Education is defined as 1) the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally preparing oneself or others intellectually for the mature life. 2) the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills as for a profession.—-Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language 1996
There were more definitions but they were more specific. I wanted just general education and professional. Also, the part of the definition that goes, “. . . generally preparing oneself or others intellectually for the mature life” is too vague. For the most part I disagree with it. School was not meant to do that. It was more for a sense of history/culture and some basic math and science, and for the aesthetics. They never did teach kids how to drive, balance a checkbook, get a job, use the telephone. These things and a lot of others were learned after or outside of school. So, it is true in the abstract but not the concrete. It was meant more to be a citizen.
The question arises when should developing powers of reason (reason: the mental powers concerned with forming conclusions, judgments, or inferences.—-Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language 1996) and judgment and preparing for a profession happen? The general knowledge can start at age 5. You can learn before that but school should start then. Pre-school is not needed. Kids do need time to be with and play with kids their own age, to gain social skills.
Deductive reasoning arrives at a specific conclusion based on generalizations. It goes from general to specific. Inductive reasoning takes events and makes generalizations. It goes from specific to general.
In my opinion developing powers of reason and judgment, at its base, happens without school. By that I mean, you have been taught by your parents basic right from wrong, in early childhood, even before Kindergarten. For more advanced things like mathematics it should wait until after you’ve had mathematics, for example. I was taught basically deductive logic in 10th Grade geometry. I believe that that is good enough for most jobs, which do not require college and most jobs do not require college. Inductive logic maybe best taught in college. Inductive proofs as in mathematics are taught in Discrete Mathematics courses and perhaps others.
I believe that a broad base of general knowledge is essential prior to judging anything. So, teaching reasoning skills in high school or before is a waste of time, much beyond saying that 5 is greater than 4, or that the Civil War happened after the Revolutionary War, as examples. Deciding whether either war was justifiable probably should wait until college. Five is not necessarily better than four. This fact may never come to an individual. In high school we are taught absolutes. It is not until college that we are taught there are few absolutes. Note: if one says, “I do not believe in absolutes”, then they have just contradicted themselves. They have just espoused an absolute.
By the way no where in the definition does it say problem solving.
So, I am saying that basic skills/knowledge can be taught at K-12 level. The more advanced for careers are best taught at college.
This is a start to my first blog, here.