Education is a process that is meant to develop the knowledge, skills, and values of individuals. It can also be used as a means of cultivating character traits, including sensitivity and empathy. Various scholars emphasize that the aim of education is to develop critical thinking. This critical thinking can distinguish education from indoctrination. Others prefer a value-neutral definition of education.
The philosophical study of education has a long history in Western philosophy. Many of the most influential philosophers incorporated educational concerns into their larger philosophical agendas. Socrates, for example, championed the idea of reasoned inquiry, and his descendents argued for a philosophy of education that fostered the development of reason.
Today’s education goals are more diverse than ever. The goals of education have expanded to include skills needed in the modern world, such as empathy and complex vocational skills. Education, as a process, is increasingly about the freedom and well-being of the individual. Education has become a vital part of the fabric of society, and it has the power to improve people’s lives and improve the lives of others.
The goal of education is to create environments and relationships that encourage exploration. While some experiences are beneficial, others are detrimental and mis-educational. As a result, education can become a form of entertainment or containment. Education often emphasizes the involvement of the individual in the immediate activity, while little attention is given to expanding the individual’s horizons.
Progressive educators, on the other hand, stress the child’s development from within. The aim of education is to create a solid foundation for a child’s future. By providing education early in life, education will help the child learn at a faster rate and be prepared for the rest of their lives. For instance, a meta-analysis of studies on the benefits of early childhood education found that seven out of 10 preschool children performed better than the average.
Primary education is the first four to seven years of formal education. Most countries’ primary education begins at age five or six, but in other countries, this may be up to eight. By 2008, 89% of children aged six to twelve were enrolled in primary education. Under UNESCO’s Education For All program, most countries have pledged to enroll every child in primary education by 2015.
In informal education, a person can learn through experiences in their daily lives. Family, social, and work environments can all be examples of informal education. Any experience that has a formative effect can be considered educational. For example, a teacher may make a student believe that he or she has learned something from the experience.
Equal opportunity are central themes in Rawls’s political philosophy, and he also made a case for protecting the interests of people who fare badly in educational competition. Equal liberty, then, is always superior to equal opportunity. And inequality in distribution of income is morally permissible if it serves the interests of the least advantaged group in society.