Education is not just Accreditation!

What is Education?  What does it mean to educate someone?  And what does it mean to be educated? Is it about teaching or is it something much more than that.  Do we consider ourselves educated when we learn something, or do we need a qualification to be considered as educated?  When we teach a student, does that mean that they will automatically learn?  When a student enrols in a course, does that mean they will automatically learn?  How does learning occur?  How do we measure if a student has learned something, and therefore is educated?  

George Evans once said, “every student can learn… just not on the same day or in the same way”.  When we consider exactly what education is and how it is linked to learning, we need to remember that no two people are alike.  People learn in different ways, and it’s not just about being a visual, verbal or kinaesthetic learner anymore.  We must factor teaching modes into learning styles.  A kinaesthetic learner is now able to learn online, and a verbal learner can learn effectively in a practical environment.

However, many people believe that completing a course and receiving an accreditation is what education is all about.  An accreditation is only one small part of the education process.  When you complete a course and are assessed as competent, you are demonstrating that you can perform a skill or task at a single point in time.  True competency and therefore education is an ongoing process and can not be achieved through only attending a course.

Coaches and judges are learning all the time.  From completing a course through to on-the-job training and mentoring.  We learn in so many ways, and some of these are not the traditional forms of learning.  For example, did you know that interacting on Facebook is a form of learning?  When you read an article on Facebook, you automatically think about the implications to you and potentially your job.  You may read the comments and reply with your opinion.  You may share the article with your network.  This form of learning is known as ‘social learning’.  When we mentor a new coach or judge, we are reinforcing skills ourselves and therefore are continuing our own education.

So, don’t think that just by completing a course and receiving an accreditation, you know all there is to know.  A course is merely opening the door for you into lifelong learning.  Embrace the opportunity to continually develop your knowledge and skills.

As Albert Einstein once said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think”.  I reckon he must have known a thing or two!