What is Education?

What is Education?

posted in: EDUCATION | 0


Years ago, I attended a home-educating seminar where the speaker had us define education. It was a simple exercise that profoundly affected me. Initially, it dissipated the ‘noise’ and overwhelm of educating five sons. Questions were laid to rest like “Am I doing enough?” It honed my focus and enlightened my understanding.

The group utilized Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, it was a defining moment! Since, then, this definition has been a guidepost for me, not only in educating my sons, but in life and parenting.

From this, I developed my vision for my home, for home-educating and for Pathway to Liberty.

In answering What is Education?, we define our philosophy of education, this brings focus, depth and breadth to what we aim to accomplish.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, 

but the lighting of a fire.”

William Butler Yeats


What is education?

Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines education as; 

“The bringing up, as of a child; instruction, formation of manners. 

Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline 

which is intended to 

enlighten the understanding, 

correct the temper, 

and form the manners and habits of youth, 

and fit them for usefulness in their future stations.”


Education is a soul issue.


Let’s break down the words.

Enlighten-to quicken with the faculty of vision, to enable to see more clearly, to illuminate with divine knowledge.

  • We want quicken our student’s vision so that they see clearly and understand the times in which they live.
  • To enlighten them through Biblical reasoning and person application.


Correct-the temper-to set right, or made straight; conformable with truth; not faulty; free from error.

  • We desire our students to walk in and live by truth. 
  • To enable them to discern error and to bring them back when they wander from the truth.


Form-to set, to fix, to shape, to mold, draught, to cause to exist.

  • Our primary focus is on the formation of an individual in order to fit them for their future calling.
  • Our focus is on building wisdom and character within the individual, and in doing so we will teach a great deal!


Fit-to prepare, to equip, to fall on (as in time and seasons).

  • Our purpose is to equip our students so that they are thoroughly prepared for their future. 
  • To develop an awareness of their unique gifts and talents in order to direct them toward their calling.


Pathway to Liberty’s vision for our students;

  • To lay a firm foundation by which they may build on for the rest of their lives.
  • To develop a heart and mind that are dedicated to the Lord; steadfast, immoveable, certain.
  • To learn reflective reasoning and relating of principles to all of life. 
  • Develop a devotion to the Word of God.
  • Inspiration of the heart and mind.
  • Mastery of the principles to form a unity of truth.
  • Rich vocabulary which leads to an understanding of the ideas behind the words and   their meanings.
  • Student ownership of learning, possessing ideas as their own, not simply parroting back information to pass an exam. 
  • Student becomes increasingly accountable for their learning.
  • To develop internal character and convictions which result in consistent behavior. 
  • Student is ready with an answer.  


     “The most influential of all educational factors is the conversation in a child’s home.”                                                           

  William Temple


Education is a soul issue.