The role of education is a subject of intensive debates in the literature and media: while some people believe that education should lead to knowledge accumulation, others argue that it is more important to apply knowledge in practice. According to Orr (1992), “education is no guarantee of decency, prudence, or wisdom” (p. 8). Indeed, a person can have no education, being skilled in resolving life problems, such as upbringing children or addressing interpersonal conflicts. Moreover, the presence of a diploma is not equal to being an excellent doctor or perfect leader. This point resonates with the modern environment, where many students perceive their education only as a formal step in their career. They pay little attention to the constant exploration of how to link knowledge received during lessons to practice, considering that their future work will not be related to theories and concepts taught. On the one hand, their skepticism is logical since modern education is overloaded with theory; on the other hand, it is impossible to understand the world without a theoretical foundation.
It seems to be useful to view education as an environmental issue that focuses on students instead of subjects and strives to understand the consequences. Orr (1992a) states that one of the characteristics of intelligence is “harmoniousness of surroundings”, which means that the outcomes of one person’s decisions can be a measure of intelligence, but not all the consequences can be predicted. Tolerance seems to be the key to increasing intelligence, and the so-called societal IQ cannot be identified only according to the number of facts one remembered. In other words, intelligence should be encouraged by teachers so that students can think critically to interpret the world around them.
Orr, D. W. (1992). Some thoughts on intelligence. In Earth in Mind: On education, environment, and the human prospect (pp. 48-53). Island Press.
Orr, D. W. (1992a). What is education for? In Earth in mind: On education, environment, and the human prospect (pp. 7-15). Island Press.