Philosophy Of Education Essay

1214 words - 5 pages

Education is an ever evolving system, taking cues from past success to help educate future generations. With so many different views and influences contributing to modern education standards, it can be easy to lose the sight of where education should go and what it should be achieving. The paring of ancient philosophies with modern views and outlooks can help to advance education further than relying only on past success. Education benefits more than the individual, it contributes to societies structure, with this in mind we begin to see how important a quality education is.
The goals of education appear to be simple on the surface: Educate the individual so they will be a value contributor to society. But this can be taken even further, examining what type of society we wish the individual to contribute to. The ancient Greeks saw the need for an educated individual to contribute to an educated society, a society of philosophers, scientists, educators, thinkers, and doers. This is similar to the society which most of us wish to see as a result of educated individuals. “Formal education, in turn, had the purpose of providing the knowledge to fulfill the society’s expectations of its citizens” (69). A society where education is celebrated and seen as the value it is, where higher learning is seen as more value than whoever has the biggest stick for mindless violence and subjugation. Granted this idea stems from Plato's ideal society, but it is more achievable than it would appear, society begins and ends with the individual and his or her contribution (70).
An educated individual holds a great deal of power, the power to rationalize, create, contribute, and defend (70). When it comes to creating an ideal society that celebrates the value of education you first have to start with the individual to develop the understanding that learning is important, and the values are seemingly endless (73). Many societies have seen the value of education for the individual to contribute to the whole, including the Greeks, Chinese, and Romans. These societies, who we still see as very successful and education, saw the importance of the educated individual and how much power they could be (73). The individual we wish to create is one that values his or her own education as much as society values it, with a desire to continue to advance and succeed, and not rest on their laurels.
A quality education is invaluable, for the individual and society, but there has often been debate over what defines a quality education. There has however been debate over what should actually be taught and how it's beneficial. It may seem almost asinine to say that a quality education should be intellectually based, but there is truth there. Education does need to have an intellectual base that combines an understanding of the past with the progressions of the present and the goals of the future (73).
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