It is a process that often does not go easily, and which is frequently anything but pleasant. This
is due primarily to the people who have significant roles in our lives not being skilled at helping
others "learn", and we acquire that faulty approach to learning (education) ourselves; practice it,
and then pass it on.
Unfortunately, all too frequently it goes as in the following example:
Saint Anselm (an early educator) summed it up nicely, we think:
With regard to the education of the young, Anselm held very liberal views.
To an abbot who was lamenting the poor success of his efforts, he said:
"If you planted a tree in your garden, and bound it down on all sides,
so that it could not spread years branches, what kind of a tree would
it prove when in after years you gave it room to spread? Would it not
be useless, with its boughs all twisted and tangled? . . . But that is how
you treat your boys (students) . . . cramping them with fears and blows
and debarring them from the enjoyment of any freedom."
I'm in agreement with that kind of thinking; what he describes is reflected in our
approach to helping people learn new ways, new thinking and new behaviours.
So what is the alternative to what we are used to all about?
Education as the gradual process of acquiring knowledge, "being led out of not-knowing into
knowing - is therefore, a preparation for life. One of the fundamental goals (or purposes) of
academic education the imparting of culture from generation to generation, called socialization.
Socialization, as an integral component of education, is the process by which a person
acquires the technical skills of his or her society, the knowledge of the kinds of behavior that are
understood and acceptable in that society (this process is also called enculturation). Thus, it is
an integral process that affects the mind-body trinity: expanding the human spiritual potential.
The word "education" comes from the Latin word, educere: - its proper meaning is: "leading out
or drawing out the latent powers of an individual." That is how we still regard education at the
Abbey, and is reflected through our approach. It can also be described as the "leading out of the
darkness of not-knowing (ignorance) and into the light of knowledge".
The introductory discussion here draws upon sources found in a variety of places on the web.
To discover what it all means for you, read on – the summary follows this introduction.
A good initial working definition is:
Education is the gradual process of acquiring knowledge; as in, "education is a preparation for
life". It is the process by which the knowledge or skill is obtained or developed: it helps you
acquire skills for life - or life skills.
When looked at more closely, the word or process of education, of course, encompasses
teaching and learning specific skills. However, and this is important, there is also the less
tangible but more profound aspect, and that is; the imparting of knowledge, good judgement
and wisdom. One of the fundamental goals (or purposes) of education the imparting of culture
from generation to generation (socialization).
With “socialization” as an integral component of education (or perhaps “education” in its formal
sense is part of socialization) the definition changes to: the process by which a person acquires
the technical skills of his or her society, and the knowledge of the kinds of behavior that are
understood and acceptable in that society (also called enculturation). It's where you become a
member of your culture: that culture will structure (shape) your "reality".
Enculturation-Positive, as a starting description, refers to the process whereby individuals
learn the appropriate behavior (for their culture) that allows them to be functioning members of
a particular group, such as a family, work, or social group (the formative years).
Enculturation-Negative: this is from the dark side of life. There is a whole "culture of
dysfunction" out there, where people do not achieve success, but end up in a dysfunctional
In expanded form it means: the process by which an individual accepts the goals of a social
group to which he or she belongs and integrates these goals with those that he or she otherwise
would choose individually. The term is meaningful in discussing “family values” in that people
learn to see their personal effectiveness through the family rather than just their own personal
efforts—marriage and parenting are usually major steps in this process.
Those who have gone successfully through the process:
* Are able to engage in critical thinking by analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information
* Know how to learn,
* Engage in clear and effective communication.
* Are able to apply knowledge to the search for solutions to important human problems.
|Education and Socialization: Process to Empowerment and Potential
The journey to realizing your human potential
Education - Socialization
This deals with two different words and concepts that are involved in our life-long learning
* Educate: from the Latin words meaning, "led-out" or "lead out".
* Socialization: the process by which we learn and internalize the ways and meanings of our
"culture" in order to become a member of it.
Acquiring an education and being socialized is a journey in which you acquire skills for
successful living, as well as learning how to become a member of the social environment and
situation you were born into.
Life is a continual learning (education) process. We call it "socialization" (it is also called, "the
formative years"), the process we go through to develop and realize our individual human
We do this, one moment, one day, at a time. And it always takes place in the context of who we
are, and where we are. It is what Richard Alpert (Baba Ram Dass) was referring to in his book,
"Be Here Now". It involves all the dimensions of life that make us who we are - it is a holistic
process: dynamic and organic.
* This is true whether you are learning new ways of living, changing old habits or patterns,
moving to a new area, starting a new relationship, having a baby, making new friends,
visiting different places, or going to school, etc.
From the moment we are born, we are bombarded with visual, aural and tactile "information".
All of it impacts on us, and it is "information" we process - mostly unconsciously. All that input
is constantly adding to what we've already absorbed - expanding, confirming or contradicting
what we already have.
* And all of it is filtered through who we are, and what we have already absorbed - and most
importantly, the meaning and understanding we gave it all, and which we derived from it.
The really interesting thing is: for much of what we need to learn - the answers are already
inside us! We just aren't always aware of it.
