March 9, 2013
By Mortimer J. Adler
When I read Adler’s passage, "Education consists in the growth of understanding, insight and ultimately some wisdom. Only in mature soil, soil rich with experience, can ideas really take root", (Adler) my first reaction was to defend childhood education based on my work history and education. Children learn through play and through play they have experiences which are very much a part of their education. These are experiences that last a life time from their intellectual development to their social-emotional growth. I felt that the author was criticizing the education of young children by saying children are only trainable or schooled not educated by life experiences. After reading the entire article, I have come to the conclusion that we are all trying to achieve ultimate wisdom or education through life experiences with the strongest foundation being early training and social-emotional development.
Adler states that children are more trainable then adults. Through my experience I have found this to be true in many aspects. Children are able to learn and speak a second language just through interacting with peers that speak the foreign language. This process usually depends on the child and the level of language skills they already possess. Concepts and skills are learned through play and interactions with peers and adults. These experiences are the building blocks that set the foundation of the education for the child. Adults attempting to learn a foreign language must spend several months, if not years, mastering the language if they are able to learn it at all. New skills tend to come easily to adults that have had formal training such as preschool, elementary and secondary school.
“What is the ultimate goal toward which every part of schooling or education is directed? It is wisdom.” (Adler) When children enter an early childhood education program their parents are looking to the
Cited: Works Adler, Mortimer. Adult Education . Print.