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ERIC Number: ED541519
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
48 Capabilities of Highly Educated People
Greene, Richard Tabor
Online Submission, Journal of Policy Studies n29 Jul 2008
Purpose: To get beyond religious, philosophic, and political definitions of educatedness by going empirical. To redo Plato, in effect, by defining "the good" empirically. Background: This research was part of the Excellence Science (orthogonal disciplines) Research Project at the University of Chicago. That project redid Plato by defining "the good" empirically using artificial intelligence protocol analysis and total quality process modeling methods embedded in surveys and interview instruments. A sample of eminent people in 63 professions from 41 nations was asked who is top in your field and upon what capability basis did they rise to the top, producing 54 routes to the top of nearly any field, one of which was educatedness. 150 people nominated as top (5+ from each of 63 diverse occupations) in their field due to educatedness were asked what that consisted of, in constituent capability terms. This paper reports a categorical model of their answers and compares it to a categorical model from philosophers of education. Method: Finding highly educated acting people via a double nomination process used by expert system programmers. Finding their capabilities via protocol analysis from artificial intelligence expert system building and process modeling from total quality programs embedded in questionnaire and interview instruments. Sample: 8000+ people, 150 in each of 54 distinct "excellence sciences" (educatedness, effectiveness, creativity, managing complexity, handling error, etc. for 54 routes to the top of nearly any field) from 41 nations (half resident in the USA, half visiting/studying there), were given questionnaires and interviews over a period of years. Analysis: Tens of thousands of answers, that is, individual capabilities, were categories hierarchically and the final hierarchy of categories regularized fractally. The same approach was applied also to texts on educatedness by usual philosophers, politicos, and religious leaders for comparison purposes. Results: 48 capabilities of highly educated people, 3 for each of 16 categories--one such model empirically derived and another such model, for comparison, derived from texts on educatedness. Recommendations: The philosopher text-derived model emphasizes liberation and de-mystification a great deal more than the empiric model. Also, the "virtues" of the empiric model are enormously different than the 18th century style virtues some modern philosophers and educators want us to return to. The model-build and model-apply basis of modern work--so involved in the Wall Street disaster of 2008-9 appears front and center as one fourth of "educatedness" capabilities. Use of the model to assess career success, education curriculum and institution effectiveness, and assessment of biases and limitations in policy communities designing education institutions and initiatives are suggested. Additional data: A book "Are You Educated? 64 Capabilities of Highly Educated People" was derived from this article later (available at and a book "Are You Educated? EU, China, USA, Japan? 300 Capabilities from 5 Models of Educatedness" was also derived later on (and is available at
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan; United States