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Education is a term which encompasses the teaching of specific skills[?], and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge, good judgement and wisdom.

Education begins the minute a baby is born and is life-long. Education may even begin before birth as evidenced by some parents playing music or reading to the baby in the womb in the hope it will influence (educate) their child before birth. For some, the struggles and triumphs of daily life are far more instructive than formal schooling (Thus Mark Twain: "I never let school interfere with my education.") Family members have an educational effect which is quite profound -- often more profound than they realize -- though family teaching techniques may be highly informal.

Formal education occurs when society makes a commitment to educate people, usually the young. Formal education can be systematic and thorough, but the sponsoring group may seek selfish advantages when shaping impressionable young scholars.

Life-long education has become widespread. Many adults have given up their notion that only children belong in school. Computing devices can change when and where we learn. This is the computer based or networked learning structure, in which people contribute to each others' education.

Table of contents

Contemporary issues

Major educational issues in the United States center on curriculum, funding, and control.

Curriculum Issues

  • What type of school works best.
  • How to teach reading: phonics vs. whole language
  • Evolution: whether to teach evolution as a historical truth, or simply present evidence and how it supports various theories.
  • sex education: how much to teach about sexual intercourse, and at what age; is purpose to reduce disease and out-of-wedlock pregnancy, or what?
  • "diversity" and hate speech: to what extent may students be required to tolerate or even approve of repugnant people and practices?
  • Dumbing down of curriculum: high school graduates often at 6th to 8th grade levels in 3 R's.


Each state government provides free schools for residents, funded by taxes (often on real estate).

  • Vouchers: have voucher programs helped students learn better? Or do they damage public education? What are the trends?
  • Spending: is there any correlation between per-pupil spending and student achievement?
  • Class size: does hiring more teachers to reduce the teacher-student ratio have any correlation with student achievement?


  • Who's responsible for a child's education?
  • Who decides curriculum contents: what should be mandatory, what should be forbidden?

There are some facts. In U.S. law parents have the ultimate responsibility for, and authority over their children's education. The crucial tests of this legal doctrine occurred in attempts to sue public school officials for malpractice, in cases where, for example, illiterate young people graduated from high-school. The U.S. Supreme Court (Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972)) defined the proper goal for education as "literacy and self-sufficiency," that is, an educated, not a socialized child was recognized as the essential goal for the U.S.'s democratic republic. This decision is now interpreted as court recognition that parents have a fundamental right to choose the method to achieve literacy and self-sufficiency, that is to educate their children.


Classical education -- Reading -- Math -- Language -- Science -- Ethics -- Physical education -- Religious education

Formal education

Primary education -- Secondary education -- Tertiary education -- Quaternary education -- Higher education -- Vocational education -- Post-secondary education -- University -- College -- School -- Further education

Educational policy

Literacy -- Testing & policy -- Education reform -- School choice

Informal education

Early instruction[?] -- Home schooling -- Unschooling -- Democratic Schools

Theory and Methodology

Philosophy of education--Teaching method -- Instructional theory-- Learning theory -- Learning disability -- Instructional technology -- Education Psychology[?] -- Behaviorism

Education by country



From Pink Floyd song: "We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control".

What are our priorities for writing in this area? To help develop a list of the most basic topics in Education, please see Education basic topics.

See also /w/wiki.phtml?search=education , not all articles are present above.

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