Contents of Education

An Islamic Perspective towards Philosophy of Education

Introduction

Philosophy is the study of realities, pursuit of wisdom, and commentary on general principles of life. It is concerned with a search of eternal truth, both conceptual as well as practical. It has five areas of search – Epistemology, Metaphysics, Aesthetics, Ethics and History. The instrument used by philosophy to unearth realities or to discover truth is logic, both inductive as well deductive. Educational philosophy is a branch of general philosophy, it gains strength from epistemology. It formulates the aims and objectives or contents of education that, in turn, influence the whole learning environment, society, and future generations.

Philosophy of education is based on general principles of psychology, sociology, politics, economics, history, science, and religion. Education is dualistic phenomenon; it is static as well as dynamic. The major portion is dynamic or provisional and adjusts with the change and growth in knowledge, social structure, and civilization, while the minor but vital portion is static or eternal. We proposed that the contents of education are eternal while the application and explanation of these contents, a major portion, is dynamic. We assumed multi-disciplinary approach towards contents of education. The analysis accommodates the needs of individuals, society, and time and encompasses the cultural, social, and vocational aims of education.

Education may be formal as well as informal. The formal education is given in schools or colleges or universities, on the other hand informal education is obtained and absorbed from society and environment. Education, formal & informal, is developed and internalized in one’s personality through reflection and experience. It means all of us are learners during our lifetime. However, we are going to analyze the philosophy (aims & objectives) of formal education. Moreover, education has three levels – primary, secondary, and higher. Primary education deals with infants of 3 to 11 years old, secondary education covers teenagers of 12 to 18 years, and higher education shapes young learners of above 18 years. A distinctive approach is required for each level of education.

The contents of education vary from community to community. A secular society would have a different approach towards contents as compare to some ideological society. Moreover, the explanation or implementation of contents would be different in different societies. Our analysis is ideological and dominantly based on Islamic view towards education.

Terminology

The term “education” has been derived from the Latin words Educare, Educatum, or Educere. Educatum and educare mean to train and to nourish, while educere mean to lead out. The former implies that education is something external; to be imposed or put in from outside, it means the external environment plays a decisive role in learning process. The latter indicate growth from within; it means internal potentialities of an individual are decisive in learning process, the external environment has secondary role in educational process. Naturalists / Psychologists gave more importance to internal dispositions of learning process while the social philosophers put major stress on external demands of educational process. We assumed a mixed and balanced approach towards role and importance of internal-external environment of learning process.

Definition

Aristotle defined education as process necessary for the creation of a sound mind in a sound body, according to him, the aim & objective of education is to create good and virtuous citizens. Ibne Khaldun, in fourteenth century, expresses the view that education consists off intellectual, social, and moral training through which hidden potentialities are developed, traits of character are built and culture of the people is conveyed to the coming generations. Dewey, in twentieth century, defined education in these words: “Education is a process of living through a continuous reconstruction of experiences. It is development of all those capacities in the individual that will enable him to control his environment and fulfill his possibilities.” We may define education as, Education is the mean whereby adults pass on and inculcates to children their knowledge, thought-pattern, and behavior pattern and develop their genetic potential to manage existing and future challenges.

Aims & Objectives – Islamic View

Islam is Divine religion. It is based on revealed book, Quran, and prophetic commentary, Hadith. The foremost responsibility and ultimate purpose of prophets and Revealed Books are to educate the mankind for better, happy, and purposeful life. They specify the purpose of life, outline the procedure to actualize it, and present a practical example of purposeful life. Thus, the aims and objectives of education or contents of education can be understood from the last Revealed Book, Al-Quran. We quote a verse of Al-Quran,

“Undoubtedly Allah did confer a great favor on the Muslims when He raised an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them the Revelations of Allah, and causeth them to grow, and teacheth them the Scripture and Wisdom whereas they were in manifest error before.” (Al-Quran)

The verse identifies aims and objectives of education. These are:

Faith Plantation
Knowledge Advancement
Wisdom Enhancement
Manner Development

A. FAITH

The word faith has various meanings and uses, however, the central meaning is similar to “conviction”, “belief”, “trust” or “confidence”, but unlike these terms, “faith” tends to imply a submissive and transpersonal relationship with God or with someone having superior powers. Faith is founded on certain beliefs; beliefs’ indispensability to faith is just like seeds’ inevitability to plants. A belief system has certain perceptual ingredients with practical implications. A living faith must fulfill two conditions, the necessary condition is logical reasoning and sufficient condition is practical fruits for believers / mankind. A living faith gives stability to the believer, creates dynamism in one’s personality, brings fruits in one’s life, promotes cohesiveness among the believers, and assigns a specific shape to a group with peculiar traits.

