Education. It’s a word we toss around all the time. It appears as a tagline issue on the political scene. Social rights activists target it as an avenue for equality. We future teachers say it constantly in our program and we will continue to say it in our professional lives. It will be a category on most job applications forever. But what does it really mean?
One of my best teachers taught me to really make sure I know what I know and how I know it. Another teacher taught me to ever explore the region of what I don’t know I don’t know. (I had to think about that for a while, too.) So what do we really know about the meaning of the word education?
The word education comes from the Latin root educere, which means to educe, or to draw out. Thus, education ought to be a process of drawing out of the learner what he or she understands of the world and how he or she has reached that understanding.
Think of your best teachers for a minute. Did they ask you questions? Did they make you reevaluate how you perceive the world and your role in it? Did they give you tools to apply to your own thinking and study? Did they make you more aware of what you knew and didn’t know? Did they draw latent potential out of you?
In my experience and observation, education is most valuable when it draws forth that which is in us and makes us aware of our potential. Education that makes us aware of our limitless capacity to learn and the limitless quantity of what we don’t know yet is effective.
That’s the ideological preface for the assessment question.