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Defining "access" and "education"

j.nahig's picture

In my paper, I struggled trying to define the words “access” and “education.” The more I tried to nail them down to concrete definitions, the more trouble I faced, and the more confused I became. I thought that, maybe if I loosely defined the end goal of education, I could reason what gives us access to it. Having written my paper, here are a few musings I’d like to share:


The education I have received has been very academically based. Clearly, receiving this narrowly constructed view of education has some sort of end goal. But what is this goal? Is it an education in the humanities? And if so, what does this get us? A powerful job? Money? Prestige? Is it power, money and prestige that give us self-worth? I hesitate to try to answer these questions for fear that this post will turn into a musing on the meaning of life; however I find these questions essential in trying to answer the question of access. Because, if you’re happy with your life, isn’t that enough? What does an education really do for a person, other than help them to “play the game?” Many people in positions of “power” are unhappy. After last week, I felt privileged in the amount of education I have. But what does this education actually do? Do I need to know how to attend a cocktail party or discuss political theory in order to impress other people? What defines my worth to others, and, most importantly, how do I define my own self-worth? Is the former even important? Is self-fulfillment the final goal? And is this achieved by the education I have had and am in the process of receiving?

Just a few afterthoughts.