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What Are the Characteristics of an Educated Person?

Tony is a writer and photographer who lives in Pretoria, South Africa.

What Is Education?

Education is not about certificates and degrees—education is about how a person relates to life. As the Greek philosopher, Epictetus, said, "Only the educated are free."

Education is the opposite of indoctrination. Indoctrination tells people what to think, tells people what the "truth" is, and closes minds to critical thought.

Education, on the other hand, opens the mind, encourages a search for truth, and develops a mind that can engage critically with many different ideas.

Education also is not simply about "intellectual" pursuits. The old Roman dictum of Mens sana in corpore sano (a sound mind in a sound body) is still a characteristic of a good education.

Education is about learning, not teaching. As Galileo Galilei said, "You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself."

The word "education" itself refers to "bringing out" or "bringing forth what is within" from the Latin "e-ducere."

A depiction of the University of Bologna, Italy

A depiction of the University of Bologna, Italy

How Are We Educated?

This, in a way, is the nub of the question about what characteristics an educated person has. Too often we think of education as something we "get" at school and university. It is something a teacher drills into us.

As Mortimer J. Adler has written: "Everyone knows, or certainly should know, that indoctrination is not genuine teaching and that the results of indoctrination are the very opposite of genuine learning. Yet, as a matter of fact, much that goes on in the classrooms of our schools is nothing but indoctrination."

Adler posits three causes of this situation:

  1. That education is seen as a productive, not collaborative activity. The certificate or degree at the end of the course is seen as a "product" of what the "teacher" does. Learning, though, takes place in the learner and can take place independently of any teacher. Indeed, most learning occurs in that way.
  2. Related to the first point is that people suppose that what students learn, whether in a didactic or a discovery-based approach, is somehow the result of what the teacher, and not the learner, does. Students will learn, whatever the teacher does, but it might not be what the teacher thinks they learn.
  3. We often don't distinguish between real knowledge and opinion, or what Adler terms the "impressions made on and retained by the memory from the development of understanding in the mind". This results in the learning of facts but not the development of knowledge or wisdom.

Adler concludes: "The conception of the teacher as one who has knowledge of information that he or she transmits to students as passive recipients of it violates the nature of teaching as a cooperative art. It assumes that genuine learning can occur simply by instruction, without acts of thinking and understanding that involve discovery by the minds of students."

Another Important Article on Education and Learning

So What Are the Characteristics of an Educated Person?

An educated person (reminder - an educated person might not have a college degree or even have attended school!) would be one who searches for excellence, one who does not take things for granted, and one who is concerned about people and things around him or her.

As philosopher Christopher Phillips (of Socrates Cafe fame) has written in his excellent and entertaining book Six Questions of Socrates (W.W. Norton & Co, 2004):

"I think an excellent individual and an excellent civilization do share certain attributes: they are forward-looking. They are cognizant of how their actions impact others, not just today, but in coming generations, and strive to act in ways that will enhance the lives of individuals and societies not just of today, but also of the future - and not just the next one or two or five generations, but the next hundred and thousand and ten thousand generations."

Phillips goes on:

"To this end, at minimum, they forever strive to diminish, rather than increase, those types of human suffering born of a lack of food, shelter, clothing, education, and self-determination, not just within its national bounds, but, as much as possible, globally as well. They not only seek to liberate people from death and terror and oppression, but they also go the next step, and aim to give everyone the opportunity to discover and develop their unique intellectual and physical, spiritual and moral, aesthetic and cultural potentials."

To these ends, an educated person, in my opinion, would be a person who at least:

  1. has deep and genuine empathy, striving to understand others, with the ability to withhold their own judgment until they are sure that they do understand;
  2. is sensitive to the psychological, physical, moral, and cultural milieu in which they find themselves, showing respect and caring at all times;
  3. has a clear understanding of his or her own values, wants, and preferences without wishing to impose these on others;
  4. is independent, within the constraints of collaborative living, in action and thought, taking responsibility for the health and well-being of their body and their mind;
  5. understands the connectedness of everything in the world, and even in the universe, and so acts responsibly in everything they do - the slogan "think globally, act locally" applies here;
  6. is congruent, meaning that the person will be comfortable in their own skin, able to acknowledge their own feelings and the feelings of others without condescension.

