Knowledge is one of the most important aspects of any civilized society. Since ancient times, people have been collecting information about things surrounding them. It helped to cognize the world, find solutions to the most important problems, and create the basis for future progress and successors’ survival. However, the generation of knowledge introduced the problem of its transfer as new generations should be able to use accumulated data in new projects. That is why the first attempts to transfer knowledge, save and broaden it can be viewed as the emergence of education and its evolution. It became an integral part of human societies, necessary for their progress, survival, and achievement of new goals. At the same time, today, it is impossible to view education only as data exchange as it implies numerous concerns and has diversified goals. Nowadays, education is a continuous process through which a person acquires knowledge and broadens his/her mentality to be prepared for social integration and communication. As a result, there are numerous issues and problems associated with it.
As stated previously, education emerged in the first civilized societies as an attempt to save and broaden existing knowledge. For this reason, the nature of this process implied the continuous interaction between an experienced and a skilled person and an individual who lacked this information (Tierney & Pearson, 2021). However, the development of science, human thought, and the sophistication of societies stipulated the reconsideration of the attitude to education and its nature. The focus on mainly practical skills necessary for the survival of primal communities was gradually replaced with the necessity to address both theoretical and practical knowledge, combine them, and ensure their interaction to establish the basis for future evolution (Tierney & Pearson, 2021). Today, education is a lifelong, continuous, and systematic process aimed at transferring and generating different types of knowledge. However, it continues to evolve, meaning that new aspects might emerge.
Past Forms and Evolution
In such a way, education passed a long way to acquire new features and peculiarities. Initially, it implied the interaction between a skilled or experienced person and a pupil (Tierney & Pearson, 2021). It was the simplest way to transfer knowledge and ensure it would be saved. However, the further development of science and society introduced the necessity to work with a bigger number of learners. It resulted in the emergence of a school as a fundamental education institution and teaching aids (Habiger Institute for Catholic Leadership, 2020). The first texts helped to familiarize individuals with available information and promote learning. At the same time, the scholastic methods implying lecturing and discussion appeared (Habiger Institute for Catholic Leadership, 2020). It was a step towards developing critical thinking and ensuring the increased flexibility of knowledge.
Moreover, humanity needed more effective ways to teach students and ensure they can expand existing knowledge. Under these conditions, the evolution of education has always been a continuous process that acquired new features. The technological progress and the emergence of new values in society resulted in reconsidering the nature of education and its purposes. The teaching process became more complex as it relied on a developed infrastructure consisting of basic and higher education establishments responsible for providing different types of information (Department for Education, 2019). The 20th century became a critical step in rethinking old views on education. Its accessibility and effectiveness became the central goal of numerous governments, including the Australian one (Bahr & Mellor, 2016). As a result, the basis of the current system was established.
Today, the methods and approaches used in the education system radically differ from the past ones. For instance, Australia focuses on promoting and integrating innovative teaching methods to increase the effectiveness of data transfer. The country focuses on student research, group projects, visual presentations, interactive classrooms and e-learning (Bahr & Mellor, 2016). These methods are critical for the modern digitalized world as they help learners to acquire different sets of skills and knowledge related to various spheres. Innovative methods also promote critical thinking, moving away from learning and repeating lectures or other materials (Bahr & Mellor, 2016). As a result, the modern teaching methods differ from the past ones. Moreover, they promote the further rise of the sphere and its becoming more technology-driven and student-oriented (Bahr & Mellor, 2016). It helps to meet the current demand for knowledge and education.
The constant evolution of the given social institution resulted in its constantly growing importance. Nowadays, it is viewed as the fundamental aspect of any country’s evolution because of its contribution to the nation’s rise. Australia views it as a way to educate individuals within society and ensure they are ready to work in various spheres of the state’s economy and science (Department for Education, 2019). It also helps to teach pupils values and morals accepted in the Australian society and necessary for individuals’ integration into its functioning (Department for Education, 2019). In this regard, the education system can be viewed as a central nation-building institution employed to support society’s efforts to continue its evolution and enjoy numerous benefits. This role also explains the increased attention to knowledge transfer and attempts to increase its accessibility and affordability for individuals.
