Definition Of Education

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The Oxford Dictionary describes training as the process of giving or receiving systematic instruction at a school or university (""Definition Of Education In English | Oxford Dictionaries""). This simple definition gives us an overview as to the idea however we all know that education is much extra complex than that. Education plays a big function in the functioning of individuals and modern societies by instilling knowledge. Every us of a that aspires to develop faster or stay beforehand of its peers is investing heavily in its education systems. The countries investing heavily in such education systems have been referred to as “knowledge economies”. Therefore, the degree of education in a country affects its productivity in areas of the economy that require skilled labor. It is for this reason that educational institutions are tasked with the huge responsibility of making sure that citizens learn what is important now and continue learning and applying new knowledge even after school and campus.

Even though many people appreciate the importance of lifelong learning recent changes to the learning environment are making it difficult to continue the culture. These developments include the advent of the internet which has made accessible billions of documents making many feel overwhelmed about continuing their learning process. This and several other factors in the learning environment and the society in general play important roles in determining whether or not graduates continue learning after completing their formal studies. These factors include poverty levels, social class, race, and others.

The thesis of this research is that the educational system plays a great role on whether students will continue learning after they graduate. There is a need to consider the current changes to learning environment so as to make sure educational institutions continue to produce more graduate learners. This research will utilize a systematic review of the available literature to investigate how different factors in the educational system affect the learning tendencies of graduates. Statistics such as poverty and literacy levels will be used to paint a clearer picture of the situation. Recommendations on how things can be improved and a conclusion will be given in the end.

The American educational system and its mission and the kind of graduates produced

Even though the education system here in the country is decentralized, the Federal Department of Education plays a great role in “steering” state education policies. The Federal Department of Education states its mission as to support student achievement and to help prepare learners in our country for global competitiveness by promoting educational excellence and making sure every student in America has equal access ("Home | U.S. Department Of Education"). This alone shows how important education is regarded by the government and how lifelong learning could help improve the not only the life of graduates but also play a role in helping America to develop faster!

With regards to lifelong learning, there is unanimous agreement among education stakeholders of the need for graduates to be lifelong learners (Candy 261). A recent study by the Pew Research Center revealed that the American Education system is graduating lifelong learners. The study showed that over 87 percent of individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree have done some form of personal learning in the last twelve months in comparison to 60 percent of those with high school diplomas or less (Horrigan, Rainie and Page 6-7). The same survey also revealed that over 72 percent of the former have engaged in professional learning activities (further job-related training) compared to only 49 percent of the latter (Horrigan, Rainie and Page 6-7). These percentages show that the American Education system is already producing graduates who have fully accepted the lifelong learning culture.

Important factors that influence learning tendencies

How does poverty line affect education?

Poverty is one of the greatest determinants of educational achievements and the possibility of lifelong learning. A 2015 study by the Pell Institute and the University of Pennsylvania revealed the gap between the poor and the reach has continued to increase significantly. The study found that as recently as 2013, Americans in the lowest income bracket were eight times less likely to have graduated from an undergraduate degree compared to the richest Americans (Indicators Of Higher Education Equity In The United States 30). This is a very significant difference. Simply put, poor Americans are less likely to graduate let alone consider any lifelong learning opportunities. This goes to show how great of an impact poverty can have on an education system and on the lifelong learning prospects of ordinary citizens.

To see how poverty affects education, there is a need to understand how poverty first affects a child. Children from poor families are first of all less likely to have attended preschool or any other similar programs resulting in lower levels of school readiness, poor memory, attentiveness and curiosity among such children. Furthermore, as such children grow up and becoming teenagers and young adults, they will almost always suffer insecurities because of their poor background and might not have sufficient motivation to finish formal school resulting in dropouts. This, in turn, means they are less likely to pursue further training or learning to improve their skills as they may not have the means, the curiosity or the need for such forms of lifelong training.

What is the relationship between education and class?

Education and social class are very closely interrelated. Those with high levels of formal education (at least a Bachelor’s degree) are more likely to get into high-paying jobs than those with a high-school diploma or less. That means they can raise their families social class from low-income to middle-income or high-income socioeconomic classification. Those with lower levels of education are less likely to achieve such feats (Looney and Greenstone). Yet again if a family low-income it might not be able to afford the right kind of preschool education to give their child an opportunity to compete with other American children on the same footing and perhaps graduate and help raise his or her family out of poverty (Looney and Greenstone). Making poverty the cycle it is today!

Uniondale High School Statistics

Uniondale high school is located in Nassau County, New York. The county has a 100 percent minority enrollment, 51 percent Hispanic and about 49 percent African-American. About 64 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch. This statistic is a pretty good representation of the economic class of this student population. In other words, 64 percent of the students are in the low or middle-income categories. The situation in this school follows the general trend. Compared to the New York graduation rate of 87 percent, only 75 percent of students graduate in Uniondale. A significant difference which can only be ascribed to the fact that the majority of students from the high school are from a poor background ("Uniondale High School Profile").

How can the situation be improved (recommendations)?

The situation is obviously dire. There is a need for policy changes to make sure more and more people graduate and continue learning after graduating. To do this there is a need to fight the effects of poverty. This should be done indirectly by increasing funding to help students from poor economic backgrounds to have a good start to school and to have the same kind of quality teachers students in affluent school districts have. Helping such students through school will not only improve their likelihood of having educational and financial success, it will also reduce dependency on welfare and social services programs. The more learned the graduates become their probability to continue learning.

Conclusion

Many academic institutions are promoting lifelong learning. The benefits of education itself and lifelong learning are immense not only to the learners but also to the society in general. Poverty is one of the biggest impediments to educational achievement both locally and internationally. It reduces funding to school districts, discourages learners, and prevents students from pursuing further education. By helping students from poor backgrounds to attain higher levels of education, the government will not only improve their livelihoods but also reduce dependency on social programs and guarantee a brighter future for more Americans by breaking the poverty cycle. The more learned one is the higher his or her likelihood will be to pursue lifelong learning.

Works Cited

Candy, Philip C. "Knowledge Navigators And Lifelong Learners: Producing Graduates For The Information Society". Higher Education Research & Development 19.3 (2010): 261-277. Web. 8 May 2017.

"Definition Of Education In English | Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Web. 8 May 2017.

"Home | U.S. Department Of Education". Ed.gov. Web. 8 May 2017.

Horrigan, John, Lee Rainie, and Dana Page. Lifelong Learning And Technology. 1st ed. Pew Research Center, 2016. Web. 8 May 2017.

Indicators Of Higher Education Equity In The United States. 1st ed. Pell Institute and PennAHEAD, 2015. Print.

Looney, Adam, and Michael Greenstone. "Education Is The Key To Better Jobs | Brookings Institution". Brookings. N.p., 2012. Web. 8 May 2017.

"Uniondale High School Profile". Publicschoolreview.com. Web. 8 May 2017.

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