423 words article on education



A father once proudly said to me, "My son has finished his education". He did not mean to be funny; but he was. Of course he meant that his son has taken his degree and left college; as though it is only in schools and colleges that education is to be had. "Finished his education!" Why, he had only just begun it.

"Education" means the drawing-out, or development of the faculties. This begins in school and college; but it does not end there. At school and college one learns the rudiments, and gains a smattering of knowledge on various subjects. More important, one learns there how to learn the best methods of acquiring knowledge. School and college education trains the mind (or should do), and makes it accustomed to continuous application and study. But this is not the whole of education; in a sense, it is but a preparation for education. Our education should never be "finished" at any rate so far as this life is concerned, until we die.

"Every person", said Gibbon, the historian, "has two educations: one which he receives from others, and one, more important, which he gives himself". And Sir Walter Scott confirmed this when he wrote: "The best part of every man's education is that which he gives himself". "That which is put into us by others", says Samuel Smiles, "is always far less ours than that which we acquire by our own efforts. Knowledge conquered by labor becomes a possession a property entirely our own."

If this is so, how do you hope, and plan, to continue your education when you leave school or college? I say "plan"; for mere hoping will not accomplish much. You must make up your mind to do it, and form some definite plan of studies.

First, you must keep up your reading. Too many young men close their books when they have taken their degrees, and learn no more. They very soon forget all they have ever learn. But, if you intend to continue your education, you must find time for serious reading. Go on with the subjects or some of them, you began as a student; and take up new ones that you feel will interest you.

Further, if you have the chance, join continuation classes, attend what lectures you can, become a member of some literary circle or debating society. Solitary study is not enough; you can learn much from discussion and conversation with others. But, what ever you do, never imagine that your edu­cation is "finished".