What does it mean to be an educated person? There is no simple, out-right, correct answer to this question. Everyone will have a slightly, if not very, different answer. “… ‘What does it mean to be a liberally educated person?’—is misleading, deeply so, because it suggests that one can somehow take a group of courses, or accumulate a certain number of credits, or undergo an obligatory set of learning experiences, and emerge liberally educated at the end of the process. Nothing could be further from the truth…” (William Cronon 5) To me an education is about grasping not specific facts, but concepts as a whole, to gain knowledge of things that can be applied to not just the status quo but things in the future as well. To be properly educated one must keep an open mind, be able to take all the sides of an argument into account and be able to see where they are coming from.
To be educated,, is to be free of ignorance, to not let our own emotions and experiences corrupt our view, to be able to think for yourself and think critically at that, but also to comprehend what is being said to you, or what you are reading and understand that your learning will never end. No matter the amount of knowledge you have on a certain topic there will always be more to learn, either on that topic or other topics and an educated person knows that, so they are always striving to learn more. Critical thinking is a huge part of being considered educated. You don’t just listen to hear someone talk, and you don’t read to just see letters form words on a page, you do these things so you can derive meaning from the words written in a book and the words coming from a person’s mouth.
How does one measure intelligence? How would you know where you stand compared to others? This is where things get a little tricky. From my own experience in the public education system we were given facts, dates, places and names to be memorized for tests. How much you could memorize directly translated to what grade you would get on a test. Students would cram right before an exam, and their minds would only retain that knowledge for a couple days at most. In my English class my teacher spent the whole year preparing us for one test at the end of the year, one test. We were actually given the test three times before the “final exam”. You were given the correct answers and all you had to do was memorize it, if you could memorize the answers you would get an A grade. I don’t get how standardized tests are used to measure intelligence since there isn’t a standardized person. I believe standardized tests should be made with essay topics to give students a chance to explain their thinking, their “why’s”
I can understand why certain subjects become important when trying to shape a well rounded educated person, such as: math, history, writing and composition. History would be about the only subject in which there could be too much focus on dates and facts, to where they begin to dismiss the “Why did they do that?” because they’re focusing on the fact that they did do it. We are taught history so we can do our best to prevent repeating it, the facts won’t really help all too much in that, but the critical thinking will. We need to be aware of what’s going on around us, notice when things are beginning to stir. We all must be educated to advance in our world, to learn from our mistakes, to make new mistakes and set forth a course to the ideal of a perfect world or to achieve a perfect education.