What is the difference between the concepts of education and learning?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The basic difference between education and learning is that they are achieved in different ways. On a superficial level, one who is educated learns from that experience. However, the process of "learning" is not the same as "being educated," since it is very possible to be educated and not learn anything.

Simply put, learning is the instinctive ability of the human mind to observe, process, and adjust to information or experience. A person never stops learning, since new information is discovered and processed every day, and the bulk of a person's ingrained knowledge comes from observation and consideration.

Education, however, is a structured and specific method of passing on knowledge, and it doesn't work the same way for everyone. To educate is to require a teacher from whom the knowledge is assumed to be correct; a person can educate others, and be educated in turn. 

One who is educated learns from the education process, regardless of what specifically is learned (the learned knowledge might not be the intended lesson). One who learns does not necessarily need an educator, only the ability to rationally process information. Both are methods of acquiring knowledge through experience, but learning tends to be a personal endeavor, while education tends to be a social or group endeavor.


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