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MyselfFormal Education and Personal Development

Posted Jun 2009

What is the relationship of formal education and personal development? Why the formal education alone is not enough for personal development?

We learn during all of our life, from the moment of birth to the moment that we are gone. This learning path has different patterns from one individual to another.

It is said that modern men receive more information within one day than medieval men within a year. This is no wander. Since today we are bombarded with information on ever corner; we receive dozens of mail at our work, we are exposed to massive information influx through the internet, we watch TV, we phone and SMS to each other, etc. It is estimated that visual input to our brain is 32 GB per second. All these information need to be perceived, filtered, processed, stored or rejected.

So how should we learn all this information? The answer is that we shouldn't. The reality is that we should learn important things and dump the unimportant things.

Formal education is the important segment of our learning trip. Average person in developed countries spends 12-16 years on formal studying, or even up to 20 years of our life. Through that period we are bombarded with various information from diversity of fields. These knowledge are applied in different way, some of them are theoretical, while some of them are more practical.

What happen with us when we finished the formal education? Probably most people are being employed. Finishing the formal education is important moment in our life. Since there is no formal need to learn at prescript rate, it is up to every individual how will we continue to expand the knowledge. End of formal education is not the signal that we earned our degree and that we do not need to study anymore.

Formal education is important part of personal development. Still, it is just one part of our personal development. Our personal development needs to be continuous, beyond formal education.

This is important to remember, since some individuals consider their knowledge and grade they earned to be the ultimate knowledge. Truth is that with the end of formal education we just finished one phase of learning in our life. Despite that fact that we learned a lot during our education, the reality is that we are just starting the real learning on our work and in our life. The fact is that in school and university we learned how to learn, but we didn't learned all what we need. Still there is a long trip ahead.

I had opportunity to meet people with high education, who were having a very high opinion about themselves. They considered that their degree should be the key that will unlock all doors on their job. But the degree itself is insufficient without readiness to learn further. Also the degree is insufficient without consciousness about our real value and capabilities. Having a high opinion or skipping some steps in our development is leading to the wall and potentially to job termination. Most of employers are requiring their employees to continue education, whether it is formal or through on job learning.

Formal education is important part of personal development. Still, it is just one part of our personal development. Our personal development needs to be continuous, beyond formal education. Without clear understanding about big picture, the person with high degree could still be unsuccessful on the job, unsatisfied with the salary and the way they are seen by peers and the boss. Learning should never stop.



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