We mention a few verses of the Holy Quran to outline and explain the basic elements of Islamic Faith.

“A Glorious Book this! Which has nothing of doubt in it; it is guidance for the God-conscious who fear Allah. Those who believe in the Unseen and establish prayer and spend in Our way out of what We have provided them. And those who believe in that which has been sent down to you (O My Apostle) and in that which was sent down before you, and they also have faith in the August Day of Judgment. They are the ones who are rightly guided, and verily it is they who are successful in both the worlds.” (Al-Quran)

The first thing that the Quran does it removes the element of doubt, which is the foremost requisite of modern philosophy by introducing the faith as a fundamental factor behind reality. Doubt is a negative factor that hinders the exact understanding of reality; curiosity is far better alternate to doubt for knowledge development or to unearth realities. The faith concomitantly presupposes some obligatory beliefs – Unity of God, Unseen System (Angels, Heaven, Hell, etc.), Revealed Books, Institution of Prophets, Day of Judgment, Fate, and Life after Death. In addition, it imposes some obligations on believers – Kalimah (a confession of faith), prayer, fasting, alms giving, and pilgrimage. It is noteworthy that the idea of Unity of God must create the belief of mankind’s unity.

The Islamic approach towards faith is that it is revealed, explained, and planted through reverent personalities, i.e., prophets; a faith based on personal reasoning is not acceptable in Islam, the finality of prophets’ wording about faith elements is also essential. In addition, a loving and trustful posture towards prophets is fundamental for complete faith, without it faith is incomplete or objectionable. The very foundation of faith is thus love and submission to a reverent personality or a prophet. Simply, faith can be defined as accepting something true which has been told by someone who is believed to be trustworthy / praiseworthy.

The object behind development of faith is to make stable and balance psycho-spiritual formation of human personality. The prophets are sent as practical role modals and revealed books are accompanied as permanent working manual for guideline. The ultimate aim of developing faith elements is to equip the individual with necessary working tools to manage and tackle the conceptual or practical issues of life, either, big or small, simple or complex, independent or interlinked, a few or many, with fortitude and firmness. Thus, determination is necessary outcome of faith, no determination, than no faith.

Islam vehemently put forward two aspects of faith – human and transcendental. The human aspects propose the concept of unity of mankind, while the transcendental aspects propose the idea of Unity of God. Faith is incomplete if one aspect is ignored or not forcefully defined. In addition, the ignorance of one aspect makes the human personality lopsided and unstable. The repercussions of wrong belief about unity of mankind and Unity of God are manifold and penetrating to each and every aspect of human society. It can lead the nations into some kind of continuous strife and belligerent attitude towards each other. Moreover, the effects of wrong belief go beyond the present generations’ outlook and disturb the peace and tranquility of future generations, as well.

B. KNOWLEDGE

It is the understanding of the factual/declarative, procedural and conceptual aspects of something that a person acquires through education, observation and experience. Acquisition of knowledge is basic demand of human nature. It plays vital role in growth and development of a person or a nation.

1. Bases of Human Knowledge: -Let us quote some verses of the Quran on the subject:

And recall when your Lord said to the angels: “I am going to appoint a vice-regent in the earth.” They said: “Will You set in the earth such as will make mischief and cause bloodshed, whereas we celebrate Your praise and glorify You.” Allah said:” Surely I know that which you know not.”And Allah taught Adam the names of all things. Then He set them before the angels saying: “Tell Me the names of these if you are really truthful (in your opinion)” They said: “Glory to You! We have no knowledge what You have taught us. In truth, You alone are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”

Allah said:’ O Adam! Tell them the names of these things.” Then Adam had told the angels the names of those things, Allah said: “Did I not tell you that I know full well all the hidden mysteries of the heavens and the earth and I know whatever you disclose and whatever you have been concealing?

