What is the purpose of education?
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The term education is a controversial word that lacks a standard definition that can be acceptable globally and used in all situations. Instead, different audiences have diverse definitions for this term that suit the circumstances under which they apply it. It can be defined as a process through which knowledge is delivered from an educator to a student. Adoption of such a definition, however, compromises so much on self education where the concept of a teacher is not in the picture. A general definition has, therefore, been adopted to encompass other means of acquiring knowledge, without necessarily having to be taught. Such defines education as a cognitive process of reacquiring the optimal state of mind on the realization that the current status is not optimal. This involves perception, thinking, setting goals and, eventually, striving to achieve these set goals and objectives (Knowles, 1950).
There are many reasons why education is vital, but this also depends on to what the importance is relative. For daily living, the main purpose of education is to enable one to act respectfully to oneself and to others regardless of social standing and economic status. This not only benefits the concerned persons, but rather the society in which they and their families live.
In general terms, education is a crucial human activity without which humanity cannot be complete. It is an essential human virtue since it makes humanity what it is through reasoning, a necessity for fashioning the society, a platform through which diverse entities are merged, a measure of how significant life is. It cultivates what humanity lives for, an award of superiority to humanity, a sign of freedom, a controlling force to the aspects of life, and, finally, a foundation on which the hope of ever leading an exemplary life stands (Verner, 1964).
Development in education impacts so much on economic growth and development, accumulation of wealth and income generation, exposes people to equal opportunities and appears to be a crucial factor in controlling population growth rates. It also helps in ensuring sound health for people, advocates for national unity and reduces to a notable extent the frequency and intensity of crimes. Research shows that educational development, hence, development of human resources, is the standard measure of the economic stability of a nation, as opposed to physical resources.
What is the role of the adult educator?
An adult educator is considered as a teacher, consultant, helper and mentor. His/her role, therefore, can be deduced from the roles of the above mentioned persons. Their role ranges from a simple liberal to an advanced radical. However, for effective learning to be realized, an adult educator may need to set the learners free to acquire knowledge at their own pace and will. This will then foster some social values in them without applying the push mechanisms. Key to all other roles, an adult educator needs to create a conducive environment for learners to critically analyze, share and debate on some controversial issues. This way, self confidence of learners is cultivated, and they gain exposure (Knowles, 1950).
What is the role of students or adult learners in the classroom?
Learning is said to be effective when both the educator and the learners get involved in the process. Therefore, learners also have a role to play in the classroom. Whether adult or students, learners have a substantial role of paying attention to the educator and to what fellow learners share. They are also required to have an open mind towards the content delivered, and the frameworks applied in content development and delivery. Another major role of learners is to ask questions and prompt the educator to clarify on issues that were not understood properly. They also need to appreciate each other’s efforts and give credit where it is due (Elias & Merriam, 1980).
What is your conceptualization of differences among adult learners?
In a classroom situation, there is diversity in the level and rate at which learners conceptualize issues. There are both external and internal factors to this; internal factors include poor management of the time available for the learner and lack of suitable organizational skills. This concerns both the academic work as assignments and in general time management and organization. Another internal challenge is attributed to research and writing skills. This ranges from searching for a material in a library catalogue to searching for information in an already acquired material.
On the other hand, the external factors are also important. Key in this is the pressure exerted on the learners from family members, friends or even within self to get about grades and compete for scholarships. This subjects a learner into a lifelong race and unhealthy learning with an aim of getting grades, as opposed to gaining knowledge (Verner, 1964).