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Education & Individual Freedom, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 768

Essay

Freedom is to be able to see new possibilities and way of doing things. Freedom enables one to break the thought barriers imposed by the society and to engage freely in imagination. To be free means having greater confidence in self to change things than leaving himself at the mercy of destiny and external factors. Freedom means to be able to reject irrational rules of the society without consequences.

Freedom is not only about the ability to determine your life course and have an income to support self. Freedom is also about being able to think without an external influence. A society tries to maintain order by imposing fixed ideals on its individual members. Society educates individuals not to become free in the true sense of the world which is to widen their worldview but instead productive factors of production. It educates the individuals for the jobs of the present which may or may not exist tomorrow. Individuals are given choices only from the career choices already prevalent in the society.

The individual freedom exists in the sense that he can choose his career from a given basket.
Education makes one aware of the possibilities that may exist but not have been explored yet. Education enables one to see the things the way they are rather than how the different elements such as politicians and media portray them as. Instead of the individuals discovering problems on their own, the society proposes problems to them and helps shape their idea of what’s wrong with the world. Education helps teach individuals the art of critical thinking. Individuals not only look at things but are able to analyze it from various points of views as well as determine their positives and negatives. Education develops personal intelligence and teaches new skills, thus, widening one’s perspectives.

Education helps decrease the feeling of helpless and self imposed restrictions. Because education leads to greater knowledge, it also helps improve one’s knowledge of personal strength and abilities. Education leads to progress because it encourages exploration of uncharted territories. An educated person becomes aware of the obstacles in his way that are impeding his journey towards his goals. An educated person may not even be aware of any obstacles due to lack of drive.
The contemporary schooling is meant to reinforce the ideas of freedom we cherish in our culture. Most of us believe that freedom means free will to choose options and live in peace without any pain. But this idea of freedom is limited because this education doesn’t let engage in free thinking that may even be contrary to the prevalent ideals. The contemporary schooling reminds us that our notion of freedom doesn’t extend beyond the set rules of the society and behavior that is contrary to the norms is not encouraged even if it means creative exploration. Contemporary schooling convinces us that all the possible choices are already there and learning every new technology out there is the way to increase productivity and be competitive. In this way, contemporary schooling is less concerned with the realities of life than it is with the educational theories that present a simplistic idea of reality. Society education reinforces the idea that having material possessions is an important part of freedom because it allows one to enjoy life. Contemporary schooling enforces materialism at the expense of authentic personal experiences. Contemporary schooling prepares students for a systemized world. Media and politicians distort realities and send across messages that are meant to deceive the messes and keep them under psychological control.

The author’s approach to education is best explained by progressive learning. The author believes that if people are not aware of the problems and they cannot think of ways to improve the society, their perceived freedom is deceptive. The author states, “When people cannot name alternatives, imagine a better state of things, they are likely to remain anchored or submerged, even as they proudly assert their autonomy.” (Greene, 1988). The author is concerned that our schools don’t encourage innovative behavior and changes that will bring progress but instead focus on maintaining the existing way of doing things for their convenience. The author thinks Americans are content with the current status quo because they prefer harmony over uncertainties. The author states, “It is, actually, in the process of effecting transformations that the human self is created and re-created.” (Greene, 1988). The author believes that future happens when the shortcomings of the present are identified and when new experiences are undertaken. Our destinies are not fixed but the outcome of our actions.

References

Greene, M. (1988). Freedom, Education, and Public Spaces. In The Dialectic of Freedom (p. 9).

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