Journey of a Teacher

What Is Education?

Posted on - 26th March, 2021 Posted by - Yallaschools

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What is Education?

Lessons from Teachers, if whispered with affection , Will bring runaway children to school on a Friday. (Persian poem)

Education

Education is one of the first words I heard from my earliest age, and it’s something I have been dealing with for the past 70 years of my life.

My father was a teacher, a family tradition, and the tradition was carried forward. It was not a job as such and surely not a job that simply placed him schools and classrooms, it was a lifelong involvement that extended to every aspect of life. Many of my father’s pupils have later said or written that they were first taken from their homes or farms to school, when they didn’t even know what a school was.

Thirty years after he passed away people remember him, even those who have not seem him, as an educator who affected lives.

One remembered, ‘Mr. Honari was a teacher in the daytime and during the night, in school and at home, during school hours and after hours, while walking or on his push-bike, while angry or relaxed, happy or upset; in every opportunity and everywhere, he was a teacher teaching.’

Are good traditions carried forward? Not anymore.

In 1977 I was passing through Oxford and I saw a group of students wearing special gowns and hats, carrying a student sitting in a two-step. chair up on their shoulders around Oxford University. I took a photograph. When I showed it to my father upon returning to home, he said with delight ‘I was carried home like this on a pulpit when I graduated, too!’ My father told me he was brought home on a two-steps pulpit while my grandmother was giving this classmates sweets and gifts.

Are good traditions carried forward? Not anymore.

My father used to know every student, their parents, and their status and situation. My father was teacher of grade one, as well as the school Principal, and at times also the regional education director. No student, no teacher and no family could hide from him. He was also Director of the Regional Sacred-Sites Authority. He was also member of City Council at a time. Ever boy who gave his younger sister a hard time could not hide. He knew every child who would even use bad language.

Are good traditions carried forward? Not anymore.

Dimensions of Education

Literacy: Literacy starts with reading, writing, copying and imitating symbols to represent sounds. A vertical line drawn can represent many different sounds: I, 1, l (L), etc. A horizontal line or two can create many different sounds again:  H, T, F, E, etc. In many languages and scripts, dots placed above and below these lines vary the sounds again. Alphabets in different languages are very different. In schools, teachers led the process of combining these shapes, sounds and meaning.

Numeracy: Numeracy starts with reading, writing, copying and imitating symbols to represent quantity and values. Numeracy starts with the four main principles of arithmetic: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. As the years progress students tackle increasingly complicated mathematical calculations.

Perception: Perception is the gradual understanding of something. It filters through senses. By systematically learning symbols, alphabets, words, numbers etc., individuals are able to receive or express experience. This is to express the experiences of previous generations to new ones. To learn how people have brought about changes and learn how we can bring about changes. Perception is formed by receiving data from ones surrounds through the five senses. Education, the ability to read and write symbols, enables us to learn and perceive the experience of the environs we have not seen and may not even exit any more.

Education is expected to helps us to communicate more effectively and help us to use the environment effectively.

Manners: Another goal of education is to understand the principles of experience of generations in order to form manners acceptable to society at large. Different groups of people have reacted differently to different incidents. Manners here is used to express the behavior and reaction that society expects.

Behavior: Behavior is what individuals do to interact with other people either at professional or personal levels: how to communicate with parents, with peers, with neighbors, and with other people with whom we interact in society.

Life Skills: Basic skills people attain by training or experience, enabling them to continue through life. No matter what, where and when live, certain skills is required in order to meet basic needs required to survive and also to being able to engage with others. Life skills require to one to grow, develop, and make improvements towards a good life within the ecology we live in.

Life Quality: All living things need food - human being especially need food of a nutritional quality. All living things need shelter, human beings need quality shelter. All living things need quality communities. Quality is the often-intangible aspects that brings about elevated emotions, excitements and happiness in relation to our basic necessities.

Health, comfort, happiness, joy and positive feelings are part of this multi-dimensional concept called quality of life.

Sharing Experiences

I believe the above seven dimensions of education are all expectations we can have of the education system, of teachers and of schools. The goal of any education in general is to provide those who are being educated with the tools, equipment and skills enable them to improve their literacy, numeracy, perceptions, manners, behaviors, skills and quality of life. This is achievable the ecosystems in which we live are in balance.

The ultimate goal of an education system is to build balanced human ecosystems.

Could this be the ultimate goal of education?

When we consider this, the people doing the teaching, students, their families, the general public, education planners and anyone who has interest of involvement in learning becomes actively a part of this endeavor.

In the next segment I will write about the art of teachers and will show their role in what is now called lifelong learning, as a continuous process that starts in the home and extends out across society. From the perspective of students, we will discuss their duties in best preparing themselves to learn.

And for teachers, who have dedicated their lives to teaching, I welcome your feedback, comments and to share your experiences with me 


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