Sunday, October 24, 2010

Education for Vocational Purposes Only?

 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".


Mike Gottschalk said...

You've got so much going on here Angie, but I'll pick one for now: Propaganda.

I'm beginning to think that the chief characteristic which makes information propaganda, is that the given information is made to connect to ideology rather than reality.

Not to say that an ideology and reality are automatically exclusive; but I will say that they aren't connected by necessity. In fact, ideology can obscure reality.

So I'm saying that more than sloganeering, propaganda is something more like a lifestyle.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Thanks Mike for commenting and "joining" Angie's Point!

I have to think more deeply about your connections here, but off the top of my head...

1.)Ideology is/is not connected to reality. Yes, it is not connected to reality if one is talking about scienctific investigation. But, even in scientific investigation one has to have some concept of reality based on a particular theory, no? Say the wave or partical theory of light...
Even among the various diciplines in the Academy will look at reality differntly, but even in a particular discipline, one uses certain forms of framing the political realm, reality is formed in America by a liberal or conservative "bent" toward our nation. How our lifestyles are understood are formed by such "commitments" of value.

2.) Lifestyle means cultural frame, and since America values diversity, we do not limit one's "way of life", unless it imposes itself on another's life, such as theft, murder, etc.

3.)Propaganda is information in a certain frame, that means that all information is propaganda, in a certain is an art of persuasion that "my view" is better than "your view".

Most people arent tuned to asking quesitons about ultimate reality, so the aforementioned aspects of "difference" don't appear on "their map"...

Angie Van De Merwe said...

To continue our discussion...

Our nation valued the "rule of law", which was a social construction of reality by "osmosis". It was not planned in the general sense of the word, as in one particular person (autocrats) or group of people (philosophers). We are free because of our ability to allow such individual/group formation.

One book, I've been reading "The Theme Is Freedom", talks about how the American experiment was unique in that it didn't allow the legislative branch to control "custom". Today, we have an activist judiciary, which have different commitments concerning thier ideologies...and law.

Authoritarian regimes and autocratic governance is anathema to the American "ideals" of "life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness".

So is ideology important in our American Republic? Yes, and No...

Mike Gottschalk said...

A couple of things Angie, (and I'm happy to join your blog!) I think it is at least useful when discriminating information by its effect, to notice that it is something that transpires by communication--in contrast to energy which transpires by dynamics.

So for instance, a cell self organizes because it has the ability to communicate information openly within and beyond itself.

We as human being have the ability to communicate information in a way that is meant to obscure rather than enlighten, or make transparent. I think the way the Palen right communicated death panels was propaganda because their intent was not about enlightenment, it was about ideology, and more, it was about protecting the carriers of that ideology.

So no- I don't think all information is propaganda, as the cell is incapable of it. In fact, maybe one way to think of an infecting virus is to think of it as propaganda.

Mike Gottschalk said...

Now when it comes to ideology, first let me say that for human being, our primary way of seeing is not through our eyes but through our ideas. And more, I would say that our connection to our environments transpire through our total intellectual domain, rather than our biological.

So yeah- in a way you could say that all human life is ideological, but somehow we have to discern when we are truly connected to reality through idea as live thinking, or when we aren't so much connecting to reality, but to dogma- whether religious or secular in source.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I'm not sophisticated enough in philosophical "precepts" to know when I am making sense or not.

But, it seems to me that our sense experiences, either make for creative ideas, or elimination of ideas....OR our ideas, create a "universe", in which ideas are interpreted....I'm not sure which is the truth, maybe both, at various times.

For instance, beauty, or goodness has no meaning other than the way in which our sense experience has intepreted for us. So, does beauty exist apart from our identifying it within a context?

Or does our context come first and we project our cultural references as to the definition of beauty or goodness?

I'm just not sure. Does neuroscience and psychological sciences have anything to say about this?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

....I meant to say that our 'universe" is intact and we interpret our experience within that frame...

As to you cell equation, I'm not sure I understand what you are saying.

Communication has to happen with facts, otherwise, we don't enlighten, only propagate an ideology. That I can agree with. Science does inform us, but we still are "in the dark" in many matters.

I question whether all humans have the same sense experiences. And then if those experiences are framed in similar ways. How is one to do that sort of experiment?

Creativity defies "explaination", doesn't it?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

And Mike,
I believe that Palen has a right to "free speech"...otherwise, we are under "propaganda tactics", whether you believe that death panels are possible or not.

As to her ideology, she is supporting what she considers to be a government that will not intrude upon her personal liberties. This is what the Founders intended, wasn't it?

Charitable service has to be given because one believes in such a cause. I may not believe that animals have rights over the environmental issues that face us. And because of that I may support the environment, over animal rights. And those that want to defned animals have just as much right to do so. It would be oppressive of government to interfere with the individual's right to choose his "principle of conscienct"...That would be propaganda...