Education News Philosophy

The Best Schools: Can we make students want things that are good for them?

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Here.

Too much education in Fishtown [controversial sociologist Charles Murray’s iconic working class town] consists of school authorities trying to make students do things—for their own good—that students don’t recognize as good. In that case, it isn’t really good. It has no staying power, it doesn’t shape lives. It’s just a conflict in which the authorities win for now because they have more power. But once the students are out of school, they are free to ignore the rules, for good or ill.

Where to turn? How about traditional philosophy? What have the classical philosophers always said about teachers?:

First, teachers can make clear that they do not personally wish to control students. A school is not a farm or a prison. On the contrary, teachers advise and direct students toward self-control because the freedom to lead the good life requires self-control.

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2 Replies to “The Best Schools: Can we make students want things that are good for them?

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    Provided they are brought up in an at least half-sane society, working-class people understand that freedom implies a measure of responsiblity. It’s the middle-class liberals who don’t. It’s why the former will often vote against their own economic interest, at least, in the US.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    I am Canadian and have never observed that schools were the origin of how well people did.
    They were just a tool.
    Smart kids from smart families prevail over others despite teachers or well endowed schools.
    The schools only give a chance for a kid to raise themselves up above their origins upon personal motivations.
    Some teachers might have such a effect but hardly ever. They can’t.
    In canada identity determines ability and not the school you go too.
    I know home schooling kids who always are smarter then others.
    Or rather their parents are smarter and can teach better then school teachers.
    Usually home schooling is done by the upper middle or very solidly middle class people. I’m speaking from my evangelical circles.

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