The verses manifest that the human nature has been made inherently fit and capable of receptivity and absorption of Divine Knowledge. Moreover, Adam’s knowledge has ability to conceptualize the things in nature. Thirdly, man has ability to develop language because Adam assigned names to items without prior formal training. These verses also show that the first man of the earth came down fully abreast of scientific knowledge, in full monopoly to develop it for natural conquest. According to Quran, than the program of human activity should proceed hand in hand with the divine cooperation and blessing, before the plan was being carried on unilaterally in which God has no vice-regent. The verses also indicate that a man has free will to choose right or wrong path of life. There is no external compulsion on his free choice. The verses also indicate that the mankind has strong tendency towards injustice and strife, however, it can be managed through human knowledge and is restrained by the Will of God.

2. Types of knowledge: -Knowledge can be classified into following groups:

Natural Sciences: -Natural sciences deals with inanimate objects of universe. The major branches are physics, chemistry, and astronomy.
Biological Sciences: -Biological Sciences deals with animate objects of universe. The major branches are zoology, botany, and psychology.
Social Sciences: -Social Sciences deals with collective life and relationship between individual and society. The major branches are sociology, political science, and economics.
Professional Sciences: -Professional Sciences deals with professions of individuals necessary for human survival / quality of life. The major branches are medicine, engineering, and commerce.

Islam accepts the scientific classification of knowledge, however, it proposed a broader taxonomy of knowledge for mankind:-

First, Absolute verses Dubious Knowledge. The absolute knowledge is based on some scientific facts or given through some reverent personality (i.e., prophets) in a shape of Revealed Book (e.g., Quran). The dubious knowledge is based on subjective analysis (e.g., the theory of psycho-analysis proposed by Freud.). Second, Fruitful verses Fruitless Knowledge. The fruitful knowledge gives benefit to mankind (e.g., natural sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, and, professional sciences.) while the fruitless knowledge is of no use for mankind (e.g., occult sciences).

3. Aspects of Knowledge: -A peace of knowledge can be broken into three categories or has three aspects – Declarative, Procedural & Conceptual.

Declarative Knowledge: -It is knowledge about something, e.g., structure of body, structure of computer, format of earth, and parts of speech. It deals with WHAT type of questions.
Procedural Knowledge: -It is knowledge about the procedures and sequences. It narrates and explains procedures & sequences of any compiled information or data, that is, it deals with HOW & WHEN type of questions. For example, HOW computer is manufactured or used, WHEN computer is ready to use or sale.
Conceptual Knowledge: -It is knowledge of concepts working behind the declarative and procedural knowledge. It is abstract aspect of knowledge. In conceptual knowledge, the relationship among concepts is also discussed. It deals with WHY type of questions. For example, the mathematical concepts and their relationship with each other that provide basis to the working of computer hardware or software.

C. WISDOM

Knowledge enables us to understand the realties of things (i.e., Divine Scheme of Creation, Natural System of Growth, natural forces, and history) and wisdom equip us with abilities to utilize the realities for the benefit of self and others. According to Islam, wisdom is higher level attribute, it comes after knowledge. Wisdom is bestowed when will of man is replaced by Will of God and human understanding is fully exploited, thus, wisdom is based on knowledge and intellect. Let us quote a verse to make it clear:

“He bestows wisdom upon whom He will, and whosoever is granted wisdom he is indeed granted abundant good and none accepts admonition except men of understanding.”

(Al-Quran)

Islam proposed two diagonally opposites aspects of wisdom – Divine Wisdom and devil wisdom. The Divine Wisdom is based on right faith and fruitful knowledge and produce good results for self and mankind, materially as well as spiritually, while the devil wisdom is based on wrong faith and fruitless knowledge and leads the mankind towards only worldly or material benefits, completely ignoring the benefits of others and spiritual benefits. The devil wisdom guides for self benefits at the cost of others, however, the devil / worldly wisdom is short-lived and weak, ultimately fails to materialize her lopsided designs.

Character-Sketch of a Wise Person

Wisdom is personalized, established, and manifested through struggle. A person fully involved in chores of life would qualify for wisdom. Seclusion or solitude is very negation of wisdom, while the participation is very basis of wisdom. A wise person pursue his goals/responds the problems of life with certain characteristics. These characteristics are essential working tools of a wise individual that give him/her edges over non-wise. The prominent attributes of a wise person are – Effective Communication, Enthusiasm, Discipline or Rigor, Decision Power, Sense of Responsibility, Moderate Behavior, Self-Confidence or High Morale or Courage, and Appropriate Appearance.