* "Learning" is a process of discovering, or "revealing" what we already know, whether we are in
"school", or learning new ways to have a relationship, or parenting, or whatever, etc.
* We try to "make sense" of it all - and we act upon, and react to, all the inputs and experiences
that impact us.
It truly is, a life long process.
* How much we "learn", and what we do with us, depends almost entirely on who we are, and
what we choose, or choose not, to do with it and about it. Whichever we choose, it is the
major formative component of who we become, and the kind of life we will have.
So, what is that process?
Much of what we learn are the very practical things necessary for human survival and "fitting-in".
This is the enculturation part (where we acquire all the "norms" of our "culture"): it is called
There is also the formal education process - school: even there “Education” is far from being just
a simple, boring, formal academic thing you have to go through in school. It involves much
more than that.
* School has the potential to provide you with many of the tools you need later in life. It can
also provide more specialized training.
* School (or formal education) is simply part of your socialization process toward developing
your own, unique potential.
But there are many other things to learn in the process of becoming an empowered human
adult. When we work at overcoming personal problems, challenges and obstacles, that is
another learning, educational process.
When looked at this way, it is easy to see that education is a process: a life-long, dynamically
organic ongoing process that begins at birth - and only stops when we make our final transition.
|Dawn Cove Abbey
"Roadside Assistance" For Your Journey Through Life
- Dedicated to helping people return (and maintain) sanity and decency to life -
From the eBook: "One! The Journey hOMe", by Klaas Tuinman M.A © 2007-2019
Questions and comments welcomed.
Brain-washing and Conditioning are "standard" methods to get you to think and act in a certain
way (someone else's way that they believe is the "only" way) - and employ a system of rewards
and punishments to get you to conform.
The theories and discussions on "conditioning" vary - you can Google them at leisure, if you're
interested in following this up.
To give you an example of the insidiously subtle way socialization and education accomplish this
"numbing of the brain" so to speak (or as some would have it, "dumbing-down the brain"),
here's what Jiddu Krishnamurta wrote:
"But how can we be free to look and learn when our minds from the moment we are
born to the moment we die, are shaped by a particular culture in the narrow pattern
of the `me'? For centuries we have been conditioned by nationality, caste, class,
tradition, religion, language, education, literature, art, custom, convention,
propaganda of all kinds, economic pressure, the food we eat, the climate we live in,
our family, our friends, our experiences - every influence you can think of - and
therefore our responses to every problem are conditioned.
Are you aware that you are conditioned? That is the first thing to ask yourself, not
how to be free of your conditioning. You may never be free of it, and if you say,
`I must be free of it', you may fall into another trap of another form of
conditioning. So are you aware that you are conditioned?
Do you know that even when you look at a tree and say, `That is an oak tree', or
that is a banyan tree', the naming of the tree, which is botanical knowledge, has
so conditioned your mind that the word comes between you and actually seeing
the tree? To come in contact with the tree you have to put your hand on - it and
the word will not help you to touch it."
In order to escape the conditioning, brain-washing and regimentation that is active all around
us, it is important to continually pause and reflect, and question many things and challenge all
assumptions; we need to make our own conclusions.
Once we do so, the following holds true:
The value of a liberal arts education is that “liberally educated people have been liberated by
their education to explore and fulfill the promise of their own highest talents.”
These are the most likely to become our renaissance men and women.
What does this all mean for you? Possible the following:
* First, that “education” as we normally understand and use the word is very limited – we
usually mean the formal, school part, which so very often seems unrelated to life, and seems
boring and useless at times.
Now that we’ve seen the “bigger picture” – it opens up a whole new horizon.
* That horizon reveals that everything we learn – no matter what it is – is part of our “education”
- that includes learning how to tie your shoelaces, or how to draw, or how to ride a bike, or
how to get along with people, and how to do all sorts of things.
* Secondly, from the root meaning of the word, “education”, we see that it involves “drawing
upon what we already know – that’s what “drawing out”, or “leading out” means. That means
we already have a lot of knowledge inside us – right from the start.
A teacher’s role in this is to help us connect the things we already know to things, or with things
we don’t know – with new information and experiences. And once we see this and fully grasp
the significance of it – “education” and “learning” take on a whole new dimension.
Because, then we see it as: the process we go through to unfold and develop ourselves that
makes it a much more exciting, and meaningful concept and process. If it hasn’t become that for
you – it usually means that those responsible for your development failed to impart the
connections and help you unfold. It does not have to be that way.
Dawn Cove Abbey
Deerfield, (Yarmouth County) Nova Scotia, Canada 2006/2008, Rev 2019
Education and Socialization: Process to Empowerment & Potential
Learning: a life long process
The journey to realizing your human potential
There is a caveat (caution), however: these same
two processes (Enculturation/Socialization and Education)
also indoctrinate and condition people to think only
within the restrictive "box" the process can also result in.
To "condition" someone (in the case of people) means to
get them to do as YOU want; or in the larger picture, the
processes by which people are conditioned (subtly made)
to do, what someone who will benefit from it, wants them
to do (advertising is an obvious way; enculturation/
socialization and education are much more subtle, in
some ways, yet equally powerful. In a very real way,
"conditioning" is a process of brain-washing.