The education conferene this past Friday continues to "brew" in my mind. What is education really for? Is education only for preparing for a vocation? Is an education also for developing the person, or the "self"? Aren't parents the main influence on a child's life in educational edndeavors and how education is percieved? America has come to not value education for the most part, because of America's entertainment mind-set. And, I think this is a downfall to our culture as a whole. But, if education is to be a value, the question is how is education to be paid for and what would be the "end" of education, then?
Patronage was useful since the beginnings of the university. Patronage was first given under the auspices of the Church, while today, we have "public education". And recently, there has been more talk of business as the patron of education. If the Church was to create the "moral model" in education, and the government tends toward the "mass production" model, then what would be the result of business interests getting their hands into education?
The main purpose of a business adventure into education would be for profit. Businesses are mainly interested in profit and there certainly is nothing wrong with profits. The question comes from how business 'investments' in education are handled, as ethics should alway hold sway over business profit margins, as ethics remembers that there are more important aspects to education than profit itself.
Education is in a crisis today and the President has been interested in addressing such problems, knowing that without an education, people will not have a way out of the present economice crisis and the trasition from a manufactoring/industrialized nation, to a communication/information one.
The question that interests me is; Is education for vocational purposes alone? No, because vocation is only the way a person makes money, while an educated population is needed to remain free. Why is this so?
Propaganda is useful to control populations in totaltalitarian regimes. An uneducated population is necessary to further propaganda's purposes, that is, to "control the minds" of the public, so that social order will remain peaceful. The ruling elite will "do as they please", while the population is listening to the "public radio" that tells them how to think and what to believe. This is a danger to America.
But on the other hand, "public" is not a necessarily for Propaganda, if public means solidarity, or fous, as a nation. What should unify our nation, that is a question to be pondered.
So, which model will be best for education? Will the Church's educational model for human development, public interests model or business interests model?
The Church as an institution is to maintain the virtue in a society. And virtue is what is needed for all citizens, not just the "peasant". Leaders are to have the character necessary to inform their conscience, so that they will govern with discretion and discernment. This is necessary for America's future. Otherwise, we will live by the "tribe", or "fittest" mentality. Equal is what America holds dear and makes it a free nation. Equal is about justice.
America's profit margins have become obsessions and have driven men to unethical behavior. This is why our country is having its culture crisis. We cannot trust our elected officials to see themselves as servants of their people. They have become rulers, and dictators, in certain areas. And this is unbecoming to American values, liberties and "ideals".
Education must change if there is to be "hope for America".