Sunday, 23 August 2015

Attaining Education

I recently caught part of a late night discussion broadcast on BBC Radio 3. It was a discussion primarily about liberal education. The point of a university education was raised. It was, one commentator suggested, about learning to write: it is through writing that one clarifies one's ideas and makes them complete.

One starts to write with the supposition that one's ideas are complete, in need only of expression. However, during the process of writing one finds this not to be the case; they are more of a jumble and mishmash in need clarification than originally thought. One's ideas need expression in ways that both writer and reader understand.

One might argue that all education is about learning to write but at different levels. The level to which one ascends within the education system is about the depth and clarity of thought to which one wishes to aspire.

Just because they are at the top of the education system, it does not follow that writing in universities is at the highest level attainable. (Clearly, there are poor standards in many universities these days but that is not my point.) Significantly, one can always take one's standards beyond the level of one formally reaches in education. Thus, after university (or instead of it) one can aspire to much higher standards of writing and much deeper levels of understanding than even universities can reach.