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Education vs. Educational — What's the Difference?

By Fiza Rafique & Urooj Arif — Updated on April 25, 2024
"Education" refers to the process of teaching and learning, while "educational" describes anything related to or intended for education.
Education vs. Educational — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Education and Educational


Key Differences

Education encompasses the systems, methods, and experiences that facilitate learning and intellectual development. On the other hand, educational refers to the qualities or attributes of something that makes it suitable for educating. For example, educational materials or institutions are designed to support the process of education.
The focus of education is on the act of imparting knowledge, developing skills, and fostering critical thinking. Whereas, educational often modifies nouns, describing tools, content, or environments that aid in educational processes, such as educational software or educational standards.
Education as a concept can be formal or informal and takes place in various settings such as schools, universities, or through life experiences. Conversely, educational is used specifically to denote the purpose or function of objects or activities within these settings, ensuring they contribute to educational goals.
In discussions about policies or theories, education serves as a noun representing the broader sector or idea. On the other hand, educational is typically used adjectivally to discuss specific aspects or components of this sector, such as educational reforms or educational psychology.
When talking about outcomes, education refers to the broader impacts on personal and societal levels, including economic and cultural development. Educational, however, focuses more narrowly on the effectiveness or relevance of specific methods, materials, or programs in achieving these educational outcomes.

Comparison Chart


Noun: process and system of teaching and learning
Adjective: pertaining to or conducive to education


General concept and practice
Specific tools, methods, environments


Schools, universities, life experiences
Educational programs, materials, institutions


Overall process and outcome of learning
Suitability and effectiveness in educating

Usage in Context

Discussing the broader sector or educational theories
Modifying nouns to describe educational aspects

Compare with Definitions


An enlightening experience.
Traveling through Europe provided an excellent education in cultural diversity.


Relating to the provision of education.
The educational system needs constant reform to meet new challenges.


Institutional instruction.
Education at the university level is often more specialized.


Of or pertaining to schools and education.
Educational policies directly impact school curriculums.


The systematic process of receiving or giving instruction.
His education was primarily focused on engineering.


Contributing to one's education.
The workshop was educational, teaching practical skills in woodworking.


The theory and practice of teaching.
She pursued a career in education to impact future generations.


Informative or instructive.
The museum tour was highly educational, offering deep insights into ancient history.


A body of knowledge acquired while being educated.
His education in finance served him well in banking.


Serving or intended to educate.
Educational toys are designed to enhance learning through play.


Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed research.


Of or relating to education.


The act or process of educating or being educated.


Serving to educate; instructive
An educational film.


The knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process.


Of, or relating to education.
A school is an educational establishment.


A program of instruction of a specified kind or level
Driver education.
A college education.


Instructive, or helping to educate.
They were shown an educational film about VD.
I can't see the educational value of going on a field trip to the clothes factory.


The field of study that is concerned with the pedagogy of teaching and learning.


A free (or low cost) trip for travel consultants, provided by a travel operator or airline as a means of promoting their service. A fam trip


An instructive or enlightening experience
Her work in an animal shelter was a real education.


Of or pertaining to education.


(uncountable) The process of imparting knowledge, skill and judgment.
Good education is essential for a well-run society.


Relating to the process of education;
Educational psychology


(countable) Facts, skills and ideas that have been learned, especially through formal instruction.
He has had a classical education.
The educations our children receive depend on their economic status.


Providing knowledge;
An educational film


The act or process of educating; the result of educating, as determined by the knowledge skill, or discipline of character, acquired; also, the act or process of training by a prescribed or customary course of study or discipline; as, an education for the bar or the pulpit; he has finished his education.
To prepare us for complete living is the function which education has to discharge.


The activities of educating or instructing or teaching; activities that impart knowledge or skill;
He received no formal education
Our instruction was carefully programmed
Good teaching is seldom rewarded


Knowledge acquired by learning and instruction;
It was clear that he had a very broad education


The gradual process of acquiring knowledge;
Education is a preparation for life
A girl's education was less important than a boy's


The profession of teaching (especially at a school or college or university)


The result of good upbringing (especially knowledge of correct social behavior);
A woman of breeding and refinement


The United States federal department that administers all federal programs dealing with education (including federal aid to educational institutions and students); created 1979

Common Curiosities

What is education?

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

Can education occur outside of educational institutions?

Yes, education can occur in informal settings such as through life experiences, non-formal education, and self-directed learning.

What does educational mean?

Educational refers to anything related to the act or process of educating or being educated.

What is the goal of education?

The goal of education is to empower individuals with knowledge, skills, and values that aid personal development and contribute to society.

How do educational tools support education?

Educational tools are designed to aid the teaching and learning process by providing necessary resources or interactive experiences.

What are educational methods?

Educational methods are techniques used to facilitate learning, which may include pedagogical strategies, technology integration, and differentiated instruction.

How do educational environments differ?

Educational environments can vary widely from traditional classrooms to virtual platforms, each designed to support different aspects of learning.

How do educational standards affect education?

Educational standards define the expectations for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level, influencing curriculum development.

What makes something educational?

Something is considered educational if it contributes effectively to the process of teaching or learning.

Is all education formal?

Not all education is formal; informal education also plays a crucial role in learning throughout life.

How do educational policies impact education?

Educational policies shape the curriculum, standards, and resources available in educational institutions, thereby impacting the quality and scope of education.

What is non-formal education?

Non-formal education refers to structured learning that does not occur within the formal school system and is not usually certification-oriented.

What is the difference between education and training?

Education focuses on broad knowledge acquisition, while training is often more specific, aimed at particular skills for certain tasks.

Can educational experiences be non-academic?

Yes, educational experiences can include non-academic learning, such as vocational training or life skills development.

What role do educational psychologists play?

Educational psychologists study how people learn and design methods and strategies to enhance the learning process.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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