UTILITARIAN EDUCATION May 15, 2006Posted by wmmbb in Category to be ascribed.
All the thinkers have thought their thoughts and reached their conclusions which in short is that the lower orders should not be trained in rigour of higher thought, but rather should be given to menial activities to fit their menial abilities. These verdicts have been reached clandestinely, and now policy is enacted and is bipartisan.
Implicitly, education at public expense, or at least mostly public provision should be used for public purposes, and these are held to be inconsisent with a liberal view that education is about the growth and development of individuals. A business education, which supposedly is practical, is about a series of techniques, and so, for example philosophy, has no place. The same might be said for the way in politics is practiced.
Still it is encouraging to see, via Common Dreams, that somebody would propose:
I thought of these things with the tools with which we English majors graduate into the world — not the tools that enable you to splice genes, cantilever bridges, or make piles of money, but those that enable you to analyze, to see patterns, to acquire a personal philosophy rather than a jumble of unexamined, hand-me-down notions; those that enable you not to make a living but maybe to live. This least utilitarian of educations prepares you to make sense of the world and maybe to make meaning; for one way to describe the great struggle of our time is as the endeavor to become a producer of meanings rather than a consumer of them — in an age when meaning as advertising and marketing, as others’ definitions of pleasure and terror, is daily forced down our throats.
I cannot say really, except to posit that the best education for each individual is that that enables him or her, at least in potentiality, to express their best possibilities. Of course, this may involve practical skills, which are means to ends. And as the Bible says, and I am sure as the preacher quotes, “it is the spirit that giveth life.”