D. BEST MANNERS

Manners are countless, structurally, and diverse, practically. However, the essence of good manners is constant for all and sundry, it is humility. Humility is unique positive attribute of human personality; it is an attribute as well as essence of every positive attribute. Absence of humility makes the existence of all manners a soul-less ritual unable to produce fruitful results for self and others. A proud person is ill-mannered and creates problems for self and others.

Manners have two aspects – inner and outer. Inwardly, manners are shaped by dynamic organization of all the perceptions, intentions, and emotions of an individual and the behavior that results from the organization of these aspects, while, outwardly; they are shaped by social acceptance of behavior. Simply,conformity to some rationally defined and morally established interactive standards is considered best manners. Manners are developed under the guidance of intellect, knowledge, wisdom, social norms, and religion. They are time-honored phenomena. The reasonably/indisputably evolved set of manners creates order, consistency and continuity in one’s life and gives beautiful look to an individual or society. Manners are forerunner of culture and give longevity to civilizations. A society of ill-mannered persons will not be able to survive, at least with respect and recognition.

Bases of Best Manners

Man is combination of three basic realities, i.e., body, mind, and soul. Body has certain physical needs for survival or continuation of life such as food, water, and sleep, mind has some instinctual desires for interactive life such as parental instinct, gregarious instinct, learning instinct, and sex instinct, and soul has some ingrained urges towards moral excellence. Body needs are fulfilled by physical powers, psychological instincts are satisfied by mind powers such as will-power, decision-power, and emotional-power, soul urges are calmed by spiritual powers such as insight and intuition. A sustained manifestation of countless human efforts to satisfy body needs, psychological instincts, and soul urges shapes human personality. In addition, physical balance or health depends on diet, leisure time, proper sleep, and constructive physical activities. Mind normality or peace of mind hinges on positive approach towards intentions, perceptions and emotions. Soul is satisfied by rationally-intuitively defined belief system. A balanced approach towards physical health, mental satisfaction, and spiritual contentment give shape to mannered personality. Moreover, a mannered life is formed and improved through several group interactions such as social relations, economic dealings, political contacts, and customary connections.

Concluding Remarks

The aforementioned elaboration about contents of education – faith, knowledge, wisdom & personality traits or manners – manifests that educational institutions should have a comprehensive approach towards learning. They plant FAITH, give KNOWLEDGE, equip with WISDOM and develop PERSONALITY / MANNERS to face existing and upcoming challenges of life. Each aspect has its own importance and indispensability, one cannot be left at the expense of other, and all is needed. It is noteworthy that only a content-based educational system can produce fruits for society, coming generations and concerned individuals. On the bases of whole analysis, we propose two sample Mission Statements of educational institutions.

Sifting Through the Noise With Annuity Quotes

When people purchase high dollar items, they tend to investigate all their options and hunt until they find just the right one for their situation. That is, unless it’s a financial product. In that case, often they purchase one that the first silver tongued representative shows them without doing any research. It’s important to know what you need and find just the right product. Annuity quotes help you do that without the additional muss and fuss of trying to find all the research on your own. That is, of course, if the annuity quotes come from an educational site that doesn’t sell products.

Most people don’t realize that there are sites that offer annuity quotes. They also don’t realize how easy these sites make it to compare products from many different companies. Often individuals rely on the word of the sales representative simply because they don’t understand much of the terminology of financial products. That’s another reason the informational sites are important. They not only provide annuity quotes, they also provide background information to help you make a wise decision.

Annuity quotes are particularly important if you’re purchasing a variable annuity. There are a great many different options from which to select on these policies. Each option varies from company to company. You could find the same information yourself, but it would take hours of web searching. The sites that offer independent annuity quotes help you do the same thing in minutes.

Fixed annuities are also different. Each product contains a different rate of return but they also have different provisions such as surrender periods and penalty free money. The surrender period is on all types of annuities. A surrender period is the length of time you must keep the money in the policy. If you remove it before that time is up, you pay a penalty that often reduces on a sliding scale. Some companies have short surrender periods while others may extend the period indefinitely unless you annuitize.

Penalty free funds also exist in most policies. In some fixed and variable policies the company allows access to simply the growth of the money or interest in the policy. Other policies with far more liberal wording allow you to access 10 percent of the balance and make cumulative if you don’t use it in one year. Annuity quotes help you find the policies with the most liberal rules.

