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Importance of education

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To describe ‘education’ in the simplest form is the process of teaching and or learning. This encompasses the theory and the process of achieving enlightenment or knowledge and understanding. All human beings on this planet require knowledge to survive and without it even biblically it has been mentioned that people perish. It is therefore important in my personal life to be knowledgeable enough in all areas of human endeavour. I would like to describe my personal belief about knowledge epistemologically according to George F. Kneller, 1964. “Knowledge is a universal matter and aims to discover what is involved in the process of knowing.

It asks questions such as: Is there something common to all the different activities to which we apply the term “ knowing”? Is knowing a special sort of mental act? If so, what is the difference between knowledge and belief? Can we know anything beyond the objects with which our senses acquaint us? The theory of knowledge has ideas about how people think and feel despite not having a claim to an explanation scientifically. I believe just as Kneller, 1964 asserted that there are about 6 different types of knowledge as explained below: 1. REVEALED KNOWLEDGE

This is the kind of knowledge that God discloses to man. His all knowing God inspires certain individuals, his revelation in permanent form, to a certain point when it may become accessible to all mankind through various religions. It is divinely accepted to promises that those who accept it can never, according to their own rights, be mistaken. Of course there are some humanly interpretations which may distort parts of it, but in itself it is divine truth. This truth is confined to whatever religion or sect which accepts as the word of God. This knowledge is also based on supernatural phenomena although it may apply to natural phenomena as in Genesis. Therefore, there can be very little argument about the credibility of its source. It can be neither be proved nor disproved empirically. One is bound to accept it on faith. 2. AUTHORITATIVE KNOWLEDGE

This is the kind of knowledge which is accepted as true simply because it is coming from experts. The kind of knowledge which is found in encyclopedias, text books, monographs and specialized publications by recognised people and institutions. A typical example are the formulars we accept for solving problems mathematically in schools, colleges. And universities and memorize tables for decimizing english measurements. Most of our factual knowledge is based on authority rather than personally proving them for ourselves. 3. INTUITIVE KNOWLEDGE

This is rather a personal way of knowing and happens at a subliminal level as asserted by psychologists, beneath the “ threshold of consciousness”. This is intimately connected with feeling and contrasts with the logical processes usually associated with thinking at the conscious level. Using intuition, we are able to see “ in a sudden flash of insight” that something is the case. We understand knowledge directly without realizing how we acquired this knowledge. Its only an intense feeling which seems to convince us that we have discovered what we were looking for. 4. RATIONAL KNOWLEDGE

This is a source of knowledge derived from universally valid judgement that are consistent with another. Rational knowledge acknowledges the contribution of the senses to knowledge in the form of bare facts and isolated impressions with the belief that intellect interprets and organizes the bits and pieces of information into what is termed as reliable and significant knowledge although it tends to be abstract. This is a world of relations and meanings and gives little understanding of the physical world and requires the help of other types of knowledge. 5. EMPIRICAL KNOWLEDGE

This is the view that knowledge come from the senses such as hearing, seeing, smelling, feeling and tasting in order to form a picture of the world around us. This implies that knowledge is composed of ideas formed in accordance with observed facts. Although we rely on our senses for our knowledge of the everyday world, certain times these senses deceive us as in the classic example of the stick that looks bent in water but turns out to be straight when we touch it. We at certain times see what we are conditioned to see and not what is actually there. Never the less, senses have their own part to play in the formation of knowledge. 6. EXPERIMENTATION

This is the kind of knowledge apprehended through science experimentation which is the most acceptable today even though different methods compliment one another. MY PERSONAL MEANING OF EDUCATION.

My personal meaning of education is dichotomous in the sense that I value both technical and general education. In the general aspect I value the formative effect on the mind and character of human beings which entails that we are constantly in a learning process and education never ceases. We learn formally and informally throughout our lives. With the technical aspect of education, I would like to agree with John Dewey, a pragmatist that “ education may be defined as a process of continuous reconstruction of experience with the purpose of widening and deepening its social content, while at the same time, the individual gains control of the methods involved”. For me to achieve this kind of education I need to be open minded and embrace the processes of knowledge bearing in mind that each type of knowledge requires a particular philosophy and methodology.

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