Report on “educated” #2 of 4

The following is an unedited report from a Western Carolina University MAED student in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

What It Means To Be Educated

Alisa Bryant

Education is said to be the key to success, so how are we educated and what is used to define an educated person? In society the belief is that we must attend school to be educated. Having a vast knowledge of various subject areas and being able to share this knowledge is how persons view an educated person. Mohan (2005) defined an educated person to be “one who has undergone a process of learning that results in enhanced mental capability to function effectively in such situations in personal and intellectual life.” Berg (2005) also postulates that “ being an educated person means you have access to optimal states of mind regardless of the situation you are in. you are able to perceive accurately, think clearly and act effectively to achieve self selected goals and aspirations.”

Based on these definitions of an educated person, it is quite evident that an individual needs to be schooled in order to gain the knowledge and skills that one needs to function in the society. However, I question myself and ask is it fair to say only those who have been schooled are educated? When I think back on how our grandparents received little or no schooling but were creative, imaginative and passionate when it came to whichever skill they have acquired I realize that schooling doesn’t really defined the educated. Before I started reading about who an educated person is I was of the view that an educated person was one who was rounded in academics, one who was well schooled and knowledgeable about the things around them. However it was not until I read Hurley (2009) definition of the educated person did I start to think about who I really considered to be an educated person. Reading this book allowed me to stop, think critically and internally analyzed who an educated person is. Hurley (2009) defined the educated person to possess six virtues which are “imagination, understanding, generosity, humility, strong character and courage (p.29). He posits that of the six virtues we are only taught three of them in schools. When I reflected on my schooling I had to acknowledge that his statement is true about the teaching of the virtues.

Reading about the virtues gained my thought process and I started thinking about the different people who I have encountered in my life time. The ones who were not schooled compare to those who were schooled. I must say there were situations I remembered where the unschooled person reacted more educated than the schooled individual. Especially when I thought about the virtue of humility and it’s vice pride. A lot of individuals today exhibit pride we are proud of our achievements in life and this foster the way in which we treat others compared to a person who is humbled by achievements.

Of all the definitions I found Hurley’s more logical as it relates not only to academics but other characters that are needed to define an individual. Spiritual virtues, character virtues and intellectual virtues are all personalities that an individual should possess. It also gave the insight that individuals without education are important as they possess other skills that are needed to function in society. So believing that being educated only applies to those who are schooled is not a fair judgment. I believe that educated persons should be able to function in any situation that they are placed in. They should be able to adapt and help others around them. Their schooled knowledge should not be the main focus of their being but all six virtues. Hence my new knowledge of the six virtues that an individual should possess has helped me to challenge myself to develop the virtues that I am lacking in and to inform others of these great characteristics that can develop our being as a whole.


Berg. D. (2005). Definition of Education.

Mohanan K.P. (2005). Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning. Who is an Educated Person?

Hurley J.C. (2009). The Six Virtues of the Educated Person. Roman&Littlefied Education.



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