Indexed annuities also come with a variety of difference. The indexed annuities give a lower base rate and allow you to participate in a particular index’s growth, such as the S&P 500. The percentage of participation, the cap and the index used all vary. In addition, base rates also vary. Annuity quotes help you identify the perfect indexed annuity for your situation.

Immediate annuities can be any type of annuity where you take an immediate payment. Each of these are different and you can’t compare policies unless you know the actual amount of payment. Annuity quotes for these types of policies are particularly important. Even though you may know the rate of return for a fixed annuity, when you annuitize the product a different return is used to calculate the premium. Only comparing payment to payment can help find the best product.

No matter what type of annuity you wish to purchase or even if you need to find out if a product is right for you, educational sites that offer annuity quotes can help you sift through all the information and make the right decision. Not every annuity is perfect for each individual just as not every car fits everyone’s needs, that’s why it’s important to compare and know what is crucial for your financial health.

Starting Kids Out On STEM Education

Many parents in the U.S. feel as though they’ve received a good education and they think their children are getting the same. But many don’t know that the U.S has been gradually falling behind the rest of the world in the so-called STEM areas — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. American students ranked only 17th in a 2009 study by the program for International Students Assessment. Moreover, since 1960 the percentage of bachelor or graduate degrees in the STEM areas has dropped to 8% from 17%, indicating that the problem is serious in higher education as well.

This is a tragic turn of events considering that the STEM areas are the foundation of progress and innovation and were prevalent in our country throughout the twentieth century. American innovations transformed our nation with strides in manufacturing, transportation, communication, electronics and space exploration, at the same time that American computer technology was transforming the world.

These same fields will be the foundation of jobs and careers of the future. Computers are proliferating as tools in every field of human endeavor. Science and mathematics are now widely used in planning and statistical analysis giving us new answers in medicine, ecology, energy and commerce where none existed before. World dependence on digital technology is growing exponentially, and with it is the need for competent science and technology professionals.

There are initiatives underway within educational circles to help correct the situation, and there is a growing consensus among business and corporate leadership that funding and incentives must be provided to move things along faster. There are determined efforts within the government to rapidly locate and train teachers and educators in the STEM fields using incentives like scholarships and loan forgiveness. There are also initiatives to improve teaching and learning techniques to help increase the quality and reduce the time involved in the uptake of STEM knowledge.

But initiatives aren’t enough by themselves. Parents also play a critical role.

As a parent, you can help your child get prepared for the careers and jobs of the future, all of which will require knowledge and skills in science, technology engineering or mathematics. Children today are so inundated with technology that they take it for granted. Technology, to a kid, is commonplace, as prevalent as the clothes they wear and the chairs they sit in, as ordinary as the plastic or cardboard in which electronic devices are delivered. To them, everything is “awesome”, and when everything is “awesome”, nothing is truly extraordinary.

You can help them gain an appreciation for science and technology. – not by relating stories of your childhood when such marvels were non-existent, or when you actually had to turn a dial on a telephone and wait for it to click through the numbers – but by presenting them with thought problems. What would they do if their smartphone suddenly stopped working? How would they find out how to get to a friend’s house if Google maps didn’t exist? How would they find out about the life of Thomas Jefferson if there was no internet? Ask them to accomplish a variety of intellectual task without using a computer or smartphone. If you need to, help them research the answers.

Encourage them to think about how computer games are made, how motion pictures are written, planned and produced, how various products are designed and how the tools and machines to produce them are developed.

Provide them with an enriched environment. Surround them with books that explain their world in words and pictures. Encourage them to watch documentaries of interest – videos that demonstrate the making of various toys and products or exploration of faraway places. Provide them with toys that are designed to encourage curiosity, imagination and creativity.

Play with them. Engage them in conversation and encourage them to “think up” things to do, games to play and things to build. The more you can get them to use their brains actively rather than passively, the more likely they are to become independent, productive adults with knowledge and skills that will carry them through a successful career.

And finally, help them by setting the example. Let them see you reading, writing, sketching solutions, making calculations, and approaching technology fearlessly and with curiosity and amazement. Express appreciation for the engineering and imagination that goes into games and other products. Talk with them about the role of scientists, engineers and mathematicians in society.

Help them to understand that these are fascinating fields of study that can turn into lucrative careers. Help them understand that these are easier and more promising ways to be successful than to become a movie star, musician, or a major league ball player.

