Education and Transcendentalism

Topics: Education, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism Pages: 3 (942 words) Published: March 6, 2014
Education and Transcendentalism
Education is an important necessity that all people should have. Individuals need education for choosing their path in life and living on their own. People must possess the right knowledge and reason to do those things. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Tupac Shakur have both written articles with their views on education in the United States. Emerson’s “On Education” and Shakur’s “On the Topic of Education” have generally the same ideas. Emerson and Shakur convey their strong opinions about education to show that people should learn from their own experience and should not be learning unnecessary information.

The best way to learn is from one’s own experiences. Learning from books is important; however, they don’t give an individual the full perspective of something. Emerson states, “This function of opening and feeding the human mind is not to be fulfilled by any mechanical or military method...in education our common sense fails us, and we are continually trying costly machinery against nature” (Emerson). Individuals should be learning more from nature and personal experiences. This generation is too connected to technology to the point where people lose sight of the world around them. Nature gives one the knowledge they need. It makes it easier to learn when one visualizes and sees the world. Similar to Emerson, Shakur wrote that schools are “not getting us ready for today’s world...that’s why the streets have taught me” (Shakur). Students generally don’t learn about life lessons in school. In other words, an individual gains the most knowledge from “the streets” or being outdoors and experiencing life through their own eyes. It is important to have book smarts but also street smarts and common sense. Without street smarts and common sense one will have a difficult time living on their own. A Transcendentalist theme that is similar to these ideas of Emerson and Shakur is valuing nature. Nature and the outside world give us...
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