It is a process that often does not go easily, and which is frequently anything but pleasant. This is due
mainly 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.
The introductory discussion here draws upon sources found in a variety of places on the web. To see
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 lifestyle, instead.
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 and
- 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 & 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 process.
- 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 potential.
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
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: it is called socialization.
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
- 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,
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 MA, © 2007-2017
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
"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
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.” - Source unknown.
What does this all mean for you?
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. And 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 is dedicated to help people grow, learn and develop in all dimensions: academically,
socially, emotionally and spiritually. You will find help: guidance and counselling.
Klaas Tuinman MA
Dawn Cove Abbey
Deerfield, (Yarmouth County) Nova Scotia, Canada 2006/2008, Rev 2017
There are many good resources here on the site, and also on the web for you to explore such concepts as
“culture”, “socialization”, “enculturation” and many other related ones – all part of your “education”.
Education and Socialization: Process to Empowerment & Potential
Learning: a life long process
The journey to realizing your human potential
There is a caveat (beware), 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.