50 Characteristics Of An Educated Person

by Marelisa

educated personLast night I was asking myself these two questions: Who is an educated person? What does someone have to know in order to be considered an educated person?

I did some research in order to be able to answer these questions. After reading several lists of the characteristics of an educated person—including Harvard and Princeton University’s lists–I came up with the following list of the 50 characteristics of an educated person:

1. An educated person has the ability to think clearly and independently.

2. An educated person has good judgment.

3. An educated person knows how to learn.

4. An educated person knows how to acquire desired skills by identifying and utilizing available resources, deconstructing the process required for learning a particular skill, and experimenting with potential approaches.

5. An educated person has the ability to take initiative and work alone.

6. An educated person has the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas in writing, clearly and concisely.

7. An educated person has the ability to speak clearly.

8. An educated person has the ability to reason analytically and critically.

9. An educated person has the ability to think inductively and deductively.

10. An educated person questions assumptions.

11. An educated person doesn’t blindly accept what they are told; they go see for themselves. They can discern truth from error, regardless of the source.

12. An educated person knows how to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information (between the important and the trivial).

13. An educated person knows how to make productive use of knowledge; they know where to get the knowledge that they need, and they have the ability to organize that knowledge into a plan of action that is directed to a definite end.

14. An educated person understands human nature and has the ability to establish, maintain, and improve lasting relationships.

15. An educated person knows how to establish rapport with others; they know how get others to trust and respect them.

16. An educated person knows how to cooperate and collaborate effectively with others.

17. An educated person knows how to resolve conflicts with others.

18. An educated person knows how to persuade others.

19. An educated person has the ability to conceptualize and solve problems.

20. An educated person knows how to make decisions.

21. An educated person has the ability to see connections among disciplines, ideas and cultures.

22. An educated person is able to cross disciplinary boundaries and explore problems and their solutions from multiple perspectives.

23. An educated person is someone who has been educated holistically: creatively, culturally, spiritually, morally, physically, technologically, and intellectually.

24. An educated person has a broad liberal-arts education. They have a good overview of the following subjects: the natural sciences; the social sciences; history; geography; literature; philosophy; and theology.

25. An educated person has depth of knowledge—that is, specialized knowledge–in a particular field.

26. An educated person has achieved victory over themselves; they know how to withstand discomfort in the short term in order to achieve important goals in the long term.

27. An educated person has the capacity to endure and persevere.

28. An educated person is self-aware; they know how to perceive and manage their own internal states and emotions.

29. An educated person knows where and how to focus their attention.

30. An educated person has ethical values and has integrity.

31. An educated person has the ability and the discipline to do what is right.

32. An educated person has cultural sophistication.

33. An educated person has equal esteem for everyone, without regard to gender, race, religion, country of origin, and so on.

34. An educated person understands their obligation to leave the world a little better than they found it.

35. An educated person is capable of doing new things; they have the ability to generate ideas and turn them into reality. An educated person is innovative.

36. An educated person is one whose natural curiosity has been awakened with the purpose of satisfying that curiosity.

37. An educated person has the ability to identify needed behaviors and traits and turn them into habits.

38. An educated person has the ability to identify harmful behaviors and traits—including thinking habits that are not serving them well—and the ability to modify them.

39. An educated person has the ability to keep their life in proper balance.

40. An educated person has the flexibility to admit when they’re wrong.

41. An educated person has quantitative literacy; they know how to use arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and statistics to solve problems.

42. An educated person can speak at least one language other than their own.

43. An educated person has financial literacy; they have the knowledge necessary to make sound financial decisions.

44. An educated person is adaptable and knows how to deal with change.

45. An educated person knows how to handle ambiguity.

46. An educated person has the ability to explore alternative viewpoints.

47. An educated person has aesthetic appreciation; they can sing and dance well, play at least one musical instrument, and can appreciate architecture, great art, and other expressions of creative genius.

48. An educated person has developed the personal philosophy that will allow them to be happy and successful.

49. An educated person has the ability and the discipline to constantly improve.

50. An educated person has the ability to pursue lifelong learning.

Conclusion

I consider the 50 characteristics above to be those that are necessary in order to be a well educated person. In turn, being an educated person is an essential prerequisite for living your best life.

Do you agree that a person should have the characteristics listed above in order to be considered an educated person? Is there something missing from the list? Please share in the comments section.

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5. How to Write a Personal Manifesto

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