Qualifications don’t automatically make you educated.

Or put it this way;

I don’t call someone educated if they behave in an irresponsible, pollutive, offensive, inconsiderate, uncaring, selfish, discriminative, bigoted or racist manner, however qualified or titled they may be.

Do you?

I know to most people education just means qualification – the more you have the better educated you are. That’s what the system conditions us to believe.

But it’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you’ve got that is the test of a truly educated person.

An educated person is far more than their grades. And we must guard against a dated and deteriorating system making us judge our youngsters by what scores they get.

This can be done by lessening the importance attached to grades and increasing the importance placed on other skills in life. Make sure our youngsters know they are more than a score and that we’re proud of what they do, (inside and out of the system – whatever you’re doing). Particularly what they do independently of formal education, things like making films, gaming, martial arts, volunteering, sports, campaigning, whatever interests them. These activities grow life skills that develop an educated connected person far more than qualifications do.

And we should be aware that the government has developed this system of incessant testing and qualification because it suits the government. Not because it’s good for young people’s development. Governments use this constant measurement for their own political gain, consequently the youngsters become voting fodder to feed that system. Parents and young people should kick back against it.

And also guard against the systemic propaganda that threatens there’s no decent life without decent grades. That’s false. The truth is, as many successful people without them prove, home educators among them, how you behave brings you a decent life because it makes you decent people who can connect in a humane way with other decent people – who don’t give a s*** what qualifications you hold. And it’s relationships with other people which brings us happiness, not tramping on them to get to the top.

Our youngsters need to be decent people with compassion, inclusion, care and broad mindedness, among other personal skills, in order to be truly educated, even if a sprinkling of qualifications become part of that.

But there are far too many bigoted, small minded, unimaginative and discriminative people who’d like to think they’re educated simply because they hold a bunch of qualifications.

They’re not!

Read more of what I mean in this post about my educational philosophy here.

And make up your own mind about what makes a person educated and resist automatic and conditioned thinking on the subject. Be more proud of who your youngsters are, how they behave and what they contribute, rather than what grades they’ve got!

And do all young people a favour; pass the thinking on! And share the poster wherever you like.

8 thoughts on “Qualifications don’t automatically make you educated.

  1. thank you, ross. spot on as always. a very important question has surfaced recently (i am guessing that it is recent) amongst very concerned parents: is our child / their child schooled or educated? to which i agree with the british home-educating families that there is a bit of a problem with the word “homeschool”. because “school” is the problem.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this, I need to read stuff like this. My eldest is nearly 15 and I am constantly getting the GCSE questions. He really doesn’t want to take any exams and we are not pushing it at all. We have long felt that exams are not necessary but it can be so hard to go against the tide. It gives me such comfort to find other people who think the same way, although we are so small in number!

    • Thanks so much for saying – I’m so glad to know it’s helped. You stick to your convictions and do what’s best for you and your son at the time. I know that some HEors don’t take GCSEs at all, some do other qualifications suited to their chosen route, some do them much much later, and others just go straight into the working world through other opportunities. there are all sort of ways to progress into happy lives!

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