Education, whether formal or informal, can shape an individual's life, both in the classroom and outside of it. A quality education can lay the groundwork for a successful career, but that's far from its only purpose. Education imparts knowledge, critical thinking skills, and, in many cases, an improved ability to approach unfamiliar situations and subjects with an open mind.
Teachers, parents, and society at large have debated at length the criteria that denote a "good" education. In recent years, many educators have attempted to develop their curricula based on research and data, integrating the findings of developmental psychology and behavioral science into their lesson plans and teaching strategies. Recent debates have centered on how much information should be tailored to individual students vs. the class at large, and, increasingly, whether and how to integrate technology into classrooms. Students’ age, culture, individual strengths and weaknesses, and personal background—as well as any learning disabilities they may have—all play a role in the effectiveness of particular teachers and teaching methods.