The Purpose of Education Essay

According to Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher who lived form 1820 to 1903, “The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action. ” I agree with Spencer’s statement that the aim of education is action, not knowledge because society experiences improvements when educated people take actions. The mandatory requirement of education is action because it brings to knowledge the dynamic process of interaction within the world. One historical and concrete example that action is the aim of education occurred during the Nazi Regime.

In that time, Hitler killed millions of Jews, and institutions and people filled with knowledge did not speak out in order to oppose his atrocity. Evidently, in that case education did not reach its aim because that people did not act to stop the persecution against Jews. It shows how knowledge with no actions can lead to negligent decisions or unjust attitudes against people and/or groups. Education’s main purpose is to open the individual’s mind and make the concepts received from teachers, instructors or professors be transformed into genuine actions.

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Knowledge is just the support that makes people think logically and critically. The aim of education is action because it is the only way to recognize what is right and wrong. By action, the individual opposes wrongdoing and improves society. Students that act logically and critically are committed to converting situations that are oppressing them or others into situations that will promote them and the whole community.

As an illustration, when educators transmit concepts about domestic violence, drug abuse or sexual education, they must to push their students making them think logically and critically, and to act in order to resolve this kind of problem in their lives and communities. Furthermore, if students do not open their minds and put their knowledge into action, their literacy is not involving the continuation of learning that will make possible for them to achieve the aim of education, i. . , action. It will diminish the benefits that people can gain by their actions. The corroboration that education reaches its aim is when signs of advance and innovation are explicit in the person’s life and his or her community. Another important concept that emphasizes that action is the goal of education is that it must motivate people to scrutinize what is right and wrong in their current activities that could be marginalizing groups or institutions.

For example, when students are familiar with the meaning of xenophobia and understand that the consequences of this conduct are dangerous, and then do nothing in order to make alert the community to the bad consequences, their education is ineffective. For this reason, the negative effect of this is that foreigners can be harassed, consequently leading to attitudes of prejudice, discrimination, exclusion, violence or hate crimes. Accumulated knowledge, skills and values with no actions are a waste of time for it shows that the person did not interact with the aim of education, which is action.

In another words, they did not develop their aptitude to understand and use their potential in order to participate fully in their community and wider society. The level of education in a society is measured when people oppose to wrongdoings and change unfairness within the community. To demonstrate this, when society abolished the slavery system, they converted their knowledge into tangible action. Theoretically, by knowledge they recognized that black people were human beings, not possessions, and by action they gave meaning to education when they decided to put an end to the slavery system.

They became what they learned through their action. In this case, the goal of education was reached because their action improved the black’s people status within society. Given these facts, action is the most important component of education. Even though knowledge is an instrument for making people think logically and critically, and recognizing what is right and wrong, it does not meet the minimum requirement of education, which is put it into concrete action.

Knowledge is the intrinsic nature of education, but the great aim is action because it makes education be transferred from generation to generation in order to correct inequalities and end oppression in society. Certainly, it is one of the reasons why when a system wants to control people, one basic technique is to abolish or control the education they receive. Educated people are not as easy to manipulate, and the knowledge they received will raise questions that will make them take actions.

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