Postman encourages people to grow and change because of something they have learned so that their life is more diversified. However, there must be a reason and a means for such change.
A reason is not always something that is kept in mind. It is usually abstract and hard to identify. It deals with systematic thought, yet it is completely different than motivation. Reason is the power of acquiring intellectual knowledge and dispassionate thought; motivation is the act or state of being motivated. Postman believes that there must be a reason (not motivation) for taking a test, doing your homework, listening to the teacher, or even going to class. Without a reason, schooling does not work. In order to develop reasoning skills, you must have a god to serve.
Serving, as well as choosing a god, is essential to understanding a reasons complexity, credibility, and power. Whether we believe in them or not, we cannot live without them because they play such an important role in reasoning and learning. Students who share a common god are what make a public school truly public. They may believe in the science-god (understanding, power, demonstrable, cumulative, correctable, practical), the technology-god (vision of paradise, convenient, efficient, prosperous), or the local-god (hard work, discipline). These gods control and have an adequate amount of power to give point and meaning to schooling. These gods work in narratives to help direct one’s mind to an idea or story.
Postman envisions narratives that deal with directing peoples’ minds to the origins and creation of the future. The significance of narratives relies on giving meaning to the world, especially through schooling. Narratives work to provide a sense of personal identity, community life, moral conduct, and life explanations, just as schooling should. Thomas Jefferson and Moses believed that schooling was for citizens, so they would know how to protect their liberty....
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