Well educated -what does it mean to you


New Member
That's an interesting question, Allan.

I need to think about that a little before I answer.

Humor is part of it, I agree. A sense of humor does not exist without there first having been an evolution of detached perspective.

Or maybe I am thinking intelligence here, and not education.

I agree with your take that the evolution of empathy is as likely when you stand behind the counter at the grocery store (but not WalMart or McDonald's) as the evolution of that capacity through the reading and studying encouraged at university. (IS that what a good education gives us, finally? The potential for a broader, more diversified capacity for empathy?)



Active Member
Edward de Bono sees humor as a good example of lateral thinking

Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain

In humor the storyteller suddenly places us on the side track and immediately we can see our way back to the starting point. In humor the punchline serves as the bridge between the main track and the side track. With lateral thinking, however, there is no storyteller to make the jump for us. So we have to devise a practical means for cutting across the tracks. We can do this by using a combination of provocation and movement.



Active Member

Logical thinking , yes/no thinking, critical thinking challenges hat is being said , you are working as it were on one track , while lateral thinking challenges assumptions and with a new set of assumptions you jump onto a new track.
Humor is a good example.

so I often give the following advice here

When you have a headache , take a bottle of aspirin and do what it says on the bottle

Take 2
Keep away from children

I hope this ( aspirin) helps



Well-Known Member
I think not just knowing lots of stuff, but how it is used, and applied, in life, is what makes a vast difference. I do know the term "well educated" means college degrees in our society. The more the better. But, it certainly doesn't offer the guarantee of a successful life.

For example: The Unabomber was extremely well educated. A professor even.

What I have found in my experience is that, especially in my field, education and degrees give people credibility. When someone speaks at a function, all degress and schooling, are announced. Yet, someone who may have worked for years in the trenches, has vast knowledge of the field, yet is not sought, or allowed to contribute, and even dismissed, in job related journals, and conferences, simply because they don't have the degree.


Former desparate mom
The people I have met who appear educated are the one's who did not follow the crowd without good reason to do so. They seem to have a drive to know. They are curious about the most simple subject to the most complicated issues of the day.
It seems current education is memorization for grades. I'm not knocking it because I don't know a better way. Besides memorizing basic foundations of education is important in order to understand the more complex subjects.
A well educated mind learns concepts and builds on it. A person who doesn't think learning is just school but looks for opportunity to learn in every aspect of their life.

I'm not sure well educated is the same as intelligent.


New Member
What about travel, volunteering, getting to know people from different places who look different but turn out to be so much the same? What about listening to differing opinions and considering them, even though they are not in line with- my thinking? What about playing, dancing, laughing, daydreaming...doing nothing...talking/listening to people? I could go on and on (and I know you are glad that I don't).

I used to believe that well educated meant having a structured, textbook, preferably Ph.D., degree from a prestigious institute of higher learning. And I value that type of "well educated" too. The continual learning piece though has me hooked...the willingness to open oneself up to possibilities and to the value of everything around us as education. The value found in digging in the dirt and getting dirty...

Because we homeschool, I asked my kids the other day, "what does being well educated mean to you?" And the answers that I keep getting (especially from my difficult child)....


Well-Known Member
I've always thought of it to mean someone well read, knowledgeable on many things, well rounded, well informed, someone who has a continuing interest and curiosity about many things and a thirst for knowledge. It doesn't necessarily mean lots of framed diplomas on the wall.

We've all known people with advanced degrees in their own narrow little field of expertise who don't have enough common sense to work a pencil sharpener! And we've all known people whose formal education is much more modest but who seem to have this inate gift of wisdom about the world around them and the people in it! "Wise" doesn't pay as much as "educated", but I think I would prefer it.

"Education" should open the world up to you, and it shouldn't stop when you get the diploma! Education should teach you how to think, not what to think. It starts with exposing your children to all different things outside of their own little world to awaken their curiosity. How do they know they wouldn't like Classical music if they've never heard it! How could they develop an appreciation for great works of art, or even know such things exist, if they've never been to a museum! How can they learn the joy of reading if they've never been set free to roam a library!


New Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fran</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

The people I have met who appear educated are the one's who did not follow the crowd without good reason to do so.

I'm not sure well educated is the same as intelligent.


I agree.

And I agree that "educated" does not necessarily mean intelligent ~ particularly when you understand how selective our educational systems are.

Unless you are someone who is willing to jump through some incredibly boring hoops, you will never make it through today's educational system.

So, what kinds of creative minds are being filtered out?

Creatives never were much able to sit still and repeat information learned by rote.

So, how intelligence and education correlate is an open question.

It always bothered me so much that music was taught in our public schools by taking it apart.

Who came up with that brilliant (and oh so tedious) way of exposing kids to the wonder of music?!?


So many "educated" people seem, by virtue of their educations, to hold themselves above the rest.

In other words, there are those among us who are so identified with having been educated (and correlating education with intelligence ~ though I wonder sometimes whether there IS a correlation) that they become as narrow minded and judgmental as the most uneducated among us.

It is an interesting thing to see.



Well-Known Member
Barbara - I totally agree with you.

They teach reading and literature the same way. They take a wonderful novel, a classic story, and manage to ruin it for them! Instead of just letting them read it and discussing it at the end, they pick it apart, dissect each tiny little piece, analyze it to the "nth" degree, just beat it to death ... and by doing it this way, they manage to wring every last little bit of joy out of reading it! It would be like seeing a magnificent painting one square inch at a time and then being expected to appreciate it! What should have been a pleasure to for them to read becomes a mind-numbing chore. Kids miss the whole point and get turned off from reading, and who could blame them!

My son, at age 26, is a voracious reader! You never see him without a book in his hand! And he got that way because even before he started school, we let him read things that were fun for him, things that interested him, held his attention and entertained him. There's tons of good books out there that kids will really enjoy reading. They're not all childrens books either. Just turn them loose and let them find what they're interested in! They might surprise you!


New Member
I've been exposed to all kinds of people that have shaped my views of intelligent or educated.

My dad only finished 8th grade. But he continued to LEARN every day of his life. He read constantly (his favorite magazine was National Geographic). He built our house, doing all the electric and plumbing, too. He could do high level calculus. He was an amateur radio fanatic, and was just getting into computers when he died 21 years ago.

I've worked with many, many PhD's - some that held multiple degrees. I've had to ban a few of them from the lab for safety reasons - one set a fume hood on fire.

I know many gifted kids, some with IQ's that are so high they can't be measured. Two of them dropped out of high school and refuse to even try and get their GED. One has his room filled with all kinds of electronics.

What I guess I'm saying is education doesn't equal degrees doesn't equal intelligence doesn't equal what one does with all of it.