Clearly, these are characteristics that can be learned in formal education but do need to be developed in such a process.

An educated person, in other words, is one for whom being is more important than knowing or having.

© 2010 Tony McGregor


Prince Essiam on February 13, 2020:

I really love the claim or statement above

But what makes critical thinking mind equal to an educated mind

Will Apse on January 15, 2020:

Fine article with admirable sentiments. Hope you are well.

Malesela Andries Ngoetjana on August 02, 2019:

what are the characteristics of a person who knows in terms of educational philosophy

korroh daajan on August 12, 2018:

i need help to go to school with any help from anyone to complete my education please.

Paul on September 23, 2015:

That is great. I treasure it. This is what we need to instil to learners but do we have them ourselves?

Harish Mamgain from New Delhi , India on December 09, 2013:

Tony, so beautiful stuff about real education. Real education is, being humane, kind, compassionate, affectionate, treating all alike whether poor or rich, dark or fair, related or unrelated, believer or atheist ....... Real education is to feel deeply about life- this whole aspect of being or consciousness, and usher in wisdom to know everything very clearly, never ever hurting anybody either physically or mentally, live one's life with oneness with this whole existence and above all have a passion for learning more and more. I have uttered these words under the spell of your dynamic hub that has impressed me a lot ;and made me thinking in a vigorous way. Thank you very much for bringing forth such a brilliant stuff.

Samuel Wamalwa on June 22, 2013:

its good actually

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on September 17, 2012:

Thanks so much Mary - much appreciated indeed!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on September 17, 2012:

This is an excellent Hub. Just to be educated does not make a whole person. It takes much as you said.

I voted this Hub UP, and will share.

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on July 29, 2012:

An excellent article. This is an argument in which I frequently engage, that a degree does not make one educated, and a lack of one does not make one ignorant. Yet we are saturated with media that proclaims otherwise, and the trend of indoctrination prevails.

wrenfrost56 from U.K. on June 21, 2012:

Another great hub Tony, I always know your work is going to be a gem. :)

Matere.breva on May 13, 2012:

Good work ! Tony.

Gareth Pritchard from North Wales on April 11, 2012:

“Greek philosopher Epictetus said: "Only the educated are free."”

I would not have put the above statement into this hub because it is simply not true. Education is about liberation and not indoctrination but you can only enhance on freedom because freedom is an impossibility. Nothing is free and anybody who thinks carefully about freedom will know they need certain things in their life to even have a life so can never truly be free.

“The word "education" itself refers to "bringing out" or "bringing forth what is within" from the Latin "e-ducere".” This I agree with completely, it is a two way process both teacher and learner are in the education process and so both are learners. Pedagogy, "to lead the child" .

Finally I am shocked at how many people don't realise that education is at the bottom of the list of priorities of adults, especially governments and politicians, in fact why would the establishment want an educated population because then they would have a more difficult time dealing with it. The establishment on the whole will always do its very best to dumb down the population, they want sheeple not people, except for perhaps their own children but they will always send them to different schools won't they, don't they?

Thanks for the enlightenment and opportunity, Gareth.

nightcrawler123 on March 25, 2012:

Good hub. Similar to what Jean Piaget defined as the end goal of education: autonomy, both in the character and intellectual spheres. Keep up the good work! - Free Videos and Ebooks For Teachers

Java Programs from India on March 07, 2012:

Great hub tonymac04 ... I really loved reading your hub... Thanks for the wonderful share ... Keep up the good work ...

Caroline Marie on March 07, 2012:

Great hub Tony. I agree with you on your thoughts in this article.

