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Individual Development and Self-fulfillment through Education

Updated on July 7, 2017


Self-fulfilment is the realization of one’s potential through sustained achievement and effort in a given activity. Such realization is found in what most people call devotee and serious leisure work. It is also possible to achieve self-fulfilment through project-based leisure. Education should play a fundamental role in self-fulfilment, by providing opportunities that will enable individuals to realize full potential in their talents and personalities. Moreover, it should help each child to develop their interest, abilities, and potential. The teachers on the hand, should be in a position to tap into each child’s talent and potential while going a long way to develop their personalities so as to improve their lives and eventually transform the general society in the long term (Gewirth, 2009, p23-29). This paper examines the relationship of education on individual development and self fulfilment.


In order to effectively establish the link between education and self fulfilment, lets first of all revisit the definition of education. According to Stebbins (2009) education is the process of developing physical or mental powers, it maybe both informal and formal (69). The author continues to explain that education lays a foundation for a formative career. It also facilitates a person’s sense of uninterrupted, positive personal progress and attitudes as it unfolds in the course of an individual’s lifetime. Further, education and its process can be regarded as a subjective concept which can be extended into a leisure career. Leisure career according to Gordon, and Fenton (2013) is the course, passage, of a type of amateur volunteer or hobbyist that moves a person through a leisure role and eventually into a work role (p66). Most formative careers develop themselves through both informal and formal education

According to Brightbill (1961, p. 188), leisure education empowers individuals to develop appreciation, skills, interest and opportunities in a way that will enable them to make good use of their time and capability in an effective manner. When these individuals understand how to make good of their leisure and the need to develop their talents, they will be empowered not only to improve this use, but also to be more productive.

A document by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2003, p. 3) stipulates that education, including adult education enables one who has undergone through the process to develop his or her abilities, improve his or her professional or technical skills or qualifications and bring change in their behaviour or attitude in two forms: social, economic and cultural development, or personal development. This therefore implies that education reinforces the personal development of an individual alongside empowering him or her socially, culturally and even economically. This way, the person in question can be considered to have achieved not only personal development, but also self-fulfilment.


This discussion makes it clear that education reinforces an individual’s self identity, which then leads to the self awareness. This is directly linked to a person’s choice of career and subsequently the feeling of self-fulfilment. In essence, education offers opportunities for the fully development of a person’s personality and talents. Accordingly it helps one to develop his or her abilities, interest and potential. When these are effectively achieved, then a person will have achieved self-fulfilment.


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