; Penguin Books, 2004
In China, 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 era. Founded in 1088, the University of Bologne is considered the first, and the oldest continually operating university.Nuria Sanz, Sjur Bergan: "The heritage of European universities", 2nd edition, Higher Education Series No. 7, Council of Europe, 2006, ISBN, p. 136
Elsewhere during the Middle Ages, Islamic science and Mathematics in medieval Islam flourished under the Islamic caliphate which was established across the Middle East, extending from the Iberian Peninsula in the west to the Indus in the east and to the Almoravid Dynasty and Mali Empire in the south.
The Renaissance in Europe ushered in a Scientific revolution 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 culture between China and Europe, translating works from Europe like 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 homeschooling, is compulsory for all children up to a certain age. Due to this the proliferation of compulsory education, combined with population growth, UNESCO has calculated that in the next 30 years more people will receive formal education than in all of human history thus far.Robinson, K.: [http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html ''Schools Kill Creativity'']. TED Talks, 2006, Monterey, CA, US.
In India, for example, Compulsory education#Variation in countries 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.
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) 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 school (North America)s were created, with a curriculum focused on practical job skills that would better prepare students for White-collar worker or skilled Blue-collar worker 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 education, 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.
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 economy.
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 student (or postgraduate) level (sometimes referred to as graduate school). Some universities are composed of several colleges.
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 education, or technical curriculum."
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, Édouard Séguin, Samuel Gridley Howe, Thomas Hopkins 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.
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, autodidacticism, homeschooling, and unschooling. Example alternative schools include Montessori methods, Waldorf educations (or Rudolf Steiner schools), List of Friends Schoolss, Sands School, Summerhill School, Walden's Path, The Peepal Grove School, Sudbury Valley School, Jiddu Krishnamurtis, 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 Switzerland humanitarianism Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi; the United States transcendentalisms Amos Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau; the founders of educational progressivism, John Dewey and Francis Wayland Parker; and educational pioneers such as Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner, and more recently John Caldwell Holt, Paul Goodman (writer), Frederick Mayer, George Dennison, and Ivan Illich.
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.
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. List of autodidacts include Abraham Lincoln (U.S. president), Srinivasa Ramanujan (mathematician), Michael Faraday (chemist and physicist), Charles Darwin (naturalist), Thomas Alva Edison (inventor), Tadao Ando (architect), George Bernard Shaw (playwright), Frank Zappa (composer, recording engineer, film director), and Leonardo da Vinci (engineer, scientist, mathematician).
A recent meta-analysis found that online and blended educational approaches had better outcomes than methods that used solely face-to-face interaction.U.S. Department of Education, [https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies], 2010
Schools deliver education, with support from the rest of the education system through various elements such as Education policy 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 proficiency.
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.
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.Liesbet Steer and Geraldine Baudienville 2010. [http://www.odi.org.uk/resources/details.asp?id=4755&title=funding-basic-education What drives donor financing of basic education?] London: Overseas Development Institute. 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 political corruption in the education sector as a major stumbling block to achieving Universal Primary Education in Africa.[http://www.transparency.org/news_room/latest_news/press_releases/2010/2010_02_23_aew_launch_en news room/latest news/press_releases/2010/2010_02_23_AEW_launch_en] . Transparency.org (23 February 2010). Retrieved on 2011-10-21. 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.
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 are dedicated to providing infrastructures through which the disadvantaged may access educational materials.
The One Laptop per Child, a group out of 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 donations.
In Africa, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has launched an "New Partnership for Africa's Development E-School Program" to provide all 600,000 primary and high schools with computer equipment, learning materials and internet access within 10 years.
Other commonly employed modalities include musical, interpersonal, Verbal reasoning, logical, and intrapersonal.
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.Barbe, W. B., & Swassing, R. H., with M. N. Milone. (1979). ''Teaching through modality strengths: Concepts and practices''. Columbus, OH: Zaner-Bloser 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." Researchers in educational neuroscience investigate the neural mechanisms of Reading (process), numerical cognition,
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". 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 philosophy, prescriptive or Analytic philosophy) to address questions in and about pedagogy, education policy, and curriculum, as well as the process of learning theory (education), 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.
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 practice. 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.David Card, "Causal effect of education on earnings," in ''Handbook of labor economics'', Orley Ashenfelter and David Card (Eds). Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1999: pp. 1801–63James J. Heckman, Lance J. Lochner, and Petra E. Todd., "Earnings functions, rates of return and treatment effects: The Mincer equation and beyond," in ''Handbook of the Economics of Education'', Eric A. Hanushek and Finis Welch (Eds). Amsterdam: North Holland, 2006: pp. 307–458. 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 difficulties.
Economists Samuel Bowles (economist) and Herbert Gintis argued in 1976 that there was a fundamental conflict in American schooling between the Egalitarianism goal of democratic participation and the inequalities implied by the continued profitability of capitalist production.
| title = Cracking the code: girls' and women's education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
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