Education and Society

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Education and Society course

Education - an instrument of social progress?

Julia Suhorutšenko

Tartu 01.01.2011

I would like to start my essay with the questions: what is the social progress? How can education help promote social progress? The social progress is the higher raise of the standard of living of a certain society. From that point education could provide its individuals a better understanding of how the society functions as a whole and what their roles are in that society, which could lead to economic, security, and material advances. At any given stage of society, the intelligence and moral character of its individual members limits social organization. It is obvious that the progress in human society depends upon the relation between one generation and its successor. As new life comes into society, it improves the character of the life of the society. Several thinkers propose two possible ways of bringing about such improvement: first, through the selection of the hereditary elements in society, eliminating the unfit and preserving the more fit; but, such a scheme of artificial selection could be too complicated. The second method is the improvement of the individual character through education and training. Similarly the natural instincts and tendencies of individuals may be greatly modified by training, the habits and hence the character of individuals can be artificial formed and controlled through education. Education is, then, the great means of controlling habit and character in complex social groups, and as such it is the chief means to which society must look for all substantial social progress. It is the instrument by which human nature may be apparently indefinitely modified, and hence, also, the instrument by which society may be perfected. The task of social regeneration is essentially the task of education. Therefore the main reliance of society in all forward movements must be upon education. So, how the ideal...
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