Friday, November 14, 2008
“Education and Changing Perspectives” by Rustica Carpio tackles the problems of contemporary education and the available solutions to these problems in order for education to prevent people from turning into what Ivan Illich terms as a “deschooling society.”
The main argument of the essay is that education has turned against itself because individuals concerned are guilty of “misdirecting and disorienting the course of education, of misleading the paths of educational institutions and the approaches and techniques of teaching.” The essay further asserts that the problems must be faced to cope up with the challenges of education’s changing perspectives.
The author substantiated her argument by saying that “hazardous beliefs and wrong practices” like repressing the intellectual growth of students and teachers in favor of tradition deviate education from the actual learning experience. Also, obsolete systems by administators and teachers like ancient policies and curricula stray the school as an institution. Finally, the mechanical manner in which students learn—students acquiring static theories instead of applying them—departs from the correct style of teaching. The author proceeds to suggest that education must be modernized as well as humanized.
Indeed, the author is agreeable for stating that a person’s education should not be neglected for fear of mediocrity. I say this because education brings about knowledge necessary to translate ideas into action and capable of opening social consciousness leading to wide-reaching change. I also agree that facing the problems is a hard challenge, but one that is rewarding once overcome.
Among the strengths of the essay is the author’s series of citations of various intellectuals, a proof that she herself is being educated by insightful ideas, in a manner suggesting that she applies what she preaches. This is a good way of encouraging students to research, an effective means of learning. On the other hand, among the essay’s weaknesses is the unfamiliar choice of vocabulary which may alienate younger readers and, therefore, defeat the purpose of getting across the message to a significant sector of her disciplinal topic. Just in the initial sentence, the term “replete with” appears when a simpler one like “full of” will do. The introductory paragraph goes on to mention words like “muddled,” “besmirched,” and “iniquitous.” The first page would manifest the words “inanities,” “social cleavages,” “cloister,” “elucidates,” “milieu,” “tenable” “palpable,” and “flux,” and this is not to include the remaining pages. It seems to suggest that the essay is itself somewhat guilty of disorienting learners.