Monday, December 23, 2013


Education is a topic about which almost everyone has an opinion and on which many consider themselves to be experts.
Richard J. Kraft,
The Reader’s Advisor
Speaking generally education signifies the sum total of processes by means of which a community or social group, whether small or large, transmits its acquired power and aims with a view to securing its own continuous existence and growth.
John Dewey
1. The act or process of educating or being educated. 2. The knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process. 3. A program of instruction of a specified kind or level: driver education; a college education. 4. The field of study that is concerned with the pedagogy of teaching and learning. 5. An instructive or enlightening experience: Her work in the inner city was a real education.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000
1. The act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgement, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
2. The science or art of teaching.
Random House Dictionary of the English Language.
Education may be:
  • An institution or the structure of education in a particular place at a particular time, e.g. Canadian education vs. British education
  • An activity, i.e. the continuous process of learning
  • The methods, techniques, psychological aspects of teaching or dealing with students
  • Content, i.e. curriculum
  • A pro duct, e.g. an employable person
1. The art or profession of teaching. 2. Preparatory training or instruction.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000

An older name for the profession of teaching.

Education and the social sciences
  • Seen more as a profession than a social science
  • An applied art which sometimes uses scientific approaches
  • Interdisciplinary e.g. research in history of education, sociology of education, educational psychology, economics of education
  • Educational history, philosophy, sociology, economics, demographics
  • Educational specialities
    • Early childhood
      • Infant
    • Elementary
    • Secondary
    • Higher/postsecondar
      • Community/vocational college
        • 2-year (junior)
        • 4-year
      • University
    • Adult and continuing (lifelong, recurrent, informal)
    • Distance
    • Special
    • Guidance
  • Educational administration and supervision
    • Out of the classroom, e.g. principal
  • Curriculum and instruction
    • People making suggestions and changes
  • Educational psychology, measurement and guidance
  • Education for occupations
    • Professional pedagogies, e.g. music, art, phys ed
      • specialities
    • Professional education, e.g. medicine, nursing, law
    • Vocational, cooperative, or distributive
      • e.g. mechanic in colleges, co-operatives can last 3-4 months at a time with pay
    • Teacher education
  • Multicultural education
  • Special education
    • For exceptional students (physical, mental, behavioural disabilities)
    • Gifted and talented often included
  • At-risk education
    • Less than half of aboriginal students graduate from high school, set up schools to help keep them in education
  • Urban education
    • Inner city (U.S.) with core problems, immigrants, places to help
  • Comparative and international education
    • Looking at education in another place and see if changes, improvements can be made
  • Traditionally ‘schooled’ at home with emphasis on training as opposed to education
  • Compulsory, free education a relatively recent phenomenon (Ontario 1891; Manitoba 1916)
  • Education in Canada a provincial responsibility
  • School organization and funding
    • Reduce number of school boards
    • Budget constraints
  • Accountability
    • Increased emphasis on evaluation and assessment
      • provincial exams, standardized tests
  • Responding to needs
    • Especially re disabilities, literacy, aboriginal students, visible minorities, at-risk students
  • Expand services
    • Extend day/daycare, conflict resolution, health, safety, tolerance
    • Not everyone is the same, different people require different services
  • Technology
    • Computers
  • Curriculum
    • Strengthen core subjects
    • New subjects, e.g. technology, html
  • Second languages
  • Outcomes based
    • Co-op, work study, internships
    • Employability skills
  • Globalization
    • International students
      • Exchange students
    • Distance delivery
      • Market programme around the world, open to anyone
  • Lifelong learning
    • Refreshers’ course
  • Teacher retirements
  • Number of years in school increasing
    • Due to amount of information needed to be learnt
  • Increased interest in alternatives to public school system
    • Homeschooling
    • Private schools
    • Independent schools
  • Wide variety of users with variety of needs
  • Teachers (K-12)
    • focus on curriculum and instructional material
    • Practical tips, handbooks, guides
  • Home schoolers
    • Will use public library may request materials outside of normal scope of public library
  • Parents
    • Possibly popular material on major issues in news
    • Material for student reports e.g. science fairs
  • Adult learners
    • Test preparation, G.E.D., self improvement, how-to
  • Children/teens
    • School assignment driven

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