Why Get an Auto Loan Quote Before Visiting the Dealer?

Would you go to the grocer without money and coupons in your pockets? Neither would I. But that’s what most people do when they go to the dealership to purchase a vehicle!

Let’s continue to use the grocery store analogy for a moment. You’ve filled your cart, you’re at the check out and your bill comes to a whopping $400 dollars. But, ah ha! You realized that you have coupons that you clipped totaling 25% in savings. That’s $100 off your bill! But here’s the catch. You left the coupons on the kitchen table. Do you think the check out person is going to trust you to go home and bring back the $100 dollars in coupons? You know the answer.

So why would anyone go into a dealership to buy a car without their coupons? And we’re not talking $400 dollars. We could be talking about $4,000.00 to $40,000.00 thousand dollars depending on the vehicle. But the reality is that most people put more planning into going to the grocery store!

Before you make your next vehicle purchase make sure that you have all your coupons. And by coupons I mean know your interest rate and the amount of months to pay back your loan. Knowing these two things can save you over $4,000.00 on a 48 month auto. Here’s how:

Two people go into the same dealership to purchase a $20,000 vehicle using the same buying terms EXCEPT the interest rates are different.

Buyer 1 comes in pre-qualified for a 4% rate, puts $1,000 dollars down and has a 48 month payment of $429. She pays a total of $20,592 for a 48 month loan.

Buyer 2 comes in submits an application at the dealership, he puts $1,000 dollars down and has a 48 month payment of $528.78. He pays a total of $25,381.44 for a 48 month loan. His interest rate is a whopping 15%! And he paid $4,789.00 dollars more for the exact same vehicle!

This happens everyday at dealerships across the nation. Now granted, interest rate is based upon credit. So the person that pays 15% may be getting the best rate based upon his or her credit and other factors. But wouldn’t you like to know that before entering a dealership?

All dealerships are in business to make money or they would be quickly out of business. Dealerships also deal with the educated and uneducated consumer. Take a guess on who they make the most money from? So, which consumer do you want to be?

So what’s the difference between the educated and the uneducated consumer? Simple, the educated consumer gathers their facts and figures before coming into the dealership. The days of driving from dealership to dealership are quickly fading. Educated consumers are time challenged and looking for convenient – One stop shopping.

So how do you become the educated? Get the dealerships to send you quotes by email, compare them and make them an offer. They are in business to sell autos!

Here’s the 4 step plan:

1.) Submit your online application ONCE and get quotes from 5 different dealers (Convenience).

2.) Compare offers from the competing dealerships.

3.) Make your offer.

4.) Pick up your vehicle!

How to Write an Education Business Proposal

Do you have an idea for a new educational program or service? Maybe you want to apply for a government grant for an after-school program for middle school kids, organize a private high school, or develop a network of tutors for hire.

How are you going to get the money you need and explain your ideas to the influential people who can make it happen? The best way is to master the art of writing a proposal.

If you are replying to an RFP (Request for Proposal) or applying for a specific grant, you need to follow any instructions specified in the RFP or grant application as precisely as possible. An RFP response typically requires combining government agency forms with topics you need to write from scratch – based on what the RFP asks you talk about.

All proposals follow a basic structure: introduction, the recipient/client-oriented section, the description of proposed goods and/or services, and then the proposal writer/supplier-oriented section. The content of each section will vary from one proposal to the next, but this sequence of sections should stay the same.

Let’s break down those sections further. The introduction section is the shortest. The very first thing you’ll want for your proposal is a Cover Letter. A Cover Letter should be brief, and it should contain the following four elements: a brief explanation of who you are, a statement about why you are submitting this proposal at this time, a statement of what you want the reader to do after reading your proposal–call for a meeting, sign the contract, etc., and all your contact information so the reader can easily call you with questions or to accept your proposal.

The very first page of your proposal package should be a Title Page–just name your proposal something appropriate, like “Advanced Science Seminars Offered for the Jacobi School Gifted Program” or “Proposal to Create a New Charter School in the West Valley School District.” Next, if your proposal is long and detailed, you may want an Executive Summary or Client Summary Page, which is a summation of the most important points you want to make, and a Table of Contents to help readers easily see the contents and navigate through the proposal. That’s all for the introduction section.