Mahaveer Sanglikar from Pune, India on March 07, 2012:

Great and informative Hub, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Voted up.

Materebreva on January 31, 2012:

Tony you are the smertest educater i have ever came across, you are only limited in points.

Phoebe Pike on January 14, 2012:

This is a very well-informed and researched hub. I applaud your efforts and your skill in writing. It was straight-forward, interesting and an incredible piece. I cannot wait to read more from you. Clearly you are a very intelligent individual with exceptional writing skills.

R. J. Lefebvre on November 16, 2011:

tonymac04, You hub was in my line of sight. My schooling history was not reliable: I can recall (mid 40's & 50's) a handfull of teachers who were dedicated to their students, no matter there origin or behavior (recognizing children are what they live). Students smart or not received appropriate attention, not so for the majority.

My education was a hit amd miss and resulting to laboring jobs. I did not recognize my learning problems until witnessing my sons problems while in school. I discovered they may have dyslexic problems, and looking further I discovered their parents also had the same problems in their education experience. I'm in the process of reading The Dyslexic Advantage by Mr & Mrs Brock and Fernette Eide, M.D.'s. I wrote a hub about education, and Michelle Rhee trying to make a difference. I agree with Ms Rhee, our system needs a drastic change for the students and America's future.


joejagodensky from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 24, 2011:

You've said it well. If only we could adopt these principles. Thanks for the beautiful description.

ConsciousMindz from Texas on August 13, 2011:

After reading your article, I had to comment on a part written where you wrote; Education, on the other hand, opens the mind, encourages a search for truth and develops a mind that can engage critically with many different ideas... I believe this whole heartedly. If you allow yourself the opportunity to RECEIVE fact based information, you enable yourself a better opportunity at making SOUND decisions. A conscious mind is powerful and can't be deceived... Great topic!

jtyler on July 21, 2011:

This is an interesting article. You're right about the indoctrination of youth; it's one of the things I don't like about the education system (in America, I can't speak for other countries). Whenever I teach someone something, I give them just enough information for him to figure out the rest on his own.

Jason R. Manning from Sacramento, California on July 06, 2011:

Well stated and rationally even handed. Certain societies still try to instill self-discovery by way of intellectually searching for answers. However, many societies, especially those of highly developed nations, have created a vacuum of self-centeredness. Many nations no longer foster environments of debate like the Greek or Romans. Now, you have an opinion and either people agree with you are you are shouted down. I do have a question for you;

1. “is independent, within the constraints of collaborative living, in action and thought, taking responsibility for the health and well-being of their body and their mind;”

how do you suppose being independent while being constrained works? Are independent thinkers allowed if collaborative living dictates you keep your opinions to yourself, unless they follow group think? There seams a difficulty in finding a perfectly balanced environment between controlled and fertile. Good Job TonyMac

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on June 30, 2011:

Michal - indeed!

Thanks for the comment.

Love and peace


Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on June 02, 2011:

And experience is the best education for me. Theories are the foundations but when you're actually out there at the field of your specialization, those who have more experience will teach you to get familiar with the actual world of your industry.

Still an educated being will share his/her expertise even without re-numeration. He'll do it for free just for the sake of his countrymen to be educated, too!

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 29, 2011:

Ken - thanks for stopping y and I hope your students do learn these things! When we stoip learning we die.

Love and peace


mag29mag from general santos city, philippines on April 26, 2011:

just wanna add...

not all who has a degree are educated!!!

i know lots of them...

their characteristic is more than a trashcan!!!

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 25, 2011:

Janelle - thanks so much. It has been an interesting discussion indeed.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 25, 2011:

Rick - I think your comment is spot on. I like the distinction you make between information and learning.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 25, 2011:

Susannah - you are so right!

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 25, 2011:

Roy - I agree that teachers should strive for that. Not always easy but always worthwhile.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 25, 2011:

Tvpuram - thanks for thoughtful comment. I like the sentence "teachers help them to open up their internal eyes".

