Some Definitions of Education by Philosophers


Education has been seen as the process of changes in behaviors, attitudes, character, actions, ideas, and concepts; Education is an act of learning. If the life of a man receives changes in all ramifications, the person receives education. The education will expose him to the new world. Several definitions by philosophers have been identified here for research and more reading.

1. Education is the act of learning.

Education can be defined as the act of learning or acquiring knowledge or knowing more about a subject, something, or more subjects. Education takes place in school. A school is seen as a place where teaching/learning is being done. It is the act of teaching and learning. A teacher teaches while a learner receives the instructions. The learners acquire more skills and knowledge. In the olden days, our forefathers were not exposed to formal education.

2. Education is the ability to learn.

Education can be defined as the ability to learn, teach, and inculcate knowledge. Education has two broad types of education such as formal and informal education. It makes us think well and decide appropriately on a task or thing. It prevents mistakes made in the past and corrects them because a little mistake can cause harm to everyone.

3. Education can be formal and informal.

Education like “religion” or “discipline is one of the most difficult phenomena to define. It is difficult to define because of its complex nature and concepts. Such nature or concepts could be formal, informal, nature and statutory or nonstatutory, institutionalized or noninstitutionalized. Many have attempted the definition but such definitions are defective and not satisfying enough. It has been defined in various ways by several authors and philosophers.

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4. Education is life.

According to the Longman Dictionary, it is teaching and learning. Education came into existence through the colonial masters (the British) who bought on the culture of little arithmetic for basic calculations, writing, and simple English, after we got colonized, education continued to advance from primary schools to secondary schools and tertiary and so on. After all, these people go to school, study, and make it in life. Some people still think education is a waste of time and money, but illiteracy is a disease. This means that education makes one to be a great person in life. It also helps the doctor who will help treat patients and reduce the death rate in the country.

5. Plato’s Definition of education

Plato (427-347 B.C.) regards education as that training which is given by suitable habits to the first instincts of virtue in children when pleasure and pain are rightly implanted in rational souls. He sees education purely as a means of character development.

6. Connor’s Definition of Education

Connor (1957) sees education as the process by which society through schools, colleagues, universities, and other institutions deliberately transmits its cultural heritage. This, however, restricts education to school alone and therefore it cannot be accepted as a true explication of what education is all about.

7. Peters’ Definition of Education

Peters (1967) defines education as a process of socialization, enculturation, and transmission of what is worthwhile to those who are committed to it, be they, children or adults. He states that education refers to a particular process; rather, it encapsulates criteria to which any of a family of processes must conform.

8. Taiwo’s definition of education

Taiwo (1990) defines education as “the training of the young with a view to their growing up and developing into adults who can fend for themselves, live in a society, and be of service to that society.

9. Dewey’s definition of education

Dewey (1944) defines education as “the means of social continuity of life.” This means that education does not end. It is a continuous process. You learn until you die, even when you die, people will continue to learn about you.

10. Chuham’s definition of education

Chatham (1978) defines “education as the shaping of behavior or modification of an individual’s behavior for adequate adjustment in the society.” This philosopher emphasizes that education reshapes the behaviors of people and changes their attitudes and character to acceptable ones.

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11. Bamisaye’s definition of education

Bamisaye (1987) defines that “education is expected to affect the social behavior of either the educated person or the person being educated: such social behavior ranges from avoidance of social crimes such as stealing, murder, rape, avoidance of abusive language, unruly behavior of any form and so on.

12. Smith’s definition of education

Smith (1957 defines “education as the formation of character and development of intelligence.” Education makes one develop good character and good behavior. It also adds to the intelligence of people.

13. Majasan’s definition of education

Majasan (1964) states that “Traditional education is to produce a good member of the community.” Traditional education is an indigenous education or home education. It is an education exposed from home about morals, values, hard work, and the like.

14. Fafunwa’s definition of education

Fafunwa (1983) defines that “the purpose of traditional education is to produce an individual that is respectful, honest, skilled, co-operative and conforms to the social order of the day.” He continues to define indigenous education as a process for transmitting knowledge either to secure social control guarantee the rational direction of society or both. All educational systems irrespective of the curriculum, methods, and organizations designed for the purpose.  He also said that traditional education is all-embracing and that every social institution involves educational activities which lead the individual to acquire behavior – patterns abilities and skills necessary for effective citizenship in the community in which he lives.

15. Okon and Anderson’s definition of education

Okon and Anderson (1982) succinctly define that “traditional education does not seem comparable to modern Western education.” Indeed, it did not include reading writing, and science in the conventional sense, but it covered many areas that are taught in schools today. When the traditional curriculum is described in terms of social studies, history, home economics, literature, music, dance, arts and crafts, religion, and vocational training, it has a surprisingly contemporary ring to it. He continues that traditional education is very pragmatic, designed to form a gateway into the life of the community. Therefore, there was no room for theoretical abstractions; instead, the goal was to inculcate a sense of responsibility to the community, to become a contributing member of the community, and to share the values and culture of the community.

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16. Osokaya’s definition of education

Osokaya (1983) defines “education as the process of cultural transmission.” He uses culture to embrace the people’s religion, commerce, political organization, science, and technology as well as all other ideas and values that permeate a society and bind its people into a recognizable unit.

17. Adesina’s definition of education

Adesina defines that “traditional education concerns itself with the teaching and learning processes of the natives.

18. Awe’s definition of education

Awe (1988) writes that “education almost defiles a complete and satisfying definition. But the Nigerian Academy of Education has for want of any other satisfactory definition adopted the definition given by the East African writer – Ngugi wa Thiongo quoted that “Education is everything.”  People will continue education because it is preferred to ignorance and investment in it will continue by individuals and groups because it is a profitable venture and a great weapon against fears and ignorance.

19. Other definitions of education

To many parents and the government, the education of the child means the learning that takes place in the school and culminates in the acquisition of certificates.

In Nigeria, education is a means of achieving the child the nation’s national objectives. The National Policy on Education which reflects the national objectives has been geared towards self-realization, individual and national efficiency, effective citizenship, and national consciousness and national unity as well as towards social, cultural, economic, political, scientific, and technological emancipation.

20. Education improves knowledge and skills.

Education is the process of teaching, training, and learning in schools and colleges to improve knowledge develop skills, and make succeed. It is a process whereby knowledge is passed to someone. It is also a learning process that teaches or educates a person about a particular thing.


As the definition of education is as difficult as this, we have worked to identify several definitions that can help you in the research and further reading. Education can take place anywhere. It is not necessary to be in a four-wall class. Learning takes place online and in other places.

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