The next section should be focused on the proposal recipient or client. Depending on what you are proposing, the readers you want to target might be members of a grant committee, potential students, parents of students, teachers, school administrators, a loan committee, or a governmental organization. It’s important to consider them carefully, and tailor your information to them. What do they want to know? What concerns might they have? Are there scheduling or budget restrictions? At the very least, this client-oriented section should have a Requirements page that summarizes what they have asked for, or what you believe they need. You may also want pages like Schedule, Deadlines, Limitations, Budget, Goals, Considerations, Special Needs, and so forth, to describe in detail your understanding of what the client needs. This is not yet the time to brag about your proposed program or your organization. Keep this section focused on information about what the client wants or needs.

The next section is a description of your ideas. Be sure to match them up with the previous section, explaining how you can address the client’s needs, how the client will benefit from your proposed program, and what your proposal will cost to implement. Don’t use generic sales jargon. Instead, be as specific as possible about what you plan to do. This section could contain a wide variety of topic pages, like Classes, Equipment, Schedule, Staff, Venues, Tutoring, Testing, Mentoring, Evaluation, and so forth–you’ll include whatever you need to thoroughly describe your proposal. At a bare minimum, you’ll want a Services Offered, Benefits, and a Cost Summary page in this section.

After you have thoroughly described what you want to do and how much it will cost, it’s time to tell the proposal readers all about you in the final section. What makes you or your organization qualified to take on this job? It’s not enough to simply say “I can do it” or boast about how smart you are. Keep in mind that it’s always best to provide evidence or testimonials from other parties than to do your own bragging. Do you have special Training, Certifications, or Education? Do you have an extensive Company History, a long list of Clients, or years of Experience in the field? Have you won Awards? Do you have Testimonials or Case Studies to offer to show how you have been successful in the past? Include any information that helps persuade the clients that you have the knowledge and professionalism to carry out your proposal promises.

At this point, you will have completed the first draft of your proposal. Congratulations! Now for the finishing touches. Have a qualified proofreader or editor read through your draft and fix any grammatical or spelling errors. It’s always best to enlist someone who is not familiar with your ideas to do this. That person is much more likely to catch errors and ask important questions than someone who knows your proposal well. It would be especially embarrassing to submit an error-ridden proposal for an education project, wouldn’t it?

After the words are perfect, make sure each page looks good, too. You might want to use visual details like splashes of color in titles or special bullet points to add interest, but keep the overall look professional.

That’s it! Print out your proposal or package it into a PDF file, and deliver it to the client or committee. Be sure to use whichever delivery method was specified by the client, or deliver it in the way you believe will most impress the recipients (email, upload to a web server, print and mail, etc.). Remember, you want your proposal to succeed, not end up in the heap with a hundred others, so it might be worthwhile to hand-deliver it or use another special method. Then, after a reasonable period of time, follow up with a phone call to make sure your proposal was received and give the clients a chance to ask questions.

After you have written one proposal, you’ll find that the next one is easier and faster to write, and that you can re-use a lot of the same information in multiple proposals. But it’s important to customize each one to the specific recipient; that’s the difference between proposal writing and mass marketing.

Proposal writing packages can make your proposal writing and formatting easier. A pre-designed proposal kit will include hundreds of templates, including all the ones mentioned above. You can find a page for almost any topic. The writing and details to include are up to you, but each template in a kit includes examples and instructions that remind you of typical information for that topic, so you’ll feel like you have a guide throughout the writing process.

Use a professionally designed proposal kit, so your proposal will look great, too. You can find kits with design themes or insert your own company logo. Make sure to use a kit that includes a large collection of sample proposals, too, including some education-oriented ones. Sample proposals give you ideas of contents and looks for finished proposals. You’ll find that a pre-designed proposal kit gives you a big head start on your first proposal.

Graduation Quotes – 10 Tips to Find Just the Right Wording to Use For Your Graduation Party

If you’re planning a graduation party, you may decide to personalize invitations, favors or even the top of the cake with an inspirational quote. But don’t worry if you’re at a loss for words. Here’s ten tips to help you find the right quotation or saying for your grad.

1. Start the search. The best and easiest place to search for graduation quotes is online. There are many websites devoted entirely to categorized quotations. But you might get even better results elsewhere on the internet. Check scrapbooking web pages with sections devoted to wording for special occasions. Even companies that sell personalized items for grads, such as invitations, can have a whole list of great suggestions.

2. Begin your own list of any graduation quotes that appeal to you. Don’t spend too much analyzing whether this is the one you want to use. Once you have gathered a selection, you can go back and decide.

