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Thread: Educational Duty

  1. #1 Educational Duty 
    墨子 DaBOB's Avatar
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    So, I read a bit on this a few weeks back and it has been marinating for a bit. Than today someone on the bus got me thinking again so I thought I aught to bring it here.

    In a "free" society where the people rule should it be the people's responsibility to educate themselves? If the people are not educated do the government's responsibilities increase? Should the government promote education or should it be solely up to the individuals?

    It seems to me that the educational system in America is not about creating well educated and capable people but more about getting people into the job market. What's the use of having a job in a Democracy if you are not capable of making an informed decision about how the society is structured? By living in such a society don't you take on the responsibility of acquiring an education?

    The guy on the bus was in his twenties and talking about how useless school was and how, even though he was in Juvenile Hall half his life, he was still at college level. He said that once you get street smart and learn about how money works that's all you need. No employer is going to ask you who the 13th president was. Well I won't argue that his math and English were at college level (but I highly doubt it) I would argue that because of the structure of the country he lives in it is his duty to know it's history.

    Than, it seems that the entire point of the educational system is to acquire a job. Does this need to change? At the college I went to there was only one philosophy class required for getting a science degree. Isn't it philosophy that became the foundation of science. Isn't the questions of philosophy that science intends to answer?

    So since the schools don't give us what we need we must improvise. Between libraries, the internet, and plain ol' intellectual discussion, there is little excuse for a poor education. Especially considering the leisure time we have now compared to the past. The only difference (between formal and self education) being that you don't get a plaque on the wall.

    What do y'all think?


    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Abraham Maslow defined a hierarchy of needs to be:
    1) Biological and Physiological (water, food, shelter, air, sex, etc.)
    2) Safety (security, law and order, stability, etc.)
    3) Belonging and love (family, affection, community, etc.)
    4) Esteem (self-esteem, independence, prestige, achievement, etc.)
    5) Self-Actualization (self-fulfillment, personal growth, realizing personal potential, etc.)

    This hierarchy makes us conscious of the obvious fact that we did not fret about the absence of self-esteem if we did not already have security nor did we worry about security if we did not have water to drink or air to breath.

    "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This is the need we may call self-actualization ... It refers to man's desire for fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming ..."

    I think that the area in which Western society fails most egregiously is in the matter of an intellectual life after schooling. We have a marvelous brain that goes into the attic after schooling is complete and is brought out only occasionally on the job or when we try to play bridge or chess.

    It appears to me that the fundamental problem faced by most Western democracies is a lack of intellectual sophistication of the total population. Our colleges and universities have prepared young people to become good producers and consumers. The college graduate has a large specialized database that allows that individual to quickly enter the corporate world as a useful cog in the machine. The results display themselves in our thriving high standard of living, high technology corporate driven life styles.

    We are excellent at instrumental rationality and deficient at developing the rationality and understanding required for determining normative values. It seems to me that our societies are not prepared intellectually for the demanding task ahead. The only solution seems to be a change that will significantly increase the intellectual sophistication of the society as a whole. We need a rising tide of intellectual sophistication and Self-Actualization might be the way for our adults to add an intellectual life to their acquisitions.

    Maslow learned to distinguish “special talent creativeness” from “self-actualizing (SA) creativeness”,
    which springs more directly from the personality, and showed itself in the ordinary affairs of daily life. This is all potentiality given to most people at birth and is generally lost or buried or inhibited, as the person becomes more acculturated. These self-actualizing humans “do not neglect the unknown, or deny it, or run away from it or try to make believe it is really known…They do not cling to the familiar, nor is their quest for the truth a catastrophic need for certainty, safety, definiteness, and order.”

    The creativity of self-actualizing individuals is a derivative of their “greater wholeness and integration”. SA creativeness stress first the personality, individuality, character and attitude rather than accomplishments. Character traits, the habits of behavior, such as boldness, courage, freedom, spontaneity, perspicuity, integration, and self-acceptance express itself in the creative life. “It is emitted like sunshine.”

    What means do we have to consciously help us to become self-actualizing adults? I think that self-actualization can best come through self-learning (autodidactic).

    I would like to introduce a concept that perhaps many have not given consideration. I would like to introduce post-schooling scholarship. I do not use the word ‘scholarship’ to mean some form of education stipend. I mean ‘scholarship’ as tailor-made learning. The individual creates her or his own learning in a process of developing a Self-Actualizing person.

    I think we have placed scholarship on a too lofty pedestal and in doing so we have placed it beyond reach or consideration. I want to suggest that middle class scholarship is something that we all should consider as a friend to be embraced as our own.

    The development of an economic middle class is the hallmark of success in any mature nation. I think it is possible that the development of a scholarly middle class could represent a similar development in the life of democracy of a nation. We might express the concept as middle class scholarship or post-schooling scholarship.

    I think that post-schooling scholarship is a means to self-actualization. If you do not find this to be a means for self-actualization what means would you suggest?


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