Education with the purpose to advance knowledge for the good of all men transcends all ethno-racial, socio-economical, religious, and geo-political boundaries. The rise and fall of nations is determined by the quality of its education. Nations with higher priority investments in education make individuals into effective workers and executives who contribute towards building their nations by contributing to their organizations. Such nations lead other nations. However, when knowledge is suppressed, and education is controlled through oppressive educational philosophies, education can tear down its citizens resulting in chaotic, dictatorial, societies which sooner or later will implode. Therefore, education for the pursuit of knowledge in all disciplines with the intention of building up students can have positive effects on societies and nations. It encourages students to be innovative and imaginative in their approach to life and knowledge. This makes students into effective workers.
In my view, effectiveness is a learned experience, and education with the right intentions can form healthy attitudes toward productivity. Each student needs to be directed to such learning experiences where neither position nor possession is viewed as the determining factor of success. Drucker (2006) addresses everyone who, as a knowledge worker, is responsible for actions and decisions that are meant to contribute to the performance capacity of his or her organization. According to him, whether a chief executive or a beginner, he or she needs to be effective. He believes that effectiveness can be learned and calls executives, knowledge workers, managers, or individual professionals who are expected by virtue of their position or their knowledge to make decisions in the normal course of their work that have a significant impact on the performance and results of the whole.
Students need to understand that life is bigger than one’s career, and effectiveness should be the goal of one’s career choice. It is essential for an executive to be an effective worker. There are lots of managers in organizations who are not executives. They are simply superiors of others, yet they do not contribute any effectiveness toward the organization’s performance. They work as overseers and manage the work of others.
Students need to understand that it is inevitable that people under a manager can be executives, regardless of their limited resources and authorities. They are focused on their ability to change and contribute towards the progress of an organization or a nation through their effective work and decision making. In the process of learning effectiveness, it is crucial to understand what is meant by “knowledge work.” Knowledge work is not defined by quantity or costs, but by its results. An individual market researcher with knowledge and vision can be equally productive without staff compared to a manager who has many people working in market research. Such a manager may be so busy managing as to not have time for market research and for fundamental decisions.
As a Christian educator, I find a deep connection between education, life, and faith that offers an opportunity to bring positive change to every world citizen. My Christian worldview informs me that knowledge does not come from only text books, but from the practical experiences of life. Life itself is a life-long learning process which enhances one’s docile attitude toward knowledge and practice in order to make him or her immune to ignorant behaviors. The source of such knowledge is often invincible and absolute. Bringing others out of ignorance to knowledge through education does not mean they are erudite citizens of the world unless they are directed by supernatural intrusion (God) to give up on their antagonistic behavior and patron of life. Chilcott, Greenberg, & Wilson (1968) insist, “In America, education itself is a value; it is to education that the citizen often turns as he seeks satisfaction and meaning for his life” (p.162). The American nation as a whole gets its first knowledge of values from public schools. In this regard “the task of education is acculturative, and the discontinuity between the school and other socializing agents in the community may have far reaching effects on the behavior and participation level of these individuals as adults” (p.162).
Two of my doctoral degrees are in education and I consider it my obligation as an educator to lay the groundwork for my students to discover a similar rhythm in life that allows them to slow down and discover what is essential to their lives and how their choice of career can help us all. The answer may lead them to pursuing art, law, medicine, or a seminary degree, but at their core they will have a deep personal conviction for what they end up doing post academic education.