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Defining Education and Why it Matters So Much

The majority of us understand education is necessary to succeed in life. We may be hard-pressed to explain why this is the case but from childhood we appreciate the need to attend school, learn basic skills and remain part of the education system for as long as is suitable for our needs, or required by our country or state. In developed nations we rarely doubt why education is necessary but here we’re looking more closely at it, its definition and the various types of education available to us.

What is Education?

The definition of education is not set in stone. It encompasses many different things and approaches. It can be defined as knowledge in and learning of basic skills, academics, technical skills and more but it also has further reaching definitions than this. Education can relate to creativity, risk, inspiration and social skills as well as those learned from books.

Education commonly means helping people to learn how to do things and instill this knowledge within them. Different types of education may incorporate basic early childhood education such as learning how to write your name or your first word and can be as complex as the technical studies experienced by those in higher education. Similarly, not all education is taught.

Types of Education

There are three main defined types of education you may experience. They are:

Formal Education

Formal education and learning is where you are taught something by somebody else. It takes place in a training or learning environment, usually part of a larger education system. Formal education may come in primary schools, grammar schools, universities or colleges or other educational institutions. It can begin in kindergarten or nursery school and at later levels always results in a professional qualification which can be used in finding work or further training or recognition that you have completed a particular formal education level.

Informal Education

Informal education often occurs as you go about your life without particularly focusing on learning and development. Informal education doesn’t involve a deliberate choice in most consequences and develops organically as you grow up and experience different things. Informal learning may include developing resilience and coping skills through your personal life or time management skills through planning your travel to and from work or school.

Non-Formal Education

Non-formal education is learning you achieve through choice but not within a formal education system. It is anything you learn in a structured environment with learning goals where there is no qualification or recognition of completion.

Why Education is Necessary

The individual and society as a whole needs continual education to thrive. Education is so important because:

  1. It creates self-sufficiency: an educated person is able to find work, generate an income and succeed in life without the need for support from other bodies in many instances.
  2. It builds confidence: knowing you have the experience and knowledge in a particular area or generally helps to develop a confident personality.
  3. It offers more life prospects: educated people have a higher chance of succeeding and finding better opportunities career and moneywise. Higher education gives individuals more chances to enjoy a more varied and experienced life through their widened opportunities.
  4. It helps create a better world: the countries with the highest life expectancies and prosperity are those with the highest literacy levels. Education breeds prosperity both for the economy and the individual.


Education is such an important and life-affirming process which should begin from the day we’re born. A combination of different education types is ideal for a fully rounded and prosperous person, and society as a whole


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