Purpose Of Education


Purpose Of Education Essay, Research Paper

The purpose of our modern education: The delicate tools necessary for our

intellectual workshop are achieved by schooling. I suspect that our best tools

are realized rather automatically, but if there is to be outside influence,

then, best it is done early, as the human mind matures all too rapidly. Children

are not consumed with anxiety to learn anything; least of all has it ever

crossed their minds that they must learn English. How shall we teach it to them,

when the few of us who have begun to know what it is know it to be a issue of

accommodations, a thing with which order, method, and all that the developing

mind first apprehends and rests upon have nothing to do with a single word. A

kind of miraculous flowering of man’s still unconscious wisdom, preserved to us

as a compensation for our many blunderings, as a reward for our patience in

confusion and our fundamental faith in life. Education might be defined as a

social process by which, skills and beliefs, attitudes and ideas of the previous

generations are passed to the new generation; it is a process, which is

necessary for the maintenance, achievement and development of man in society.

Gerstner States, ?in the public schools we have clung tenaciously to the ideas

and techniques of earlier decades and even previous centuries,? proving that

each generation depends on the preceding generation. This definition assumes a

biological view of society, one that grows and evolves with each new generation

depending on the growth of previous generations. We all come into this world

uniform, and, from the start, we are obliged to turn to others; and while we

need a lot of help when we are young, nature has compensated by building into

the young a susceptibility to learning. So, no matter what one’s view is of what

an educational system should be, most will agree, best to start in while young.

What is the first lesson to be? What each individual needs to know is the

difference between what is naturally right and what is naturally wrong. The

second lesson to be learned, is, that the individual is better off doing what is

naturally right. How does one teach morals? This is an old dilemma, the teaching

of virtue. It is a dilemma largely because virtue is immeasurable. Virtue is

instilled likely by repeated actions, a process of trial and error, beginning at

the mother’s knee and to be continued by all those with whom the child has close

connections, and this would certainly include the child’s teachers. It takes a

"good" teacher, one full of great skills and a glow for presentation

of the subject; it is particularly difficult when the subject is morals or

virtue. We, adult and child alike, find ourselves in a vast market where the

"Culture Standardizers" provide an immediate and sensual gratification

to all comers. The question before us is, what is the importance of education?

One goal, as Spring states in his book American Education, is to produce

reasonable citizens, ones that ?commonly hold a political creed or else

society is doomed to political strife or chaos? Education should be the

essential method of building humane, free, and democratic societies. The aims of

education are many: the transmission of knowledge; training for occupations,

careers, and democratic citizenship; and the encouragement of moral growth.

Dewey states, ?the subject matter of education consists of bodies of

information and of skills that have been worked out in the past; therefore, the

chief business of the school is to transmit them to the next generation.?

Among its vital purposes should also be an attempt to develop the capacity for

critical intelligence in both the individual and the community. Unfortunately,

the schools today are being increasingly replaced by the mass media as the

primary institutions of public information and education. Although the

electronic media provide unparalleled opportunities for extending cultural

enrichment and enjoyment, there has been a serious misdirection of their

purposes. In some societies, the media serve as the vehicle of propaganda and

indoctrination. In democratic society television, radio, films, and mass

publishing too often cater to the lowest common denominator and have become dull

wastelands. We need to believe that television directors and producers have an

obligation to remedy the balance and revise their programming. The essential

answer to any question usually comes out of its definition. Considering the

definition set out at the first of this section, then, we might say that

essentially that education is a socialization process. Is this best achieved by

public education? By private education? , Or by a combination of both, with one

being favored over the other? Public Education: What are the arguments for

putting education into public hands? If not the impossible goal that every one

should be educated, then, at least, the goal of equal educational opportunity

for all, or, another way of putting it, to make education readily available to

all. As stated by Spring, ?all people are given an equal chance to receive an

education or, in other words, equality of educational opportunity? The

assumption has been that if the state does not make "free" education

readily available, many of our young will not be educated, an assumption that

may not hold up in these modern times. A further assumption is that with

"free" public education that our children will be educated, an

assumption that is not being born out by the statistics. Parents, at least those

who possess a sense of parental responsibility, would like to see that their

children get the educational basics, whatever they may be. If children were to

get more than just the basics would depend on whether the parents had the time,

the money, and the interest, interest being the most important commodity.

Berliner and Biddle say, ?Students who care more for their fellow citizens and

their social and physical environment, should ultimately produce a higher

standard of living for us all than one obtained by educating only the advantaged

members of society to score high on all the tests that accompany the new

standards.? Having a lack of interest in education, parent or student, but

more the student is the single greatest prohibition to our educational

standards. What other reasons might be stated in support of public education

might be stated as follows: to insure that the education of our young takes

place in an atmosphere which is conducive to learning; that only the best

teachers be employed in the education of our young; and to see that education

takes place in safe surroundings. Anyone might agree, in respect to our young,

that these are necessary goals for any educational system; the question is which

system comes the closest to meeting these goals? Is it a public school system?

Assuming for the moment, that it is only a public school system, which provides

a mechanism for all to have input (school boards have only recently become

elected bodies), do people reward themselves of such a mechanism? The fact of

the matter is that most all of us, including parents, have handed off our

individual responsibilities to make decisions in regards to education. We as

humans feel the need for our responsibilities, Rogers states, ?personal

freedom and responsibility have a crucial significance, that one cannot live a

complete life without such personal freedom and responsibility.? Are we to

just stand by and let someone else assume our responsibility? The public does

not run the public school system; bureaucrats who are continually trying to seek

a consensus run it. That which is done in the public school system is done

because it has been watered down to the lowest common denominator. Does this

description describe our education system here in West Virginia? I do not know,

but the cost and, sadly, the results of our educational system could certainly

be used to support the reform. The proof is in the product.

Berliner & Biddle: issue #10 Have public schools failed society? P.

164-168 Taking Sides 10thed. Noll,J.W. Dushkin 1999. Dewey, John. Issue #1

Should schooling be based on social Experiences? P.2-10 Taking Sides 10thed.

Noll,J.W. Dushkin 1999. Gerstner, Louis V. issue #10 Have public schools failed

society? P.156-163 Taking Sides 10thed. Noll,J.W. Dushkin 1999. Spring, Joel.

The purposes of public schooling p.7 American Education 9thed. McGraw-Hill 2000.

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