Academic Writing: What is an educated person?


What is an educated person?

    What is an educated person? Or how can we define an educated person? A priori, giving definition it may seem obvious.  As naïve as I am , I will define an educated person as  someone having finish a college degree with success and ready to engage in real life or working market with confidence. The student portal of University Of Maine define an educated person as: “ someone who exhibits knowledge and wisdom; recognizes and respects the diversity of nature and society; demonstrates problem solving skills; engages in planning and managing practices; navigates the on-line world; writes and speaks well; acts with integrity; and appreciates the traditions of art, culture, and ideas. Developing these abilities is a life-long process.”

    To me, being educated does not have to do anything with college degrees, being educated is knowing enough information about as many subjects as you can to make  logic decisions. Being educated is not only question of knowledge but also question of good manner, compassion and engagement. An educated person is someone who got enough knowledge through an academic process or life time experience to make the right decisions that will influence our lives. He should have a clear vision and an open mind to see that we are all connected in this life and if one element of the puzzle is left over, the result going to be a meltdown.

    When we think about educated people, the stereotype of a nerd with glasses, books and not matching cloths pop up.  Certes, this image widely spread in our media is not a myth. We all met an educator or even a student with those characteristics. They may be efficient on their laboratories and offices, but are they efficient in real life? Can they impact our society? The other image that comes to my mind is the picture of “cool guy’, well dressed, a good speaker who can find solution for everything just by talking. He is a lucky man, having done the minimum in his life, but was enough lucky to meet the right connections in the right time to get successful life as the criteria of our society may describe success.  Finally, there is a third category of educated people to which I belong. This category is a combination between the nerd and the “Play Boy”, yet with some specific characteristics. This is the category of hard workers, who had giving efforts every day to reach their goals. It’s a category of competitors. They struggle every day between the smart people getting easy A and the Play Boy getting just enough to pass. You may thing belonging to one of the other categories will make their life easier, but to them it is inconceivable. There are not really social, in the same time they don’t want to see life through books. They are ready to take any challenge and do what it may take to succeed. I don’t mean the other categories they are not motivated, but you will find them less involve. The first will prefer to stay focus in their own “Box” because they feel safer, the second category members will prefer to do less for more, they are motivated by the profit.

    Which one you prefer to hire or work with? Seriously, we need all of them to make a healthy performing society, but with which proportional percentage?

    The first category is vital for our prosperity and quality of life. It’s the category of thinkers and inventors. They are in continuous process of research to improve the quality of our lives. However, without the third category all these researches will remain inside close doors. The second category member’s will try to apply the results of the researches in a practical way. They try to determine how these innovations will influence our existence and future. Which one will be benefic to be shown to the large public and which need to remain in an improvement process. The members of this category have enough knowledge to understand the vision of the inventors, but not always enough power to sell it. In this case, they call the second category for rescue. The third category will be happy to sell you this new product, telling you such invention will change your life and bring you happiness and success. Sometime it’s true but, as we know they are able to sell you anything. When I’m talking about inventor I don’t mean: “A little guy with white hair and a white lab coat from an old Disney cartoon. He is tinkering with an old fashioned computer.” As describe by Lev Grossman. I mean researcher in all field: Art, culture, science…. This second category it’s also not limited to sales person, it contains media person, advertisers, designers, Business Company….etc.

    Let’s come back to the definition formulate by the university of Maine. Their definition encloses a fusion of the 3 categories in one person. It may seem contradictory or unreasonable, how one person will have all these knowledge and abilities?  We have to understand that according to educational institutions university is not made for everyone. The university or high education is made for the elite, the few people who will lead us and govern us .The question is, if we cannot agree about one common definition about an educated person, how can we educate the new generations? My own experience show me that university is not  made for everyone, a person may try to reach knowledge, but how many will quit on the middle of the road or even keep trying without faith  to reach an insignificant education.  Not everyone who practiced sports can be called athlete, neither a person who took art classes may be called an artist. Why we want to give this title of educated person to everyone who went to university? I truly believe that we have in our society two types of educated people due to the presence of two categories of universities. Students formed in the low cost universities and these formed in the high cost universities. Jus to give you example of the enormous difference according to  Forbes magazine: “Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, N.Y., has long held the dubious honor of being one of the nation’s most expensive colleges. This year, it tops the list for the second year in a row, with an all-in price of $58,334 a year, or close to $240,000 for a four-year course of studies.” Do you imagine spending such amount of money in school if you are going to have exactly the same degree then another student in any other university for much more less? The low cost university students will get degree and will be hired .however; they will never be in position of power to presents or defends their ideas. They are not less intelligent, but their social assumption is limited in this country. The privileged students formed in the high cost universities have the road paved to reach deciding positions politically and economically. A such situation is a real threat for this nation . A generation without hope for better life and future will not care about the present. They will not perform their duties with honor and pride. Their only worry will be making money .How can we be competitive in this new economical world if we are not involve and giving our 100% ? According to Simon Sinek: “When you hire people to do a job ,they will do it for your money, but when you hire them because they believe in what you believe, they will work for your blood and Heart.”  Do we really want education in two paces? Do we really want “I don’t care generation”? We are forming this kind of generation by supporting the inequalities within educated people.

    Finally, being educated is not a short time, but a life time investment as cited in University Of Maine definition. As long as you breathing you are in process of learning. I also believe in self education, we have to educated our self continually in this era of mass information . there an a thoughtful French proverb saying :   « Le savoir que l'on ne complète pas chaque jour diminue tous les jours » or “ a knowledge that we do not complete every day diminishes every day.”



University Of Maine. “An educated person.”www. www. 30 Nov,2011.

Lev Grossman. “Reinventing the inventor.”Nov 28,2011.Time.

Simon ,Sinek. “How great leaders inspire action.” conference,lcc.May.2010. 30 Nov,2011.


Daniel Fisher. “America's Most Expensive Colleges.”      Oct 10,2011.Nov 30 , 2011.