Being well-educated has become a norm in American society. Higher education is one of the main criterion for employers when considering a job candidate. It serves as an indicator that helps people to form opinions about each other, and the presence or absence of higher education often impacts the life of a person significantly (Horowitz 345). The meaning of higher education for a modern American individual cannot be overestimated.
Education plays another significant role besides the social one: it noticeably affects personality (Horowitz 287). Students often choose their major in accordance with their ideologies and values, as their formed identities are usually already in place when entering a university or college. However, the nature of the material that students learn about and the methods used to master disciplines learned can influence their world outlook and beliefs.
When I entered the faculty of philosophy seven years ago, I did not think about the changes this specialization would invoke in me. Most of all, I cared about earning a higher education degree, and though I had some interest in philosophy, I had no intention of going any deeper into it than was necessary to pass the exams. But as time passed, I found philosophy more and more absorbing, and when I graduated, I was a completely different person compared to the times when I was a freshman.
One cannot study successfully without perceiving and analyzing new information, and the faculty of philosophy is a place where students constantly receive large amounts of data. Every philosopher, concept, or school of thought had to be scrutinized. This process was impossible without a critical evaluation of the comprehended material. We agreed or disagreed with famous thinkers, argued in favor or against theses, and came up with our own interpretations. We were in a condition of permanent choice, sorting out the material, and choosing paradigms that matched our outlook at that moment. This way, we built up substantial intellectual capital, which shifted our outlook and made it more complete and versatile.
It is not only the nature of the information that students receive in educational institutions that affect their personalities, but also scientific methods that are used during the educational process (Gabber 27). A method is an aggregate of ways and means to acquire new knowledge. Methods used in philosophy are numerous and diverse; thus, when a person constantly uses certain approaches for comprehension, they get accustomed to thinking in a specific manner. This manner determines not only the way of thinking, but also the way of cognizing and interpreting the surrounding reality and one’s attitude towards it. It also contributes to changes that occur in students’ identities.
It can be stated that education facilitates the formation of people’s personalities. Though many students enter a university or college with an already shaped set of values and attitudes, the nature of the material, as well as methods that are used for its contemplation and comprehension can affect one’s identity significantly. I believe despite the fact it may sound like stereotyping, people who share the same specialization and the same profession have much in common. It would not be an exaggeration to say that physicians, lawyers, artists, musicians, and others share outlooks that are similar to some extent.
Horowitz, Nicholas. Education’s Impact on our Private Lives. New York: Cloudy Hill Press, 2008. Print.
Gabber, Natalia. Methods Present in Education. Boston: Ransom Books, 2011. Print.
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Writing a Reflective Essay
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The two major issues, related to the penetration of religion into schooling are prayers during the classes and teaching religion in education institutions. The most common concern about these two issues is the possible outcome related to the domination of certain religion (supposedly Christianity) over the other worships of ethnic minorities. In addition, the manifestation of religion and the related education are likely to promote clerical value over secular lifestyle, viewed as socially acceptable - as most critics believe.
Major thesis statements:
1) Prayers should be forbidden at secondary education institutions, since they abuse school discipline and religious neutrality of the public institution.
2) School prayer is an inalienable right of each individual, due to the freedom of speech and expression amended by the Constitution.
3) Religious education at public schools should remain forbidden, as the public institution should not be turned into a secular one.
4) Teaching religion is likely to positively contribute to societal morality and therefore decrease the prevalence of such negative issues as crime, deviance, abortion and domestic violence.
5) Religious education should be provided by separate institutions, rather than public schools, since such division supports religious neutrality.
Primary issues to discuss:
1) Is American educational system lacking spirituality?
2) Are moral values and virtues observed today? Can religion classes nurture such qualities as honesty, loyalty and empathy?
3) Religious beliefs are known as a vital aspect of socialization. Should American children learn them at public or parochial schools?
1) Anthony, F.-V. Religion and Culture in Religiously Affiliated Schools: The Role of teachers in Nurturing Inculturation. International Journal of Education and Religion, 1(1): pp.17-40. 2003.
2) Hirst, P.H. Christian education: a contradiction in terms? Learning for Living, 11(4): 6-11.
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Religion and society
Teaching religion at public schools
Religious cults and sects
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