Shifts in Expected Outcomes
The changes in education and methods mentioned above also promoted one significant shift in the expected outcomes. The ability to recall all crucial facts linked to a particular event, issue, or question is not enough today. On the contrary, pure knowledge should serve as the basis for further learning and improvement. Under these conditions, the educational systems of states, including Australia, focus on cultivating the critical thinking and analytic skills of students (Department for Education, n.d.). It is viewed as the most desired result of teaching. The body of knowledge constantly expands today because of numerous research projects, and it is impossible to learn everything linked to a particular concept. For this reason, the evolution of education can be linked to the necessity to promote the critical thinking and self-learning capabilities of students (Allen, 2017). Possessing the background knowledge taught at schools, colleges, and universities, they should be able to continue their education.
Role of Education and Possible Issues
Moreover, education is a potent tool to shape people’s mentalities and views. Since the first stages of its evolution, data transfer implied sharing visions and attitudes and understanding of knowledge through the prism of these aspects (Johnston et al., 2019). Teachers have always influenced their learners and cultivated specific worldviews and responses. Today, this process acquires the top priority as a way to unite the nation and guarantee its integrity. For instance, the Australian curriculum devotes much attention to ethics, cultivating values, such as diversity, inclusion and patriotism (Johnston et al., 2019). As a result, education becomes an effective instrument to guarantee individuals realize social intercourse and are ready to become active community members.
From another perspective, education is connected to numerous important issues. It can be used to address inequality, discrimination, harassment, and biased or stereotypic attitudes. For instance, educational institutions of the past were segregated based on racial and social principles (Yaish & Gabay-Egozi, 2019). Today, it is viewed as the remnant of the past; however, disparities remain. In Australia, social segregation between private and public schools accounts for 16% of the total segregation in schools (Department for Education, 2019). It means that the evolution of education is also accompanied by issues representing the current state of society and the problems it faces. However, the available resources and methods can also be employed to address these issues, meaning that education is a perfect tool for addressing the issues in the education sphere. It can be viewed as a result of the sector’s evolution and becoming a fundamental institution in modern society.
In such a way, the changes in the education sphere observed nowadays, its nature and evolution can help to determine its purpose in the modern world. As stated previously, knowledge transfer remains a fundamental goal of modern schools and colleges in Australia. However, the primary objective is broader as it implies the formation of specific mentalities, development of critical thinking skills, and establishment of the basis for future success. In such a way, the purpose of education is to prepare an individual for future social interactions and integrate within the economic system to ensure he/she can make a specific contribution to the nation’s development (Department for Education, n.d.). It explains the increased attention from the government and numerous resources devoted to the further development of the sector and becoming more effective in addressing the challenges society faces.
Altogether, today education is viewed as a continuous process through which a person acquires knowledge and broadens his/her mentality to be prepared for social integration and communication. It emerged at the dawn of civilization as the method to transfer knowledge and ensure it will be expanded. However, the development of science and technologies, along with the change in human values, required more complex and effective teaching methods and approaches. As a result, education evolved and acquired new features. Today, it is a complex segment with a developed infrastructure and numerous issues. It implies a long and structured process to prepare an individual for future interactions and ensure he/she can help society to evolve.
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Bahr, N., & Mellor, S. (2016). Australian education review: Building quality in teaching and teacher education. ACER.
Department for Education. (n.d.). Towards 2028: Strategic plan.
Department for Education. (2019). 2019 annual report.
Habiger Institute for Catholic Leadership. (2020). The heart of culture: A brief history of Western education. Cluny Media.
Johnston, O., Wildy, H., & Shand, J. (2019). A decade of teacher expectations research 2008–2018: Historical foundations, new developments, and future pathways. Australian Journal of Education, 63(1), 44–73.
Tierney, R., & Pearson, D. (2021). A history of literacy education: Waves of research and practice. Teachers College Press.
Yaish, M., & Gabay-Egozi, L. (2019). Intracohort trends in ethnic earnings gaps: The role of education. Socius, 5.