Thanks again for stopping by.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 25, 2011:

Just about it - thanks for stopping by and the great comment.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 25, 2011:

Nash, Dave and Yig - thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yig - no problem at all.

Love and peace


Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on April 22, 2011:

I truly loved the way you wrote this hub. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Motown2Chitown on April 22, 2011:

What an insightful and wonderful hub! This was SO well done. I also voted it up and incredibly useful.

Tamila Roberts from Canada on April 22, 2011:

I'd like to add educated person have much patience with people too!

genesis e320 on April 22, 2011:

Most really educated people learn despite what they teach in school

BMG from timor laste on April 22, 2011:

we can't judge educated people by looks at characteristics....sometimes they doesn't like to shows it...some of them prefer to low profile.

Ipeoney from USA on April 21, 2011:

That's right. I often hear a statement something like -- *you're not using your education* or *you're a person living in a civilized world and acting uncivilized. People living in the mountains are more civilized than you are* --The world is changing but the heart and good manners of the people should remain the same. What can we do about this?

michalk on April 21, 2011:

The best educations aren't thhe ones acquired in classrooms


Ken Barton on April 21, 2011:

Very good Hub Tony, I try to pass such information on to my students that I tutor whenever possible. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford both had very little public education, but they knew where to find the knowledge they needed to succeed. I believe folks ought to be learning all the time and expanding their minds with knowledge and growing in wisdom along the way.

janellelk on April 20, 2011:

love the content and love the feedback!

Rick Baird from Three Rivers, Michigan on April 20, 2011:

I have no degree, no formal education to speak of. I explore the world around me, books, emotion, life in general, all these things hold a wealth of knowledge and discovery. when it really comes down to it i think the mind was designed to evolve in every aspect of it's existence. like i said this is what i have discovered. I do agree the traditional school setting is more about status in the world rather than true education, people think if they play the game the end result is a certain status in life. they might have attained alot of information but how many really truly learn?

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 19, 2011:

Ixwa - thanks for the comment again!

I think education is going to become the ANC's Achilles heel - the worst aspect of the lack of service delivery. I had hoped that it was not deliberate - but perhaps you have a point there.

Love and peace


susannah42 from Florida on April 18, 2011:

If one is really intelligent, they are smart enough to know they don't "know it all".

royblizzard from Austin / Leander, Texas on April 18, 2011:

Teachers should always strive to instill some type of love for learning something in every child. If the child never gains a desire to learn he will be a statistic of some sort.

tvpuram from India on April 18, 2011:

Children usually worship three things. God,Parents and finally their teachers. Parents with God's assistance help them open their external eyes. Where as teachers help them to open up their internal eyes.

Just About It from southern CA on April 18, 2011:

Great article! You are so right about what defines an educated person. I know so many people with several degrees but they can't live in the world or even know what the reality of the world.

Yig on April 17, 2011:

You are so right and correct..iam sick and tired of people who think they are educated yet act like crap..

thanks for this nice and informative hub..i hope you won't have a problem if i quote some of your words!


Dave on April 17, 2011:

Wow..great hub..are you a teacher or something? You know iam gonna read your other hubs..just bookmarked.


Nash on April 17, 2011:

Thanks. Very much agree..the rest are just papers!

ixwa on April 13, 2011:

