This article is part of a new collaboration between Zabetne la Zabtak and PersEd, a start-up for personal education and a global education network created in 2016 by the young Lebanese writer and entrepreneur Alexandra Kodjabachi. It was originally published on PersEd’s blog in November 2017.

From parental to compulsory to advanced, education plays a pivotal role. It is so natural, so ingrained in our daily lives since our youngest age, that we either take it for granted or ignore its flaws. Rarely do we pause for a while and try to re-consider the reasons behind years dedicated to education. Whether at school, home or online, why do we learn?

We often study to amass data, acquire facts and dates and names and definitions. We study to gain insights and then somehow use them as soon as we start working.

Although learning for the sake of knowledge is a noble goal, today’s world calls for a different, more transcending approach of learning.

If sheer information was the ultimate goal of education, nobody would need to employ a graduate and nobody would need an education; we would have Google instead.

The problem with relying on gaining a set of information is twofold:

  • Knowledge is limited as it consists of a set of facts that can be exhausted within a particular context and that can be outdated;
  • Knowledge is now open sourced and highly accessible through search engines and online open libraries.

Of course, throughout our learning experiences, we gather pieces of information of the greatest value but this is not the ultimate purpose of a learning environment.

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Creating new knowledge 

Since the old knowledge is already highly accessible, the role of the individual entering the workforce is to open new roads, create new opportunities, and scale up the existent. For that to happen, the educated person needs to master the art of creating knowledge.

The purpose of going to school or college or get an informal education therefore is not to learn the art of gathering information and reciting them, but rather to learn how to learn, how to find answers to questions and solutions to problems.

And this process, unlike knowledge, provides unlimited power because it can be transferred from a familiar context to unfamiliar grounds and because it is not bound to a specific period in time outside of which it becomes outdated.

Learning isn’t about attending classrooms and passing exams. It’s not a diploma you hang on the wall or frame to add a decoration to the dinner table. It’s not a set of classes and data you gulp to regurgitate later.

Education is a continuous process of discovery and critical thinking to achieve distinction in whatever one wants to achieve.

Read the original post on PersEd blog here.