In my last blog post, I discussed the confusion we make about education vs. school. I argued that these two “concepts” should not be interchangeable because they mean starkly different things. In fact, schooling is one of many ways to become an educated person.
In this blog post, I want to discuss the conundrum of education through schooling vs. schooling through education. These two phrases can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. One of the ways is to identify the outcome and process. In the first, the outcome is education, and the means is the schooling process. In the second, however, this relationship is reversed; the school is the outcome and education is the process.
Both of these phrases have interesting implications on how we currently conceptualize and operationalize the purpose of schooling. On the one hand, our objective is to create an educated, informed generation. On the other hand, we relegate this responsibility to the schooling enterprise. Schooling is the process, and education is the outcome. At a surface level, this seems to make sense.
Now, consider the inflation in degree-granting institutions, and the phenomenon of overeducation where more and more individuals are obtaining degrees of higher learning, and less and less are being employed in environments that fully capture the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they have. What does this mean? Many things. One thing comes to mind is the idea that we are making schooling both an outcome and the process. We are trying to achieve schooling, not education, through schooling and more schooling and for the sake of schooling. In turn, this doesn’t develop a generation of educated, informed individuals, rather, it advances the notion of materialization, income, competition, individualism, and headless independence.
Schooling is only one possible process through which we can achieve an education. But, education remains our outcome! Let us not forget our objectives for schooling amidst the ephemeral economic and political system.
tl;dr – Do not confuse schooling as both the process and outcome. Schooling in the process through which to achieve education as an outcome.