Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, but learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy.
Pedagogy () is the discipline that deals with the theory and practice of teaching and how these influence student learning. Pedagogy informs teacher actions, judgments, and teaching strategies by taking into consideration theories of learning, understandings of students and their needs, and the backgrounds and interests of individual students. Pedagogy includes how the teacher interacts with students and the social and intellectual environment the teacher seeks to establish. Its aims may include furthering liberal education (the general development of human potential) to the narrower specifics of vocational education (the imparting and acquisition of specific skills).
Living organisms including humans are social when they live collectively in interacting populations, whether they are aware of it, and whether the interaction is voluntary or involuntary.
What spectacle can be more edifying or more seasonable, than that of Liberty & Learning, each leaning on the other for their mutual & surest support?
James Madison, letter to W. T. Barry, August 4, 1822. The Writings of James Madison, ed. Gaillard Hunt, vol. 9, p. 108 (1910). These words are inscribed to the right of the main entrance of the Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building.
Impartially their talents scan,
Just education forms the man.
John Gay, The Owl, Swan, Cock, Spider, Ass, and the Farmer. To a Mother, line 9.