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Angela DiGioia's picture

How are we defining “education”?

This week, I was struck by the fact that the words that were used to describe the “education” were associated with the confines of a university, or formal institution of some sort.  In an ideal world, wouldn’t one’s “education” be defined and recognized as the experiences that one has inside and outside of a classroom throughout their life?  Thinking back to my most formative times as a child, and now as an adult, very few of them occurred within the walls of a formal teaching institution.  These times occurred as a child, playing with my sisters and interacting with my parents and grandparents.  I believe that it was during these formative times when my mind was most open and impressionable, not when I was studying in college or writing a paper.  Perhaps the difference is that, in grade, middle, and high schools, as well as in college, I was given assignments of what to study and topics on which to write papers and was not allowed to let my mind wander in the same way that it was able to when I was a child playing in my Nanna’s attic.    I hesitate to define my “education” as the books that I’ve read and the papers that I’ve written; instead, I would like to say that the experiences throughout my life, both inside of a classroom and out, have created who I am in this moment.



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