tonymac04: Pithy answer! Your analysis is spot-on without any frills. Teachers without proper training and equipment dates back to the Apartheid era and is now being bungled by the present government in power- alongside corruption, cronyism, nepotism and sheer dumbness. Secondly, as we both know, teachers in the African community have not been paid pittance and getting them ready now has come to naught. Ever since Mandela came to power, discipline went out the window and the scramble for meagre left over cash has been the rat race among the power, who are expecting to get rich quicker by 'any means possible'. Your last point is accurate, to the extent we look at the past 16 years of ANC rule. Seemingly, they have been lording over the very same system you are addressing: children learning in the veld or under the tree without any proper infrastructure. ANC is not accountable to anyone and they are arrogant. The loss of the years you mention in your comment above is real, and its effects are what I call the de-education of Africans. ANC with all the corruption mentioned above has really exacerbated the state of education making Apartheid look better with its misfit-type -of-education. Without accountability, as you have suavely observed, nothing goes. The ANC, it is my contention is satisfied with keeping its voting polity as ignorant as possible, and they finally diluted and divided the departments you allude to above,, through separation, as you state, to benefit and protect their fiefdoms. I agree with you that there is more to be said on this subject. I am not prone to make follow-up on comments I make on people's articles, but in this rare case, I choose to response and concur with your observations and conclusions. Education amongst Africans in South Africa needs to be put on the "Reset" button. Thank you for responding profusely to my comments which are egging me on todo some research on the topic of Pedagogy post-Apartheid South Africa. Thank you Tony and comments ad feed-back are greatly appreciated. Thank you and 'ukhule uzoukhokhobe'.

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 13, 2011:

Lisa - thanks for stopping by. The guy sounds a little pompous, to be sure!

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 13, 2011:

Ixwa - the "b" key on my keyoard (see!) is malfunctioning, so please excuse the typos in my comment!

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 13, 2011:

Hola Ixwa!

Thnanks for your interesting, and rather sad, comment. I agree with you that education is in a very sorry state in South Africa. I think the cause, though, is not OBE, which actually should be a much better form of education. The real causes of the deterioration are more complex.

Firstly there is the issue of very under-qualified teachers doing their best to cope with a curriculum for which they have had inadequate preparation and for which the resources are also inadequate.

Secondly is the issue of teacher remuneration and the consequent labour issues in the profession. This has led to teaching not having the status it once had and teachers feel extremely de-motivated.

Thirdly there is the issue of discipline, amnd I'm not referring here to corporal punishment which I am against. I am referring to the general issue of the teacher being in the classroom, prepared and ready to teach, and the learners also being there and ready to learn. Unfortunately the government has woken up rather late to the fact that this is an issue which needs to be addressed. And there is not great leadership - the present Minister of Basic Education, when she was still MEC for education, preferred dancing in the streets in support of Zuma, when he was on trial, to attending a meeting on education called by the then MInister, Naledi Pandor. It is difficult to take seriously a call for teachers to do their work when the minister herself sets such a poor example.

Finally there is the issue of the provision of the physical structures for providing education - there are still too many children having to go to school under trees instead of in classrooms. And too many of the classrooms that are there are in pitiable condition.

The apartheid regime deliberately provided sub-standard education for lacks, for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, the ANC government has not done enough to address the issues and we have lost more than 15 years. The primary issue in all of this is the one of accountability - government has not held anyone accountable all down the line - from the public servants in the education departments, to the teachers, to the learners, and especially to the principals.

Education and learning require discipline and the government, for its own reasons, has preferred to dodge that issue.

The separation of the education department into two has made the situation worse, because accountability is now further diluted.

Sorry about the rant, but I am passionate about education and feel that the country is being short-changed in this regard. South Africa spends proportionately more than any other country in the world on education and yet, because of the issue of discipline and accountability we still have this problem.

There is more to say, but not here!

Thanks again for stopping by

Love and peace


TW I would love to take up your offer to visit a township with you to see the schools there. Anytime you are in Pretoria!

Lisa HW from Massachusetts on April 08, 2011:

I enjoyed reading this, One thing came to mind when I was reading (and it's not all that "Earth-shattering" a comment here), and that was an incident when I was watching a School Committee meeting (for my own town); and one of the members did "a whole, big, speech" about the role of the schools and the School Committee in education. He referred, first, to how they (the School Committee) ought to keep in mind how some companies operate. (Ok.... I was waiting and not assuming what was coming would necessarily be offensive or ignorant.) This guy was doing his self-important bloviating (clearly seeing his own role as "huge"). Anyway, none of it was too bad until he said, "..only companies have products, likes cans of peas. In this case, the kids are our products." Maybe it was "just me" (as they say), but it struck me that this guy didn't see the education the schools were supposed to be offering as the "product" (and it REALLY irked me that he presumed to see MY children as the school's "cans of peas").

