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Education - Indoctrination

 
 
Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2009 11:21 pm
I was talking to a friend today, and the conversation came around to education. I said, "People need to educate themselves, and be educated. We need to learn and grow in our knowledge." (or something along those lines)
Then he asked, "Where does a person stop becoming educated and start to become indoctrinated?"
I thought this was an interesting question. Educators (or anyone, for that matter) have an opinion, and have an agenda for themselves. They're the ones telling us what to think, right? Supplying us with information, and very often telling us what to think of it.

Any thoughts?
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Serena phil
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 01:59 am
@Smiley451,
Self-education is often the best approach when avoiding inculcation. However, self-indoctrination is a potential outcome when an opinionated source of information becomes the central source for belief. Education should be collectively balanced of the facts that have universally, or nearly universally agreed upon and personal experience. Once something is biased, it can abstain free-will or it can strengthen it. But if free-will can be strengthen, then indoctrination probably did not occur.
0 Replies
 
urangutan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 06:47 am
@Smiley451,
The meaning of education. As though it was a lost sheep, in a land of plenty, it may just go unnoticed. The first lesson of education should be to teach the pupil, how to learn. As humans, we do not begin by walking within the first week of life, we strive for composure, mobility, balance and then we take a step. Why should education be any different. Sadly it is however.

Take philosophy for an example. You cannot teach it as though it was a method, like it possesses a formula. One must be taught philosophically, to become as such, otherwise it is as you say, a case of simple indoctrination.
0 Replies
 
jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 07:16 am
@Smiley451,
To conflate one of the more noble activities of civilisation with one of the least and deservedly loathed seems to avoid the distinction of the purposes of each that a careful use of the two words avoids.

The purpose of education, broadly and practically considered, is to provide a common stock of knowledge on which to further build, and to teach the methods and procedures to allow an individual to be able to free himself from the tutelage of others. This common stock of knowledge has been built over time by many influences and by many independent, striving and often antagonistic influences and perspectives, much as science continually corrects itself.

The purpose of indoctrination, on the other hand is just the opposite; to inculcate one chosen perspective by any means, including propaganda, and to never teach either any other perspective nor to provide the individual the tools necessary to think differently. Its dogma is never challenged---or allowed to be challenged--- by reality or contrary thinking in its origin and stunted "growth" of elaboration of the same.

While educators may have opinions about all sorts of things, they also take this "bias" into consideration, and attempt --- as much as is possible--- to bracket them. Indoctrinators do not, and it is their opinions that determine the content of instruction.

More often than not, at least for the average person, self-education is actually self-indoctrination and not education, and is based more on happenstance, contingency, and caprice than anything else. Stunted, slanted, or incomplete knowledge seldom leads to authenticity in thinking, and often to sad consequences to the individual and to the society in which he lives.
0 Replies
 
urangutan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 07:30 am
@Smiley451,
JGWeed, you have negative and positive feeds but no earth. Common stock of knowledge, may well be the exact duplicate of, one chosen perspective. I know that you elaborate to explain it less coursely but it represents a system that does not stand up to the challenge. If you believe that all minds will comprehend the universe, then you must allow each individual the chance to take the first step. The result of not allowing this is in fact indoctrination, even when it is within the guise of your words.

On a seperate note. Serena, I noticed that you spelt Colourado with a "u". Is it to and texture to the place or are you showing us that there is more in the fabric of your state. Either way, I like it.
Theages
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 02:43 pm
@Smiley451,
Everybody has their dogmas and nobody likes those dogmas to be challenged. There is no teacher who puts all of her idols up for discussion. All teacher have some place that they aren't willing to go and aren't willing to let their students go.

There is, in other words, no clear distinction between "education" and "indoctrination". The difference is only a matter of degree.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 03:02 pm
@Theages,
Rather than indoctrination, I would consider formal education as a way of informing the student of the consensuses that have been adopted by the culture/society that the student is part of. This can include: history, government, science, math, english (words, sentences, penmanship), literature, sports, etc.

