Education is defined as acquiring skills. There are many different ways to be
educated and many subjects that can be studied. A good education is one that
teaches a student to think. This is proven by Edith Hamilton, Malcolm X, and

Adrian Rich in their works to define what they believe about learning and its
importance to our world. In Edith Hamilton\'s essay, The Ever-present Past, she
described a good education as one that is modeled after the ancient Greek\'s
ideas. She defines being educated as being "able to be caught up into a
world of thought" (752). The Greeks were taught to think. They were
cultivated on an individual level so that they knew how to conceive ideas on
their own. During the times of the ancient Greeks students were shown how to
appreciate poetry, music, arts, and mathematics. They carried their education of
thought into their government and their ways of life. The era of the ancient

Greeks was laid by the teachings of their schools and therefore helped make them
into a notable civilization. Today, Hamilton believes that with our set way of
teaching we are not encouraging individuals to think. She concludes that we are
"headed towards a standardization of minds" (756). Hamilton believes
that we need to challenge our society to shape our educational goals after those
of the Greeks. With the problems our world faces we should study how the Greeks
triumphed in a savage world and how they were educated to do so. Then maybe we
can learn how to prevent the "standardization of the minds" in our
society and avoid repeating the ill-fated history of the ancient Greeks (754).

In Malcolm X\'s, "Freedom Through Learning To Read", a chapter of his
autobiography, he describes a good education as being able to understand life.

He wrote of how he desired to acquire more knowledge. This inner struggle began
when he envied his friend\'s intelligence and when he was unable to express
himself eloquently in letters. From that point he began to read everything.

Malcolm X started by copying a dictionary to learn all the words he could. From
there he never spent fifteen minutes free time without a book (48). As he
studied the works of Mr. Elijah Muhammad he realized how the history of the
black Americans were not included in most books. He searched to find a book to
learn the history of the African-Americans and finally found a few that taught
him about slavery (49). Malcolm X said that through his domestic education a new
world had been opened up to him. He achieved his goal of learning to read and
through that obtain what is considered by many a good education. He was able to
read, understand, and form ideas and opinions based on what he had read (53).

Through reading Malcolm X was capable of expressing his own views and our
society benefited greatly from this self-educated man. In Adrienne Rich\'s,
"Claiming An Education", a speech given at Douglass College, she
describes a good or serious education as the study of languages, ideas, methods,
and values (58). Part of being educated is "refusing to let others do your
thinking, naming, or talking for you"(59). Some of the most important
things needed to fulfill intellectual independence are to learn the ways of
rationalizing, deep discussions, and writing. Rich writes about how it is our
own responsibility to claim an education and how we should not sell ourselves
short (59). In order to learn we first need to assess what we hear and read in
our courses to form an opinion (57). In order to form an opinion, Rich says that
we have to first commit ourselves to our studies and expect others to show us
respect. Rich describes an education as a commitment and a responsibility (59).

Throughout these essays the main ideas were that to be educated a student has to
be an individual and be able to think. There are many arguments over what we
should study and how we should be taught. There is no wrong or right way to
teach or certain subjects that need to be studied. As long as the students are
taught to think for themselves and have the desire to learn, they will be able
to obtain a good education.