I wasn't offended at the "object reference" the guy used. People do that kind. What I found objectionable was that he seemed oblivious to whole concept that "his" schools were supposed to be "producing education" as those "cans of peas". In other words, the guy was too clueless to get his own analogy right. :/

Of course, this was the same School Committee for which one member had run on this slogan, "I'm there at the meetings, so you don't have to be." (!!!) LOL

ixwa on April 07, 2011:

Hola Tony!

You know many African kids were passed for their matriculation. well, many of them are hanging out in the township not sure why and how they were passed and their parents(some of them), have sent them back to school. These kids stopped schooling around April 2010. Then there was the World Cup; Strikes followed; school strikes followed where the kids were demanding a 25% before they even wrote any exams. By then, little time was left to study, then they wrote the exams, and about 85% to 90% were passed. Outcome-based education is worse than Bantu Education. Our children are more ignorant of many things and this has left parents wondering what is the use of education today- youth sees nothing yet, but it is now common knowledge that little learning is taking place and that the AFrican children are worse-off than unlike the Bantu Educated Africans. Why I say that, there is a lot of 'lack' in all sectors of private and government and society; there has been a lowering of educational standards, that even a degree, or a learning curve amongst the students is irrelevant to the present needs of contemporary South Africa. Come and visit the schools in Soweto and throughout Pretoria African townships, you'll see my point. That's my two cents. I will try and write about what I am commenting about in the very near future. Hola Gazi!

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on April 07, 2011:

NJ - thanks for the kind words and for stopping by. I appreciate both very much.

Love and peace


NJ's Ponderings from Hickville, NY on April 04, 2011:

Great hub! Voted up and useful!

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on February 22, 2011:

Gerry - thank you so much for such a thoughtful comment. I like your sentence: "...the allowance and pursuit of obscene wealth has corrupted global culture and civilization." I fully agree.

Thanks again for stopping by and for the kind words.

Love and peace


sligobay from east of the equator on February 22, 2011:

"Only the educated are free" is ancient wisdom lost on our current dumbing down consumerism. The concepts of "enough" and 'too much' and self-denial have been lost even in the current socialist societies and definitely in the organized religion context. The financial security goal is reasonable but the allowance and pursuit of obscene wealth has corrupted global culture and civilization. It's agreed that indoctrination is a bane on society - particularly the terroristic; militaristic and oppressive variety. This was a very thought-provoking article. Thank you.

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on February 22, 2011:

Quicksand - thanks for stopping by and making such a wonderful comment. I really appreciate your kind words, thank you.

Love and peace


quicksand on February 21, 2011:

Hi Tony, you make perfect sense from the very first phrase itself. I am completely overwhelmed by your views and I am certain I would never have been able to express my views on the same topic as clearly as you have, by even ten percent.

Congratulations on a great essay, and I look forward to more in the same lines. Cheers!

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on February 07, 2011:

Safak - and you brightened mine. Thanks very much.

Love and peace


Safak Atahan on February 05, 2011:

You brightened my way!


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on February 02, 2011:

Fatfist - thanks so much for the very kind words which I sincerely appreciate.

I fully agree - when we stop learning we stop living!

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace


fatfist on February 02, 2011:


"Only the educated are free."

"Everyone knows, or certainly should know, that indoctrination is not genuine teaching and that the results of indoctrination are the very opposite of genuine learning. Yet, as a matter of fact, much that goes on in the classrooms of our schools is nothing but indoctrination."

Brilliant. You hit the nail on the head with this hub, tony.

