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"The role of education is to produce a standard citizen and restrict dissent and originality" - Critically evaluate the view (30 Marks)

By Samuel-Hather Jan 20, 2014 508 Words
Education has a different meaning depending on who is doing the educating. William Torrey Harris, the once US Commissioner of Education, probably best defined education in the US in 1906 when he said that "substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual." H.L. Mencken explained further in arguing that the "aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality." That is why, really, the only education that matters is to teach someone how to think critically. Once someone is armed with that ability, then they can seek knowledge in whatever they wish to learn, and be able to think critically in order to separate what is truth from what is fabrication. Note that the last thing a child would ever be taught in a public school is logic, rationality, and critical thinking, which would be counter to the intended goal. Margaret Mead put it simply when she said, “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” Richard Dawkins expanded on that, stating, “Do not indoctrinate your children. Teach them how to think for themselves, how to evaluate evidence, and how to disagree with you.” What masquerades as education today in public schools in the Western world is, for the most part, brainwashing, subjugation, and mass control. What students do absorb in terms of basic math or language skills is minimal, as can be seen from the near-universal dumbing-down of Western society. Look no further than the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry on Education to realize that, “Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next.” If education is the means to pass along the “aims and habits of a group,” no one should ever want to be educated. What we should want is knowledge. Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, communication, association, and reasoning. What your kids are getting, and getting good, in public school is education, not knowledge. Sending your child to public school in the Western world is child abuse. If you must live in the Western world you have to do whatever it takes to avoid this system. The answer generally lies in homeschooling. But, many families, forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars into the black hole of government every year for “services” such as the education system, feel trapped as most have to have both parents work just to keep the household afloat. Mothers are forced to work due to the systematic impoverishment of the family via taxes and inflation. Furthermore, they are encouraged to work through the promotion of “feminism”. But, don’t my kids need twelve years of education, you ask? As stated above, that’s the last thing they need. What they need is knowledge, and all knowledge is free, thanks to the Internet.

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