Jun 29, 2015

The Importance of Education or, Writing for funsies.

A new thing that I have been doing with my Writing Center colleagues is 15-minute writing challenges. The rules are simple; take a basic essay prompt (we usually use Texas Success Initiative  prompts) and write an essay in fifteen minutes or less. A panel of three other Writing Specialists judge which essay is the best. Prizes range from candy and other snacks to pints of blood from defeated foes. It's a lot of fun, intellectual, and very nerdy. Things that more or less describe me and my co-workers. I've re-printed my winning essay below:


            Although many agree that education is an important, there is much debate on the details of that importance. Some argue that education plays a crucial role in the overall development and maturity of individuals in terms of bringing out the best of their native intelligence while others contend that education, of any kind, increases, expands and creates new native intelligence. Despite their differences, both sides of this argument agree that education is important because it cultivates a desire for knowledge, a natural curiosity and, most importantly, critical thinking skills.
            Knowledge is a never-ending desire that encourages people to learn more about topics this know as well as add information about new topics. Whenever a person is in the process of gaining knowledge there is a point where suddenly “it” clicks and understanding is reached. That initial moment of understanding is the driving force behind the never-ending desire for knowledge. That moment drives people forward as they attempt to learn more. This is a key aspect in education because it creates a craving for more knowledge. Ideally, this need becomes insatiable which allows for an open mind that is always receptive to being educated and the process of learning new things. This process also leads to another important part of education.
            The natural curiosity produced by the educational process is critical because it allows new information to be received and seeks out environments in which learning can take place. This is seen easiest in the formation of social groups that meet to partake in a specific activity. Social groups of this nature tap directly into peoples’ natural curiosity because they offer an opportunity to try something never done before while learning about the activity from those who have some level of mastery. This is important because education is not relegated to classrooms or formal settings. These social groups create a learning environment wherever they take place which solidifies the idea that education can take place anywhere, allowing for natural curiosity to flourish. While natural curiosity is important, it is not the most important aspect of education.
            The development of critical thinking is the most important aspect of education. Critical thinking is the ability to think deeply and directly about any subject by applying previously gained knowledge and experience to the subject. It is a skill that is developed through constant application and usage that enables a person to come to proper and well thought out conclusions by taking into account everything they know. It is the single most important aspect of education because it is a skill that transfers to every part of life. Critical thinking helps with decision-making which is the quintessential facet of life. The only way to increase critical thinking ability is through education which makes education of the utmost importance.
           In conclusion, a desire for knowledge, sparks a natural curiosity in all people. These two parts of education combine to form the basis of critical thinking, the most important part of education. With solid critical thinking ability, the various challenges of life are easy to overcome. Because of this, it doesn’t matter whether education develops native intelligence or increases it.

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