Good grades, first class degrees or titles, and/or income levels do not necessaily mean you have had a good education. It has been said that an educated person must know how to acquire knowledge and skills. Learning is the key skill. You can try but you will never know everything. That schools and colleges are not about much real world learning is a cliche by now. Here is what people answered about the question 'what must an educated person know' on Quora.com:
An intelligent person is not one who knows everything, but one who knows where to find or learn what is sought when it's needed.
Know a something about almost everything and everything about something.
An educated person must know, that he/she has the ability to discern and act in a measured manner. Education should incline us to think that "every violent reform deserves censure, for it quite fails to remedy evil while men remain what they are, and also because wisdom needs no violence.
- Lev Tolstoy, War and Peace
An educated person should have common sense in abundance! Without that, you are a fool.
There is a gap between where you are and where you want to be. This gap is that of knowledge and skills. An educated person should be able to identify this gap and should know how to fill this gap by learning new things.
The worse thing about trying to be educated is that indeed it a life long process, and that the confidence that is required to deal with other takes far too long.
Very few people would embark on such a quest because the rewards are not valued. No one starts pumping money into your pockets just because you are educated, but yes if you pump money into theirs. And for that you do not need education. Chace and sheer stupidity may make you richer in the short term.
An educated person knows not to be overly educated. It is possible to be overeducated in cases where one's abilities to deal and fathom are too enriched and lead to a false sense of knowing what's best for everyone else. Expert advice has led many astray. Also, even the most worldly among us can claim little more than an infinitesimal portion of absolute knowledge. Being overeducated may deprive one of the potential to have the mind blown by sheer mystery. It might also remove the ability to learn in dreams and intuitive flashes.
An educated person has a view or model of the world that surrounds him. It hardly matters how right or wrong you have it, the important thing is to constantly rethink it critically (ie, ready to change the view in lieu of new evidence). There is no universal knowledge, there are only universal approaches to knowledge - this is what an educated person needs.
Education creates tolerance.
1. Harvard University's list:
The ability to define problems without a guide.
The ability to ask hard questions which challenge prevailing assumptions.
The ability to quickly assimilate needed data from masses of irrelevant information.
The ability to work in teams without guidance.
The ability to work absolutely alone.
The ability to persuade others that your course is the right one.
The ability to conceptualize and reorganize information into new patterns.
The ability to discuss ideas with an eye toward application.
The ability to think inductively, deductively and dialectically.
2. Princeton University's list:
The ability to think, speak, and write clearly.
The ability to reason critically and systematically.
The ability to conceptualize and solve problems.
The ability to think independently.
The ability to take initiative and work independently.
The ability to work in cooperation with others and learn collaboratively.
The ability to judge what it means to understand something thoroughly.
The ability to distinguish the important from the trivial, the enduring from the ephemeral.
Familiarity with the different modes of thought (including quantitative, historical, scientific, and aesthetic.)
Depth of knowledge in a particular field.
The ability to see connections among disciplines, ideas and cultures.
The ability to pursue life long learning.
3. George Wyth College's list:
The ability to understand human nature and lead accordingly.
The ability to identify needed personal traits and turn them into habits.
The ability to establish, maintain, and improve lasting relationships.
The ability to keep one's life in proper balance.
The ability to discern truth and error regardless of the source, or the delivery.
The ability to discern true from right.
The ability and discipline to do right.
The ability and discipline to constantly improve.
4. Josh Kaufman's list:
Information-Assimilation – how to find, consume, and comprehend information and identify what’s most important in the face of a problem or challenge.
Writing – how to communicate thoughts and ideas in written form clearly and concisely.
Speaking – how to communicate thoughts and ideas to others clearly, concisely, and with confidence.
Mathematics – how to accurately use concepts from arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics to analyze and solve common problems.
Decision-Making – how to identify critical issues, prioritize, focus energy/effort, recognize fallacies, avoid common errors, and handle ambiguity.
Rapport – how to interact with other people in a way that encourages them to like, trust, and respect you.
Conflict-Resolution – how to anticipate potential sources of conflict and resolve disagreements when they occur.
Scenario-Generation – how to create, clarify, evaluate, and communicate a possible future scenario that assists in decision-making, either for yourself or another person.
Planning – how to identify the necessary next steps to achieve an objective, account for dependencies, and prepare for the unknown and inevitable change via the use of contingencies.
Self-Awareness – how to accurately perceive and influence your own internal states and emotions, including effective management of limited energy, willpower, and focus.
Interrelation – how to recognize, understand, and make use of key features of systems and relationships, including cause-and-effect, second and third-order effects, constraints, and feedback loops.
Skill Acquisition – how to go about learning a desired skill in a way that results in competence by finding and utilizing available resources, deconstructing complex processes, and actively experimenting with potential approaches.
5. "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects"
- Robert A. Heinlein
6. How to write well
7. Know when you're wrong and how to admit it.
8. That we are all stardust...magical and wonderful collections of mostly carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.
9. How to live well. Why to keep living. How to die with dignity. How to be honorable. How to live in a family. What one's best is. Where one is with respect to everything else in existence. What one experiences and how to express that experience. The potiential to imagine what might have been and what could be. What is valuable and why and what is worthless and why. Patience, compassion, sympathy, forgiveness, gentleness. Self defense. Respect.
10. "There is no education like adversity."
- Benjamin Disraeli
11. The ability to think clearly and logically even when clear and logical thinking leads one to different conclusions than everyone else holds.
12. A modern-day educated person should know arithmetic, a little Shakespeare, how to spell, and a lot about one academic subject.
13. The Hallmark of an educated person is not in knowing the answer...... it is in knowing where to go to find the answer.
14. A citizen in a Constitutional Democracy must know enough history and human nature to understand how to act under the rule of law. This is not a natural state of being. It must be taught, mentored, and modeled.
15. How to use words in the proper way.
16. An educated person must understand world affairs - and crucially understand why they are as they are.
17. The ability to make connections between all the knowledge you possess.
18. The ability to communicate an idea.
19. The ability to think independently - independent of emotions and the influence of others.
20. The ability to determine the relevance and intellectual worth of information.
21. An awareness of different thought styles and their applications to different problems.
22. The ability to constantly learn through reading, experimentation, observation and conversation.
23. The ability to determine where the answer may be found - which resource, what academic field or which expert.
24. The ability to understand and analyse data.
25. The ability to assimilate information quickly - speed reading, determining relevance and understanding the relevant information.
26. Awareness of your knowledge and experiences.
27. The ability to value all perspectives.
28. The ability to actively research any curiosities you may have and not just wonder about them.
29. The ability to challenge prevailing assumptions.
30. The ability to make connections between knowledge and a problem. Seek to solve a problem through deliberate application of knowledge (theories, concepts ) rather than gut instinct.
31. The ability to re-organise information into new pattern.
32. Critical thinking
33. To care for people on Earth and to contribute beyond ourselves for the greater good of the society.
34. An educated person should have the knowledge of differentiating the bad from the good.
35. When to hold them, and when to fold them. Also, when to walk away and when to run.
36. When presented with a problem, know what are the relevant questions to ask, how to go about trying to find the answers, and how to validate answers.
38. Common sense
40. Survival skills
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