These four questions were asked me as part of my interview for a position at Virtual Online University:

4. What is belief?

Belief forms the greatest part of our perceptions.  Jung says that 90% of perception is projection.  The projection comes from our very being whose basis is formed by belief.  We process stimuli and shape it or "make sense" of it in order to conform to our beliefs.  Our beliefs are first formed within us unconsciously and become so central to our being that we use them to form criteria by which to judge all information.  Even Descartes seemed to use his method to confirm his original convictions.  Many of our beliefs are universal because they are based on the experiences of all human beings.  However, many are unique to certain cultures and thus create barriers to cross-cultural understanding.  The stronger we believe, the more we seem to "know."  A belief is something we assume or take on faith; for example: The sentence "I think therefore I am" requires some faith in order to accept the idea that there is an "I" to think or that "I" am doing the thinking I believe I am experiencing.  Most of us seem to have at least enough "faith" to believe we exist.

3. What is knowledge?

Knowledge seems much more difficult to come by than belief.  What most people call "truth" is actually a very strong belief; the more absolute the "truth" the stronger the belief.  Knowledge can be more easily found in the form of relationships that can be consistently communicated to and experienced by others.  Knowledge, therefore, need not be eternal, unchanging or absolute.  Again, these terms are used more often to describe our strongest beliefs.  Knowledge can be merely a consistently shared experience of relationships among perceptions which are inevitably based on belief.  Even some "faith" is required to believe that this sharing is possible.  How can we possibly know with any certainty the perceptions of someone else?  How can we know what forms the basis of those perceptions?

2. What is teaching?

Teaching can be a number of things:

It can be the communication of skills and/or ideas, that may be useful to the learner, to the learner by a teacher.

It can merely be the accumulation of information (not necessarily knowledge) and/or peceptual transformation by the learner through the help and guidance of the teacher in the role as facilitator.

It can also be a mutual quest for knowledge and/or transformation by both the learner and the teacher who is a model of a life-long learner.

The last method of teaching seems to be the most rewarding for both the "teacher" and the learner.

1. What is education?

Education is the accumulated experience of a learner inside and outside of academia.  I have found that the transformational aspects of the process of education is what is valued the most by adult learners.  Learners want to be able to find more meaning in a larger context than they have experienced previously.  They believe that a broader world-view will make them a “better person” and more useful to others.  They also believe that this broadening of perception will make them more “marketable” in our present economy.  This seems to be true for most people.  There may be many exceptions.