Unfortunately, society teaches us to absorb like a sponge what they throw at us, and parrot it back to others. Very few understand the difference between education and indoctrination.

A person should never stop learning. And the most crucial learning happens in the real world - outside the classroom. The older you get, the more you should be able to understand. If I only knew back then what I know now.....

Excellent hub, tony!

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on February 01, 2011:

Sembj - thanks for stopping by here and leaving such a great comment. I appreciate it. Sounds like the prof knew his stuff but didn't do it!

Love and peace


Sembj on February 01, 2011:

Tony - I enjoyed this article even more than the last one of yours I just read. I am reminded of many years ago when I read a bit on Existentialism and Education. (Although the professor seemed very inauthentic the course's reading list was great.)



Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on January 16, 2011:

Shalini - thank you very much. I appreciate your taking the time and leaving a thoughtful comment.

As for the link - it is indeed my pleasure! Your Hub is great.

Love and peace


Shalini Kagal from India on January 16, 2011:

Hi Tony - very insightful. If only our learning systems were tailored to bring out the best in the child and not superimpose what we think is best for him, how much better our educational efforts could be!

Thank you so much for the link.

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on December 15, 2010:

Bailey - thanks for stopping by. I too would far rather read (or write) than watch TV! In fact I only watch the news really and the ocassional doccy.

Love and peace


Baileybear on December 15, 2010:

Looks like I've had the works - indoctrination as a child, formal "education" and lessons from the hard knocks of life. I taught for a bit, hoping to inspire others to share my love of learning. Teaching was rewarding experience for those that are hungry to learn; a frustrating experience for those that don't care less! I don't want any more formal qualifications - I like the freedom to learn whatever I am interested in - I'd rather read a book than watch TV

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on December 05, 2010:

Wesman - wow! Thank you kind sir for your wonderful words. I appreciate them very much indeed.

Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you found the Hub interesting.

Love and peace


Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on December 04, 2010:

If I live to be anywhere close to your age, then I hope that I can at least be half as brilliant as you are, Sir. I truly appreciate this article.

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 19, 2010:

Oh Katie, you are too kind, really! But don't stop, I like it!

And it's very good to know you too, dear lady!

Love and peace


Katie McMurray from Ohio on November 19, 2010:

I like the way you think, you def have the characteristics of an educated person. Good to know you kind sir. Love and Peace :)

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 14, 2010:

Mysterylady - thanks for the lovely comment. I really appreciate it. And certainly there are some things that need to be learned in order to cope with life at a fairly basic level, as you point out.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 12, 2010:

MPG1 - thanks for the kind words and I'm pleased that your father also enjoyed it. Thanks for showing it to him.

Love and peace


mysterylady 89 from Florida on November 12, 2010:

Tony, I loved Petra's comment. Your hub is very well written and has so many valid points. Education should be a "bringing forth" instead of indoctrination. I am reminded of Mr. Gradgrind in Dickens' novel "Hard Times."

I was fortunate to be a teacher of English and Humanities in high school and could encourage my students to pursue their knowledge of self.

I also, though, see a need for learning how to add and subtract, multiply and divide, write a complete sentence.

Matthew Gabriel from Eugene on November 12, 2010:

I would like to thank you for writing something such as this. I had my father read it and he loved this having him feel all happy for the rest of the day.

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 10, 2010:

Barbara - sorry it is taking me rather long to get around to answering comments. I am nursing a rather sick laptop trying to eke out its existence a little longer as I can't afford a new one, and I've got quite a lot of writing to do so I'm having to balance out these activities!

Interesting link about the mastodon. Will come back to that one!

Thanks for commenting and for your patience!

Love and peace


Barbara from Stepping past clutter on November 09, 2010:

TonyTony! I love that you wrote comments to everyone... eventually.

Lincoln and Einstein uneducated? As with politics, the rumor mill survives long after the truth surfaces; people believe what they choose to believe. I am willing to admit I am wrong when I am wrong, but in this case, well, dig deeper, I say.

