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Education and Society

jrschwartz15's picture

It is my belief that education does not equalize our society. If anything, education is what divides out society. An education either affirms or changes your position in society. If it changes your position it can separate you from your home community, and affirming your position does not accomplish much. Education can only be truly equalizing if exactly everyone is presented with exactly the same education with varying educational environments that will allow each individual to achieve exactly the same level of knowledge. If this was the case, however, our society would be extremely limited. A diverse set of skills is unarguably vital to any community, and a truly equalizing education would hinder that greatly.

If the idea of an equalizing education is generalized from skill to class, this same issue still remains. Multiple individuals trained in different skills but all of the same class and access is still counterproductive. Class and educational experience are defining factors in everyone's perspectives and beliefs. Too similar experiences homoginize the view point of society and make the ideals of democracy pointless, and our leadership could easily come from one person. I'm pretty sure this prospect does not appeal to anybody here. Education is most definitely not what equals society nor can it be without consequences reminiscent of an unnerving totalitarian novel.


S. Yaeger's picture

Jordan, while I understand

Jordan, while I understand your point about equalized education being problematic if it forces people into the same box, I also feel as though your viewpoint is awfully priveleged. I understand you to be making the case that equal education across class line would alter perspectives to the point where they would be homogenized, and then that would cause a loss of democracy.  Have you considered the idea that our education system as it now stands doesn't exemplify the ideals of democracy at all, but, rather, something akin to an aristocracy, wherin those who have access to resources keep access by virtue of having been born with it and those who do not are continuously barred?  This barrng has nothing to do with skill, potential or intellegence and has everything to do with being born poor.  I know that it is unimaginable to those of us who have been raised to believe that we exisist in a world of equal opportunity, but the reality is that we don't.  The reality is that, everyday, millions of American children go off to school with empty stomachs, with no books, without adequate clothing or shelter, and without any resources whatsoever.  Among them could very well be the next potential author of a great distopian novel, yet we will never know, as they are not given a chance.  How is that democratic?

jrschwartz15's picture

I definitely could have

I definitely could have elaborated more, but in addition to my point about equaing the education system being limiting I did lightly touch on the fact that our current education is not at all equal at all in my opening comments. It is my genuine belief that education is the divider in society- it is because of the educational disparities that there are children going to school unfed and without basic learning tools. Under no circumstance was I calling our current system Democratic. I am not neglecting the current inequities nor the fact that every individual has an infinite amount of potential. When presented with the subject of education as an equalizer, to me the fact that it does not equalize anything in our current society is a given. As I said in the opening of my entry, it is what divides us. If education leveled the playing field, there would be very little to discuss in this class. For this reason, I did not think to address it in my post and took it the other direction- what an equal education could mean.

S. Yaeger's picture

In reading your response, I

In reading your response, I can see that I may have misread your original post to a point, and certainly should have reponded in a much more respectful way. To that end, I should have asked you to clarify things that I found confusing, instead of just assuming that my read was correct.   I orginally thought that you were making the claim that education shouldn't be equal, but it now seems like you are making the claim that it can't be equalized without a drastic shift in society.  I do still have some questions about your original post though.  What do you mean when you say that education could not be equalized without resulting in an undermining of the ideals of democracy?  You seem to be thinking of a system in which those who are more gifted are held back in the interest of allowing those who are not to appear equal.  Is that what you were thinking of?  If so, I agree that that would be an extremely unnerving scenario, and one that wouldn't actually fix anything, but I wonder if you think that there is anything that can be done to level some of the inequities.