What is an educated person?

Some people think of education as only taking place in places like school and other formal settings (seminars, conferences etc). Because of this, if a person hasn’t gone through the formal type of education, they are thought, by some, as uneducated.

However, there are many other types of education. A person can be self taught. They can learn from informal means such as discussions with others. They can learn from general observation.

There are many ways for people to learn outside of the generally accepted formal education processes. To assume that only those who have gone through the formal education system are educated is to underestimate the other educational methods.

Medical school isn’t intended to teach everything there is to know about medicine, rather, it’s intended to provide a good background on the medical side and to show know how to find the rest, in a reasonable time period. This might mean knowing who to refer a patient to or knowing what resource to consult.

Law school doesn’t teach everything about the law but rather it teaches where to find the applicable law and then knowing how to apply the law.

While we tend to be impressed by the educated person who knows a great deal of random trivia, the real educated person (whether through formal education or otherwise) doesn’t necessarily know everything but does know how to find what he doesn’t know.

In no way am I trying to downplay the importance of formal education, but it’s also important to not downplay other means as well.

Have a great day!


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