Importance of Education


Albert Einstein was famously quoted as saying: “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

As a teacher and a parent, this quote holds truth. A formal education has a significant impact on the overall development of our children — mentally, socially and emotionally. Attending school is a necessary part of growing children into well-rounded and creative thinkers.

But lifelong learning, and a hunger for knowledge beyond those K-12 “basics,” is what I believe Einstein wanted us to focus on. It is our job to instill in these young minds a desire for the continued education and knowledge that molds them into tomorrow’s leaders.

With limited time in our classrooms each day, we focus on the essential content that must be addressed. Yet there is so much more. Formal education is really meant to be a catalyst for parents and teachers to plant the seeds of learning in children that will propel them through college and beyond. I believe part of our responsibility as educators is to instill in our students the expectation that they will get a postsecondary degree.

I believe part of our responsibility as educators is to instill in our students the expectation that they will get a postsecondary degree.

Today, continued education means a lot of things, not necessarily the traditional 4-year university degree. There are technical degrees that align with local workforce needs and industry-specific associate degrees that provide individuals opportunities to create a promising future. Florida Prepaid’s five tuition plan options reflect this, with 2- and 4-year college plans, for example, that can be used at a state college or technical school. When families buy these prepaid tuition plans and start saving for college, they are sending a clear message to their grade-school children: We want you to keep on learning.

Which reminds me of another quote, this one from John Dewey: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

Carol Bedingfield is a media specialist at Deerlake Middle School in Tallahassee.

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