Is it possible for an individual to be over-educated? Discuss.

Essay by iamgreen November 2008

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The title of the story begs the question what is education. For surely an individual may be re-qualified for a particular position in society, but can an individual be over-educated depends solely on the purpose of education-either to produce an individual who has reached their full potential or to produce a useful citizen. There are three divergent theories of education< two of which emphasize the individual and one which emphasis the community.

The first theory states that the purpose of education is to promote growth and remove happening influences there by fostering an enabling environment for development of skills. If this theory is the one in question then it is not possible for an individual to be over-educated as the purpose is to maximize the potential of the individual whatever it may be.

Similarly the second theory purports the inculcation of culture and the elevation of thinking. Thus the main concern is the pinnacle of individualpotential being fully realized.

Hence there is no over-educated person as everyone is encouraged to do their individual best.

However the third theory states that the production of useful citizens is key. In this aspect individuals can be over-educated as their society might have use for them at a lower intellectual level than that which they have the capacity to attain or have already attained.

The purpose of education, then, must be clearly defined before the question of over-education can be truly answered. If the purpose lies in the full development of the human being for the achievement of their potential as an individual than it is not possible. But if the true purpose of education is the overall utility of the individual to the society then over-education of possible as the individual's potential could surpass that which is required by the society.