A couple of days ago, I was in an online discussion about whether schools (colleges, esp.) should focus on transmitting the knowledge required to do a particular job, or strive to produce a well-rounded person who may (or may not) have a special skill. I reflected briefly on my own school career, and what I valued about it, and responded thusly:
In college I saw lots of smart, ignorant people (not excluding myself). College was more about training; less about education. The university was expected to produce money-makers, young energetic capitalistic chainsaws. Not citizens; not....human beings in the fullest sense of the term. I half-joke about my school career, K through Master's degree: I had one subject in K-12 that was about educating me, as a citizen of America, and the world: Latin. And in college I had one subject that did the same: Art and Architectural History. All the rest was training (I exaggerate a bit) to make money, to be productive in the ways that can be measured on a W-2.
It's true: all we need to be affluent is training. But I see that what I value more are mostly things that don't make money: Scrooge's change of heart in A Christmas Carol; Rembrandt's portrayal of forgiveness in The Prodigal Son; van Gogh's wheatfields; Dorothy realizing there's no place like home, because the people who love her are there; the selfless love of husband and wife in O. Henry's Gift of the Magi; the fact that I could say 'philosopher' or 'logos' to Socrates or Jesus, and they would understand me; that math shows me the Mind of God; the transcendence of Hagia Sophia; that Debussy stood on Tchaikovsky's shoulders, who stood on Beethoven's, who stood on Mozart's, that they each successively created what their musical predecessors could not have imagined; that God bursts out of his children, and in their own unique ways they express his creativity and love.
The difference between education and training: between living, and getting & spending; between citizens and consumers; between babies and masses of tissue; between a nation and a population.
I figure it's better as a society, a family of Man, to be less well trained, and better educated. That does beg the question of who is going educate whom in exactly what, but that'd require another post.