Hamm’s Definition of Education: Informative Essay

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In this essay, I will discuss Hamm’s notion of education, which is divided into three general applications of education: sociological use (E1), institutional use (E2), and general enlightenment use (E3). I will also critically evaluate the three uses of education, presenting a distinct and compatible argument.

In the sociological application (E1), socialization is defined as the process of supporting young people in becoming members of society by teaching them social skills that are similar to virtues. In other words, socialization is correctly defined as “grooming a youngster into becoming a member of society”. They are ‘educated’ (acculturated, socialized) in a variety of ways, ranging from apprenticeship modeling to formal didactic training. It is crucial to clarify that this use of the term ‘education’ does not always refer to formal schooling (the institutional use, referred to as E2) or the attainment of general illumination (referred to as E3). This view of education also believes that a person is expected to take on social duties in the community in question. The emphasis is on practices that integrate the youngster into the existing culture. It makes no difference whether the beliefs acquired are false or correct, whether the practices and skills developed are or are not morally acceptable from a universalizable standpoint, or whether the outcome of the training and rearing process results in blind adherence to the cultural group’s doctrines and rituals. The way children come to behave in a certain way as a result of their particular familial upbringing is an example of a sociological understanding of education. Indoctrination or ‘brainwashing’ can also be called education insofar as it emerges from informal social practices because it is used regardless of whether the ideals or practices that individuals acquire are accurate, valid, good, or worthwhile. This is referred to as ‘miseducation’ at times.

In the institutional application (E2), the schooling or institutional usage of the term ‘education’ simply refers to a person’s growth as a consequence of influences from schools or other official ‘educational’ institutions. When a person says, “I did my schooling at X”, he or she is referring to the institution where he or she obtained official educational instruction. In this context, ‘being educated’ is equivalent to ‘attending a certain institution’. This is another way of looking at the phrase ‘education’. It is fairly common in everyday conversation to refer to what happens in schools as education. However, with equally legitimate and no doubt more significant meaning, the same people will use ‘education’ in a more profound and thoughtful sense when they say things like “I went to school all those years, but failed to get an education”, or “I gained a good education though I never went to school”. Here we are referring to a notion of ‘educational’ that is neither E1 nor E2, but rather to what we will refer to as the ‘universal enlightenment’ understanding of education.

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In the general enlightenment application (E3), the enlightenment was a time in philosophical thinking during which individuals came to depend more on their own abilities to think or reason rather than religious faith or belief in God. In other words, religion no longer shackled people’s power to reason, choose, and act. The acknowledged enlightened meaning of the term ‘education’, which is one of the authorized meanings of the term, has frequently been referred to as the item’s individual sense. This definition and usage of ‘education’ can also be linked to concepts like ‘illumination’, ‘understanding’, or ‘clarification’. When the term ‘education’ is used in an enlightened context, it does not always relate to socialization or formal schooling. In this context, the term refers to a type of human success, including the growth of the human mind, as defined by the knowledge and understanding that a person gains. The term is specifically used to allude to a person’s vast knowledge and how well he or she knows it. At this time, education becomes a distinct type of human achievement from socialization and schooling, respectively. According to the general enlightenment, education is not a tool to monetarily empower individuals, but rather the information they get to transform the way they think by broadening their understanding. The two are also separate because, according to Hamm (1989), general enlightenment schools should not be educational institutions because individuals may obtain any type of information they desire. “If an educated person is one who has mastered a wide variety of diverse forms of information, this classification goes beyond superficial familiarity with things” (Divala and Mathebula, 2013: p.253).

Our schooling requires a learner to pass from grade 1-12 before he can be labeled as educated, however, if a learner drops out having reached the 12th grade, he is considered uneducated, our society doesn’t differentiate between a dropout and someone who has never attended school. This is proven when one seeks employment a matric certificate is required. If a learner has reached matric and failed, he is considered a dropout. Because he was formed for this purpose, the primary goal of education is to steer the person toward perfection. The purpose of humanity’s existence on this planet is to achieve happiness, which is the pinnacle of perfection. The ideal human being is one who possesses theoretical morality, intellectual knowledge, and practical moral ideals. Education is the blend of classroom instruction and hands-on experience. The goal of knowledge is to put it to use, and the ultimate level is when it is translated into action. If it could be demonstrated that information is fundamental to mind growth and that mental development is critical to one’s development as a person, much of the question over the goal of education would evaporate, because one does not puzzle over the point and purpose of developing as a person. Personal and social adjustment are all formed not for their own purpose, but to suit man’s individual and societal demands. As each individual is expected to address a wide range of issues throughout his life, the goal of education should also be the formation and growth of a dynamic adaptive, resourceful, and enterprising mind. Individual growth on all levels is also an essential goal of education. The person grows physically, cognitively, ethically, and artistically. It is commonly accepted that successful citizenship, whether in well-established democracies or in nations transitioning to democracy, necessitates some educational preparation. A democratic state of education is commonly justified on the grounds that it fosters a shared type of educational authority among the state, parents, and individuals. It also cultivates democratic citizens by encouraging an engaged personality or active citizenship.

The term ‘education’ has been used and acknowledged to imply a variety of things over the years and in a variety of works. There have also been several points of view on why education is necessary. Understanding education from an enlightened perspective necessitates viewing education as significant or worthwhile in and of itself. In other words, education is vital for the sake of knowledge or human understanding, and I totally support E3 education as a separate sort of human achievement from socialization and schooling. When a youngster attends a certain school, we say that the child is educated at that school. Although we are focusing on the kid being taught through organized practices and teachings at a school, we cannot ignore that the same youngster has also been socialized in certain ways outside of school and classroom activities. Because schools are intended to be in the business of growing knowledge and understanding, we might deduce that the general enlightened notion of education (or, to put it another way, the growth of the mind) takes precedence over other perspectives on education. This mental growth is the foundation upon which society may prepare individuals for meaningful futures through education. However, the socialization of individuals to assume societal obligations cannot be divorced from the concept of education.

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