The definition of education in common usage, that education is merely the delivery of knowledge, skills and information from teachers to students, is inadequate to capture what is really important about being and becoming educated.
The proper definition is basically the process of becoming an educated person, but that begs the question of what counts as an educated person.
Being an educated person means you have access to optimal states of mind regardless of the situation you are in.
You are able to perceive accurately, think clearly and act effectively to achieve self-selected goals and aspirations.
Education, therefore, is more properly defined as a process of cognitive cartography, mapping your experiences and finding a variety of reliable routes to optimal states of mind when you find yourself in non-optimal states.
In this essay I am going to criticize the common definition, elaborate on my definition, and finally, make three recommendations for teachers based on my definition of education.
The idea that the definition of education is the delivery of knowledge, skills and information from teachers to students is misguided.
While this definition of education is partly true it is grossly inadequate and is probably the fundamental source of the vast tragedy of “accountability” which treats arbitrarily inadequate results on irrelevant tests as proof that some school communities need to be punished.
The logic of “accountability” in this instance is taken to be a literal “accounting” of units of knowledge and information through highly orchestrated student performances of test taking skills.