Education is what keeps a society thriving; it’s what enables a society to thrive and create productive individuals who can keep the educational process on-going. The whole purpose of education is to enlighten us with truths, and create knowledgeable people. We must ask ourselves, what is the point of creating knowledgeable people? We answer this with a question in return; where would we be without knowledgeable people? In The Republic, Plato extensively analyzes these questions, and helps us come to the conclusion that without education, people would be as clueless as inanimate objects.
We can come to the consensus that knowledgeable people are the ones who prosper in life, and overcome life’s harsh obstacles. How do they do it? They are able to do it because they have the ability to think and evaluate. We also asked ourselves where does one receive this knowledge? In today’s world, one would receive it through “education. ” And where does one receive the education? At school. Plato had a vision that the attaining of knowledge should be one full of thought, opposing ideas, and intricate study.
With that said, I believe that Plato would not think too fondly of the current American public school system! “Unless a man is able to separate out the idea of the good from all other things and distinguish it in the argument, and, going through every test.. you will deny that such a man knows the good itself, or any other good? ” Plato is saying that unless a person is able to distinguish right from wrong, he or she will not know good itself. This ties in with the role of education because education should help us achieve that according to Plato’s view.
Education should assist us in distinguishing right from wrong, good from evil. American public schools aren’t doing this, and I know this because I go to one. In American schools, it’s all about memorizing facts, and more facts. Nowhere in between are we taught how to tell from good and evil; how to tell if we’re being taken advantage of. It’s almost as though teachers are scared to teach us this; as though they are confined to teaching us what has been approved by others. Plato states that students and learners should be exposed to many opposing ideas. This is what creates
intellectual thinkers. Because American public schools don’t offer an environment where students can analyze opposing ideas to their own, Plato would not be satisfied with our educational system. Throughout his allegory, Plato talks about how dialectic is supposed to be introduced to learners in order to challenge them with opposing views and ideas. “… the power of dialectic alone could reveal it to a man experienced in the things we have just went through… ” Plato is saying that education through the form of dialectic is the most prosperous and intellectual way to learn and teach.
American public schools don’t offer a lot of dialectic seminars, so I’d have to say that Plato would show great disapprobation to the way American public schools are run. He’d think that American public schools are run in a very prosaic manner. Kids’ inputs are not really valued, resulting in students who are not very ardent towards school. This may be the explanation for why kids are dropping out of school at all-time highs. Plato would also find disappointment in American public schools due to the lack of conspiracy theories, or interfering ideas.
Plato was extremely vernal about the teachings of opposing ideas, and conspiracy theories fall directly under that category. Plato would be shocked to see that students believe everything that is taught to them at schools. He would wonder if any of the students had the capacity to think for themselves, and be able to analyze data and determine according to their own accord whether it is truth of false. I know conspiracies are not being taught at American public schools for a fact because whenever I head up to a teacher to talk to them about the possibility of 9/11 being an inside job, they closed their mouths and dare not to say anything.
Plato would be astonished that society’s very own educators are scared to include conspiracies or other forms of opposing ideas in their teachings. Although there are quite a few reasons for why Plato might think poorly of the American public school system, there’s also reason why he might praise it. “Well then, the study of calculation and geometry and all the preparatory education required for dialectic must be put before them as children.. ” Plato is stating that mathematics, and other forms of calculation, are fundamental to education.
In today’s age, we do place a big emphasis on math. I believe that Plato would be impressed by this. I believe it’s safe to say that Plato would be quite disappointed with out current public school system. He’d be wondering why the system doesn’t place a large enough emphasis on dialectic and the teaching of opposing ideas, or in other words conspiracy theories. I couldn’t blame Plato. I agree with most of his points made. I strongly feel that schools should offer new ways of teaching, and new material to teach.