It is widely known that not everyone holds the same concept of education. From my perspective, education is mainly a tool that allows people to take full advantage of their innate potential. With this in mind, it is important to assess the power of education; therefore, the following question becomes the focus of this reflection: can education transform a person into someone completely different? The answer is yes and no, but to understand why, we must investigate the topic of human nature.
Steven Pinker, the famous American evolutionary psychologist, presents human nature as a mix of nature and nurture. He criticizes the theory of the blank slate (based on nurture only), which presents humans as having no genetic predisposition. In the same way, he advocates that human behavior is composed of 50% of genes (nature) and 50% of social context (nurture). As a result, half of what we are is already predetermined; thus, we cannot change it unless we manipulate our genetics, which is not easy to do these days. So we are left with the other 50% of nurture that we can use to change people and in which education plays an important role. This brings us back to the question posed in the beginning: can education transform a person into someone completely different? If we consider that humans are blank slates, then the answer is yes, a person can be fully transformed by education; on the other hand, if we consider the full picture by taking into account both nature and nurture, then the answer is no, education can only partially change a person and the innate part of humans cannot be changed by those means. As I see it, education is needed to provide opportunities for all, not to provide equal — or even similar — results, but to allow people to get the best out of themselves. Consequently, I see education as an opportunity and not as an end.
Higher education is as important as any other type of education; still, it should not be seen as the ultimate goal of every human being. Moreover, it is safe to say that not everyone likes to deal with intellectuality. Some people prefer to take short professional courses and they should not be regarded as inferior in any way. It is quite clear, society needs all sorts of activities to fill the needs of the market. In a society in which most people choose to get higher education, the plumber will earn more money — and be more useful — than a doctor or a lawyer. In the end, the law of supply and demand is always the one that decides what is more valuable, regardless of what we may choose. In the end, maybe higher education is a path that should not be considered as higher, but just as another way of life.