On that note, mastodon bones have been discovered in my state!

Hugs dear friend,


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 09, 2010:

NikiiLee - I love that - "meaning is your God!" That is so great. I will remember that. Thanks for coming by and leaving such a great comment.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 09, 2010:

Franto - thanks so much for stopping by and making such a great comment. I agree with you and am grateful for your insights.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 09, 2010:

Secularist - thank you for a wonderful contribution here! I agree with your comment completely!

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 09, 2010:

Winsome - thank you for the visit and the great comment! May we indeed have something to say!

Love and peace


NikiiLeeReyes on November 06, 2010:

How so very true; Education is Enlightenment. My dad used to always tell me two things: "The world can be harsh, it can take your money, your whole world can come tumbling down on you but it cannot take one thing from you ; your education, so I suggest you stay where you are safe. Study in Spanish is Estudios 'es-tu-dios" meaning is your god." and boy is he right but I like to say Education is key to liberation. . I've learned to take my abilities and use it to my advantage; everytime I fall down without a doubt I manage to get back up all because of my dad this is a great hub!

f_hruz from Toronto, Ontario, Canada on November 05, 2010:

The quality of education one has, comes less from the number of schools one has been to, and more from the intensity of ones critical evaluation of ones own intellectual ability to deal with ones emotional reality to clearly see what best to do with it so one can develop as a thinking being who values a broad spectrum of cultur one may wish to contribut to more fully.

While some religious types may have enough education, it's amazing how many keep their minds closed from gaining a better undestanding of the real world so they can apply their education towards advancing rational thought in line with real humanistic values.

Thanks for another great hub!

secularist10 from New York City on November 05, 2010:

Excellent article, Tony.

The mind is the most important thing. It's what separates us from lower life forms, and what enables us to reach ever-higher heights. The greatest tragedy occurs when the human mind is closed, and when genuine understanding and the rigors of skepticism, criticism, doubt and reason are forgone in favor of obedience, acquiescence, acceptance, blind devotion and emotional comfort.

True understanding is difficult. The quest for it pushes our limits, makes us uncomfortable, forces us to question ourselves and others. The easy way out is to acquiesce to what others have formulated for us. This is why political freedom and intellectual freedom go hand-in-hand. At the end of the day, you really can't have one without the other.

Winsome from Southern California by way of Texas on November 04, 2010:

Hey Tony interesting take on what constitutes education. Mark Twain said he never let schooling get in the way of his education and I agree. If the process works, by all means use it and if it doesn't, don't let it slow you down.

The terms gentleman and scholar resonate together and as 1 Cor. 13 reveals, we can have all knowledge and understand all mysteries but without love we have nothing. We are all books, read of all men--may we have something worthwhile to say.

Thank you for a rousing discussion. =:)

Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 04, 2010:

Christine - good to see you here! Thanks for the great comment, and I agree with your points.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 04, 2010:

Mr Happy - thanks for stopping by and leaving such an interesting comment. I have seen Sparknotes before, but thanks for the link. I will visit again on your recommendation!

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 04, 2010:

Oceansunsets - thanks for the comment. I think wisdom is a different thing and what makes all the rest worth while!

Thanks again for the thoughtful comment.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 03, 2010:

Acer - thanks for the comment, my friend.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 03, 2010:

Praveenu - thanks for the comment and especially for the link. I will go there soon to check it out.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 03, 2010:

Prairieprincess - I am warmed by your lovely comment. Thank you. We live and grow by understanding ourselves and each other.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment.

Love and peace


Tony McGregor (author) from South Africa on November 03, 2010:

Lisa - your comment blows me away! Thank you so much. I like your term "educated idiots" - I've met some of them also! It is true that learning, at least of the most meaningful and useful sort, is self-directed.

Thanks for the thoughtful comment.

Love and peace