3. Keep it short and sweet. If you’re looking for a great graduation quote to use on your invitations, favors or other personalized items, you won’t have a lot of extra room for wording. Choose quotations that are brief and to the point. For example, “Hitch your wagon to a star” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) only uses a few words, but it’s effective.

4. Focus on education. If you want to put the emphasis on your past years in school, you could look at quotes that emphasize your learning experience, for instance:

* An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. -Benjamin Franklin
* Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. -Malcolm X

5. Believe in your dreams. Another way to go, is to look forward to the start of new things. Every graduate has hopes for the future. You can share that viewpoint with an appropriate quote, such as:

* Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. -Henry David Thoreau
* The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. -Eleanor Roosevelt
* Throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

6. Define success. Instead of looking at dreams for the future, you could offer a definition of what you believe success will mean to you. Some ideas that would work are:

* Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. -David Frost
* Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire. -Arnold H. Glasow
* There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. -Beverly Sills

7. Be yourself. Another good category for graduation quotes are those that encourage you to stay true to yourself, such as:

* It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. -e.e. cummings
* Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. -Anthony J. D’Angelo

8. Borrow a line from a song. Meaningful lyrics to your favorite music might be appropriate for the occasion if it’s inspiring and uplifting. Think about music that moves and motivates you, and you may have found just the right graduation wording.

9. Don’t rule out funny. There’s nothing wrong with using a humorous graduation quote for your party. Here’s a couple of cute ideas:

* The tassel’s worth the hassle!
* Present Graduate – Future Millionaire!

10. Go over your list. After you have searched for quotations on the subject of graduation, education, dreams, and success, dig even deeper. If you still need a few extra contenders, try checking your favorite search engine for quote topics using keywords such as character, achievement, courage, confidence, goals, ideas, happiness, persistence and work. After you have assembled your collection, take your time reviewing them. Look for the words that inspire you.

So, don’t settle for someone else’s idea for an inspirational quotation. Let your feelings, beliefs and goals influence you. Whether you’re looking to personalize party favors, invitations, a banner, cake or anything else for your celebration, there is an abundance of great sayings from which to choose. Do your homework and you’ll find the perfect gradation quote for you.

The Consumer Guide To Finding The Best Auto Insurance Quote

Whether it is your first time purchasing auto insurance or you are renewing your existing policy it is always best to be a wise consumer and look out for the best auto insurance quote. Learn how to shop around, you want to make sure the company that you invest your hard earned money with is the best for your needs. Have in mind these very important reminders before you sign anything or before it’s too late. Competition is really tight nowadays; companies will grab any amount of investment today and will provide everything on their auto insurance quote. It is best to be educated and well informed before you agree on anything.

1. What does the rate consist of? Ask your agent what are the factors that led them to arrive at this amount? Normally, it would be the following: deductibles, the age of your car, your driving history, where you live, your occupation and even your credit score. Check to see if all the answers to these facts are correct. Example: You have a high insurance premiums because your credit score is low.

2. Evaluate the coverage they offer: Check them one by one, see if you really need them all. Say for example, the collision coverage is high when you own a ten year old car. These things matter as they will affect your rate and the sad part is you may not need any of those in your coverage.

3. Check other companies rates regularly: Get auto insurance quotes not only from your company but from others as well. Auto insurance quotes are fast, free and accessible. This will help you find out if your existing policy is still at par with other companies, since most insurance companies change their rates on an annual basis. This activity will help you compare and discover how much savings you can get versus your existing policy. You can get auto insurance quotes by phone or online. Do this every year and you can stumble upon as much as $500 savings on your insurance policy.

4. Be educated and be honest: when filling out a quote request always be honest in answering the questions. The more honest you become the more accurate your auto insurance quote will be. And in the process of doing this educate yourself, read online about various types of insurance and ask your agent questions in the process. Stay in the loop and be as accurate as possible.

5. Lastly, take care of your driving history and credit history. Having a good credit standing as well as being a safe driver has it rewards. You can be enjoying a very affordable premium yet still have great coverage.

Always keep these five simple things in mind every year, every time you renew your policy. Also it is a good idea to do these same activities your first time getting an auto insurance quote. Most insurance companies will focus on your credit score and your driving history. Cherish these two things as you will enjoy deep savings when it comes time for you to buy auto insurance.