What does an educated person look like today?

Volunteer Moderator Name and Contact Info: Doug Belshaw (@dajbelshaw ) dougbelshaw.com

Starter for 10: Whilst 'an educated person' might have shared not only core skills but attitudes and dispositions, the latter have declined in relevance as education becomes less institutionalized. - dajbelshaw dajbelshaw

Do we agree with the following definition from The Free Dictionary ?

And to further define the above, we need to agree on what "an education" is. So here is the definition from Dictionary.com


  1. the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
  2. the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession.
  3. a degree, level, or kind of schooling: a university education.
  4. the result produced by instruction, training, or study: to show one's education.
  5. the science or art of teaching; pedagogics.

What is the general knowledge that we want students to acquire? - heidigable heidigable Is 'general knowledge' even applicable any more? - dajbelshaw dajbelshaw

What social/emotional qualities will they be able to display? - heidigable heidigable Do these requirements differ online and offline? - dajbelshaw dajbelshaw

What skills do they need? - heidigable heidigable Do they all need the same skills? Are some core? - dajbelshaw dajbelshaw

Students need to learn content area knowledge along with communication and collaboration skills and the ability to be creative. Since information will continue to evolve, students must learn how to teach themselves new skills or learn how to learn. Just showing evidence of schooling won't be enough. I absolutely agree with this last statement - does this mean that they should be able to explain their 'e-portfolio' as well as produce evidence of qualifications? - dajbelshaw dajbelshaw

In his essay "What Does It Mean To Be Well Educated?" (in the book of the same name), Alfie Kohn asks a good question: "Does the phrase well educated refer to a quality of the schooling you received, or to something about you?" In American society, the measurement is traditionally the former, usually represented by the type of paper you received and where it came from, especially when talking about college education. If we're going to define what an educated person looks like, there needs to be a break with paper credentials and a refocus on the individual. I agree with Doug that a major part of that is how well the person can teach themselves and adapt to new circumstances. Diplomas represent past learning. Being well educated represents future learning. - timstahmer timstahmer

...or this from the QCDA ?
external image well-educated-illustration.gif

@bartoneducation #10fored @dajbelshaw Its about being able to respond to permanent change (daily/weekly) + having skills to act within that change.

@bartoneducation #10fored @dajbelshaw Being educated also means being able to move from tight focus (my task) to wide angle (global) instantly.

pkintzinger: I love this illustration. As a K-5 principal/teacher, I look to the youngest ... the foundation for becoming well educated is built through literacy - reading, writing, speaking, listening and a facility with numbers. These skills must be developed through the use of literature and a focus on thinking about what is being read or experienced. Lots of conversation about what is read, extrapolation to the world we live in ... socially responsible behaviour, including towards each other and the environment. We need to read constantly in school ... all manner of things, some personally chosen, others required. Without this basic capacity, all the rest cannot evolve. Then we must foster creativity ... encourage students to identify, then linger with their passions, show us what they think, know and can do... help kids communicate with us, with each other (globally) through a variety of ways. How does that look in the big picture? How do we get there?

R S Peters put it well, in my view:
"Our concept of an educated person is of someone who is capable of delighting in a variety of pursuits and projects for their own sake and whose pursuit of them and general conduct of life is transformed by some degree of all round understanding and sensitivity"
(Peters, R S, 1977, Education and the Education of Teachers . Abingdon: Routledge) (@mberry )
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