Call it a way of easing someone into the relationships that they will be dealing with in his/her life. It may change from region to region (e.g. race relations), country to country (e.g., government, history) or ethnic group to ethnic group even within an educational system (e.g. vocabulary). But, it does provide some basis for people to communicate and work together.

Rich
0 Replies
 
ValueRanger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Aug, 2009 05:52 pm
@Smiley451,
Just as with any other word object, how necessary is its application to meet the need at hand, and at what level of education are the practitioners to where the stronger adapts more than the weaker, in negotiating mutual 'indoctrination~education' value exchange?
0 Replies
 
urangutan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 02:26 am
@Smiley451,
If a child prefers to play in puddles and kick a ball around at six years of age, why then do we insist they take to the curriculum set out. Doing so is indoctrination and in most cases that child is lost still playing in the fields. Take the class to them, or ease them into the classroom and it becomes an education.

Why should all children start class together, why aren't children encouraged to play more during the early years. What has an education got for them right then. Well it was how we learnt, is not good enough. Too many failed systems, that continue to just fodder out those that appeared worthless to the curriculum. An education is a right, not a gift for those who adapt to it early.

An education is a lifetimes struggle. Pray why, do we force it into children that are yet prepared, when their whole life awaits.

So Theages, I dissagree with your comment, as it is not a measure of degrees, but begins with a compounded, force of involvement. Disruption is one of the greatest threats to the act of educating, so why not eliminate the threat.
Serena phil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 02:56 am
@urangutan,
urangutan;80913 wrote:


On a seperate note. Serena, I noticed that you spelt Colourado with a "u". Is it to and texture to the place or are you showing us that there is more in the fabric of your state. Either way, I like it.



No, it's just a distinct touch I added which sort of goes along with my British interest. Thank you for noticing.Smile
0 Replies
 
Theages
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Aug, 2009 09:40 am
@urangutan,
urangutan;81041 wrote:
So Theages, I dissagree with your comment, as it is not a measure of degrees, but begins with a compounded, force of involvement. Disruption is one of the greatest threats to the act of educating, so why not eliminate the threat.

I don't see how anything you've said is in conflict with what I've said. Your point (correct me if I'm wrong) is that educators should (edu)cater to the interests of children. For the most part I agree with you here. It's not productive to stop a six-year-old in the middle of her game of ball and say "Now, it's time to learn predicate logic!" Children don't usually have any interest in that kind of thing, so they won't exert any effort or concentration. They will focus if they are learning more interesting things.

My point was that children's curiosity tends to wander, and eventually they will start asking questions about gods / politics / why mommy and daddy fight / etc, and that for every educator there is a point where they will not entertain that curiosity. Again, I don't see how that conflicts with what you said.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 01:26 am
@Smiley451,
The best teachers help students learn methods to solve problems and formulate their own opinions. Education is thus an attitude a method of approaching problems and formulating opinions more than the acquistion of any specific number or set of facts. Unfortunately all too often education does become the memorization and recitation of facts (indoctrination) rather than an independent problem solving method of analysis. Imagination is more important than knowledge (Einstein).
0 Replies
 
urangutan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Aug, 2009 04:26 am
@Smiley451,
Apart from there being no distinction, you may be right Theages. Sorry, seriously, perhaps I singled you out, I meant no disrespect. I merely needed to emphasize the point that involvement must be voluntary. Either of which can be in degrees and that is a clear difference between the two forms, indoctrination or education.
0 Replies
 
PoeticVisionary
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 10:48 am
@Smiley451,
Everything I've read on this particular thread has a valid point. My wife and I are home schooling our children (Bertrand Russell was until 18 and then he went to Cambridge). Our belief is one of not forcing our children to learn. We encourage them to ask questions, we read to them every night, weather permitting they are outside playing with their friends. We try to make it the way Plato said Socrates answered questions. They are far ahead of most children their age. To put them in a classroom would stunt their intellectual growth. This is just our opinion and I realize most people do not have the time required for this. But for us it works. We have 6 children ages 18, 16, 10, 7, 4, 2. The first is in college with the second getting ready. I also want to add that I'm not saying this is the perfect route, though again it works for us and it had not been mentioned on here yet.
0 Replies
 
cws910
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2010 05:12 pm
@Smiley451,
Those who want to learn, will. Those who could care less, wont. So I must conclude that education shouldn't be required, because so many stupid people competing just makes it difficult for the genious to shine, and for society to continue.
bmcreider
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 09:48 pm
@cws910,
cws910;117434 wrote:
Those who want to learn, will. Those who could care less, wont. So I must conclude that education shouldn't be required, because so many stupid people competing just makes it difficult for the genius to shine, and for society to continue.


