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Education And The System Essay

1557 words - 7 pages

Knowledgeable, educated, and wise have become descriptive characteristics that have become seemingly interchangeable in today’s society. However, what does it mean to be educated, wise or knowledgeable? In the article “The Educated Student: Global Citizen or Global Consumer” by Benjamin Barber, he says “…young people were exposed more and more to tutors other than teachers in their classrooms or even those who were in their churches, their synagogues-and today their mosques as well.” (417). It is suggested that the places where these characteristics are obtained have changed with industrialization and capitalism. “The Student and the University (from the Closing of the American Mind)” by ...view middle of the document...

(415-416)
It became clear that in order to form a sound, functional democracy, education was most essential. Every citizen, although at the time only males could be citizens, needed to have some form of education. What was it that the citizen was to learn while in school? It became clear that education itself consisted of literacy, knowledge, research and the understanding of the Bill of Rights; those are what would make democracy succeed (Barber 416). Education as it was understood not only consisted of the basics, but also consisted of the government and rights. The importance of knowledge of government was not underestimated. He described the tuning point in education as the industrial revolution. Barber says “We have watch this commercialization and privatization, a distortion of the education mission and its content, going to the heart of our schools themselves.” (417). He is arguing that devices and television programs have become diluted with advertisements and that, with programs like Channel One, they have begun to affect education in schools. Tannen, on the other hand, argues that education and its present forms gained traction with the Greeks and continued through the middle ages. She tells how young men left home to attend institutions of higher learning. Through their experiences she says, “students at these institutions were trained not to discover the truth but to argue either side of an argument - in other words, to debate” (538). Although both authors draw conclusions based on historical events, their conclusions differ greatly. Barber concluded that education was built for a strong foundation for government upon other elements whereas Tannen argued that education and the ability to produce a strong argument were nearly synonymous. However, Bloom does not rely on historical events to determine his thoughts on present day education.
When choosing between universities, what should a potential future student take into consideration? Why go to college or graduate school? What are the goals and achievements that are desired throughout their four plus years? Bloom states:
It is childish to say, as some do, that everyone must be allowed to develop freely, that it is authoritarian to impose a point of view on the student. In that case, why have a university? If the responses “to provide an atmosphere for learning,” we come back to our original questions at the second remove. Which atmosphere? (423)
It is argued that going to college and not expecting views to be “imposed” upon someone is absurd. There needs to be a reason for college and saying that no view can be imposed on a student is contradicting why colleges exist. Tannen argues “many graduate programs are geared to training young scholars in rigorous thinking, defined as the ability to launch and field verbal attacks” (544). A graduate student entertains the notion that it is necessary to articulately defend research the student may conduct or challenge knowledge he/she shall...

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