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Purpose of Education

By QTKT123 Apr 19, 2013 1251 Words
The purpose of education is to open the minds of students to diversity, cultures, and views from all over the world. In order to create such an environment for students, they must be taught from different aspects of different people, should function in an uncorrupt society, and should have an unlimited amount of information that they can access so that the learning process can be achieved easily. Drawing on the articles “I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read”, “A talk to Teachers”, and “Studying Islam, Strengthening the Nation”, a real education depends on a society and allows a student to be active in his or her society and shows how the different types of education affect different types of societies. In “I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read”, the author, Francine Prose, explains how the lists of books given by schools to students are loathed, “numbing sameness, unaffected by geography, region, or community size” (Prose, p. 91) and don’t teach the students anything. Books and literature read in school should be something that student’s enjoy enough to elaborate on them by themselves and at the same time educate them about how different people of different views write differently and function differently in a society. Literature in education should be understanding problems relating to discrimination and prejudice that exist in our present-day society, and to understand and apply these things to our lives. The presented literature of today is hardly given by teachers as something to read closely and to understand and relate to one’s life, but instead as just a normal assignment. “Given the dreariness with which literature is taught in many American classrooms, it seems miraculous that any sentient teenager would view reading as a source of pleasure” (Prose, p. 89), this quote tells us how although students are doing their literature reading, there is not much enthusiasm and interest in doing so, thus there is no real applying of this learning to real life. Putting yourself in someone’s shoes, learning about past experiences of unfortunate people can help adolescences in developing his or her logic, and understanding and opening their minds to the things that go on in the world around them. “A Talk to Teachers”, written by James Baldwin, says that teaching is so difficult when the students are subject to disorientation from society itself, “Or to put it another way, you must understand that in the attempt to correct so many generations of bad faith and cruelty, when it is operating not only in the classroom but in society, you will meet the most fantastic, the most brutal, and the most determined resistance” (Baldwin, p. 123), so a teacher would have to go against what they’ve actually learned and are learning in their society or home environment in order to teach them to be civilized. In this article, the purpose of education is not to build on or perpetuate the things that already exist in our surrounds or within our leadership but to question whether that leadership or society is right or the best it can be for the world or for its own sake and long being, versus other societies existing in the world and to make us judge and make decisions and reason for ourselves. “The purpose of education, finally, is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions, to say to himself this is black or this is white, to decide for himself whether there is a God in heaven or not. To ask questions of the universe, and then learn to live with those questions, is the way he achieves his own identity” (Baldwin, pp. 123-124), here it shows how education should encourage the young ones to take up and question their societies, innovate and educate themselves, and speak their mind in a society in order to make their points of view known and shared in support of a positive change. Another article supporting that the purpose of education is to open minds of students to all views by being taught from different aspects is “Studying Islam, Strengthening our Nation”, by Peter Berkowitz and Michael McFaul. By easily looking at the name of this article, you can see that the authors implement that by open student’s minds to more cultures, they gain strength in their knowledge, leading to a better build up of society and then a better build up of the nation. “Islam represents one of the world's great religions and provides not only an intellectual feast for comparative study in the social sciences and humanities but also an indispensable comparison and contrast for more familiar religions and ways of life. Particularly in the era of globalization and the information revolution, there is little excuse for universities' continuing to betray the liberal ideal of educating students in the ways of all people” (Berkowitz & McFaul, pp. 559-560), saying that students shouldn’t be limited their certain society’s values but also aware of the outside world and if not, it’s not a proper education because the student becomes ignorant and closed about other cultures and other aspects of life that they have misjudged. In order to create and free and open minded society, students should have unlimited access to information because students who are subject to extreme paternalistic censorship are more likely to be unexposed to real information. But, the point of education is to create a society that is diverse and open to all different kinds of people, in order to prevent people from being biased, racist, etc. As said in the article, “Dramatically increasing opportunities for the study of Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Islam in our universities is the right thing to do, to advance the cause of learning and America’s interest in training people who can contribute to the spread of liberty abroad” (Berkowitz & McFaul, p. 560), by having more diverse knowledge of the world, society can come together and civilizations can learn to get along better without stereotypical judgments. The real and main purpose of education is to open the minds of students to all the different views of a many different customs that would help the individuals not only develop logically and factually, but it would help them to be more aware of what was going on in the world surrounding them in order for people in a society of different views to get along and continue the improving and civilized way of life. As shown in the many articles, written by different perspectives, the idea of an open minded education leads to a well off society, and any society that prevented the unlimited amount of information was bound to wither away. Also, in order for students to be well-educated, they must come from a well brought up society that encourages the same concept of civilization as the ones being taught in a class room. If this isn’t the case, it would be very hard for the teacher to inform and teach the students.

Works Cited
Baldwin, J. A Talk to Teachers. In R. H. Shea, L. Scanlon, & R. D. Aufses, The Language of Composition (pp. 123-129). Boston. Berkowitz, P., & McFaul, M. Studying Islam, Strengthening the Nation. In R. H. Shea, L. Scanlon, & R. D. Aufses, The Language of Composition (pp. 559-561). Boston. Prose, F. I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read. In R. H. Shea, L. Scanlon, & R. D. Aufses, The Language of Composition (pp. 89-99). Boston.

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