Agreed. For sure.
0 Replies
 
Amperage
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 10:04 pm
@cws910,
cws910;117434 wrote:
Those who want to learn, will. Those who could care less, wont. So I must conclude that education shouldn't be required, because so many stupid people competing just makes it difficult for the genious to shine, and for society to continue.
people, especially uneducated people, may not always realize whats best. I've often thought that if it were compulsory to attend at least 2 years of college, america would be better for it because I know how much I learned in those first 2 years.
A child may not want to take his vitamins either but that doesn't mean it's best that he not.
Education is one of those areas that just seems like the good that comes from it far outweighs any possible negative.

Maybe expose to ideas is a better word. There are possibilities that I became exposed to that I don't think I would have otherwise and I am all the better for it. I would want the same from everyone
0 Replies
 
bmcreider
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Jan, 2010 06:24 pm
@Smiley451,
People learn differently, so I think any compulsory boot camp of instruction is not in the best interest of anyone, except for people who want control of knowledge.

I, for one, have learned some basic reading, writing, and math skills from school - and how to be socially akward, etc, etc...

But anything I consider important, or meaningful, was never learned through a standardized test. Memorizing yesterday and thinking you can create tomorrow doesn't work.
0 Replies
 
kidvisions
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Jan, 2010 09:05 am
@Theages,
Theages;80979 wrote:
Everybody has their dogmas and nobody likes those dogmas to be challenged. There is no teacher who puts all of her idols up for discussion. All teacher have some place that they aren't willing to go and aren't willing to let their students go.

There is, in other words, no clear distinction between "education" and "indoctrination". The difference is only a matter of degree.


The distinction is in the intentions of the teachers. Some intend ,for some reason, to inculcate their own thoughts upon their students, others aim to guide students and help them in every way they could to build their own knowledge,therefore to think for themselves.

A techer who does not accept any personal effort, and does only want to see his own thoughts on paper is a tyran to me. Education should not be at any cost indoctrination, it should be for one and only purpose : To help others develop their own understanding of things.

---------- Post added 01-10-2010 at 10:21 AM ----------

richrf;80981 wrote:
Rather than indoctrination, I would consider formal education as a way of informing the student of the consensuses that have been adopted by the culture/society that the student is part of. This can include: history, government, science, math, english (words, sentences, penmanship), literature, sports, etc.

Call it a way of easing someone into the relationships that they will be dealing with in his/her life. It may change from region to region (e.g. race relations), country to country (e.g., government, history) or ethnic group to ethnic group even within an educational system (e.g. vocabulary). But, it does provide some basis for people to communicate and work together.

Rich


I don't totally agree with you .
Although you have made a point by explaining certain aspects of formal education,you have not mentioned the dark side of such a discipline.
The intention of formal education is not always as objective as you mentioned. Sometimes it is intended to make people adopt a certain way of thinking that could deeply affect them.
In my country for example, there are certain things that are taught in schools about religion that serve to indoctrinate people with certain dogmas. This contributed in the creation of a very narrow minded generation that sees objective thinking about religion as blasphemy.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 10:09 pm
@Smiley451,
Idealistic view of the matter, indoctrination is bad. Will limit growthpotential and free flow of thoughts.

Optimal view, to goven a great cowd you need bureacracy, and indoctrination is a good way to keep the mobs in check.

- It becomes indoctrination when your knowledge becomes reflectory and you can't divert from that kowledge, not able to say it's wrong.
- it is indoctrination, if the agenda is to manipulate and divert the truth.
- indoctrination might be individualistic, some will precive the teaching differently.
 

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