Are we becoming uneducated?

An educated person is one who through the travail of his own life has assimilated the ideas that make him representative of his culture, that make him a bearer of its traditions and enable him to contribute to its improvement.“~Mortimer J Adler

KEY: contribute to its improvement. An educated person is a curious person; when we learn, have experiences, gain insights, and become educated, we contribute to the greater good. 

Schooling is different from real education. Twelve years of primary & high school, trade school or college, and professional school are all “schooling.” You complete them in a period. And yes, during that period of “schooling,” you gain knowledge and experiences that eventually and hopefully contribute to your education. We as a society must realize, especially in this age of autonomous technologies, that education ends when you die.

Think about this quote:

Our schools are not turning out young people prepared for the high office and the duties of citizenship in a democratic republic. Our political institutions cannot thrive; they may not even survive.” ~ Mortimer J Adler 1995

Schools have abandoned, for the most part, a significant focus on primary education. The focus is a response by society to prepare people for jobs. Colleges have become schools of professions, just like trade schools. Do not mistake what I am saying; trade schools and professional schools are necessary to gain the skills needed to work at various jobs in our society that benefit society. But education, learning how to think critically, studying history and philosophy, the great books, and having discussions of the meaning behind those books will make people better human beings and hopefully bring about the greater good in society.

The problem is that people are educated just enough to believe what they have been taught, and not educated enough to question anything from what they have been taught.” ` Richard Feynman

As a society, we need to remove the barrier to education, especially continuing education. Primarily, the barrier is money. Secondly, it is time.

As we enter the autonomous revolution, money and time coupled with education will become more and more apparent as people find themselves working fewer hours in their jobs. People will find their jobs replaced with technology and a new “class” of citizens who tend to be highly schooled and traditionally “white collar” unemployed or vastly underemployed.

The solution is not to stop the advances of technology but to better understand who we are as human beings, the difference in being human, and the difference it makes—understanding the meaning of the greater good for humans and not a select handful of individuals. It means developing an “ethic” for life and how we live together on this planet for the greater good. Becoming a generally educated person is a lifelong process. 

Individuals whose schooling was specialized rather than classical and who do not continue learning when they leave schooling behind, or do so only to improve their specialized expertise, never become generally educated human beings. This statement holds for most physicians, lawyers, and engineers, as well as for most who getting a Ph.D. merely indicated the field of specialization they would cultivate thereafter”. ~ Mortimer J Adler

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