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Standing Out For The Common Good

1224 words - 5 pages

C.S. Lewis’s, “Democratic Education,” is story that exemplifies our democratic government and how it is to be preserved through education. He gives an account of a school system where all children had equality. The equality was not that of “they were getting taught and treated the same”, but equality of the inner being. Every child should feel the same about where they are intellectually and no person should feel more or less educated and smart than the other. The account gives propositions of what society would be like in different situations depending on the other interpretations of democratic education and what prompts the positivity or negativity of having democratic education.
This analysis will explore why there is strong hint that there are negative connotations about a democratic education system when the text seems to be for this particular idea. C.S. Lewis has a distinctive style of sarcasm that is found within the piece and he uses this style to make the reader realize why the idea represented is one of stupidity. He explains what would have to happen in school systems, the sources of equality, how this type of equality and democracy do not relate, how the examples given are actually not examples of democracy, and what would happen if democratic education system (despite everthing) would, in the end, hinder the boy rather than help him.
Lewis begins by stating, “Until we have realized that the two things [democracy and education] do not necessarily go together we cannot think clearly about education.” Here he is bluntly stating his point of view before we even get into the argument. He then, spends the next three to four paragraphs of the text giving examples of how people may think democracy and education are related and what it would be like. In the second paragraph Lewis states, “For example, and education which gave the able and diligent boys no advantage over the stupid and idle ones, would be in one sense democratic.” In making the smarter of the boys not a superior over the boys that are less smart is making all the children equal. This is what he means by “[this] would be in one sense domocratic.” Later on in the third paragraph Lewis says, “To be consistent we must go further. We must also abolish all compulsory subjects; and we must make the curriculum so wide that ‘every boy will get a chance at something’. Even the boy......can be praised and petted for something. Then no boy and no boy’s parents, need feel inferior.” This is a way of making the student feel better about himself. He is, in a sense, pretending to be completely dedicated to persuading the audience how and why democratic education is good thing.
Based on prior knowledge, if a child (depending on what stage he/she is in cognitive thinking) doesn’t have a sense of success or anything to be proud of he automatically thinks we will amount to nothing and therefore, in the future, will actually amount to nothing because we base what...

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