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Comparison/contrast - Essay Example

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Given the increasing number of students who want to pursue college degrees, not only in America, but the globally, the dream of experiencing high quality level of learning for most of students is slowly fading. Most institutions of higher learning are paying little attention to…
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Comparison/contrast
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Irina Kim 12/18 English Essay Higher Education, is it a Reflection of the Society? Given the increasing number who want to pursue college degrees, not only in America, but the globally, the dream of experiencing high quality level of learning for most of students is slowly fading. Most institutions of higher learning are paying little attention to what education is meant to do to the student or what it needs to consist of, such as what students learn in class in relation to the outside world. These are the differences that Martha Nussbaum and Andrew Delbanco offer in their inspiring books.
Andrew Delbanco argues that the education system in America was not meant to be only based on imparting information, but rather as a way of promoting character development. The American education according to Delbanco was meant to turn the 18th and 19th century soul away from the selfish beliefs and behavior that plagued most people. On page 2, Delbanco says that the institutions of higher education are “…about transmitting knowledge of and from the past to undergraduate students so they may draw upon it as a living resource in the future”.
On the other hand, Martha Nussbaum believes that education is meant to cultivate humanity and it does not necessarily have to be done in an institution. In contrast to Delbanco’s views of a democratic modern-day education, liberal education is tied to democracy and a person’s unexamined life without education threatens the democratic freedom of a state. In addition, Nussbaum cites on page 43 that “…liberal education is primarily an American idea” even though she is quick to cite that it has its roots in other traditions such as the Greco-Roman traditions.
Unlike Deblanco who is a Professor in humanities, Nussbaum is a philosopher and a Professor of law. However, despite their differences in careers, the two have similar views in what they write. Delbanco believes that the modern-day teacher to tries and ensure that there is an awakening in the modern-day students. On page 45, Deblanco also says that it is necessary to “…get the soul out of bed, out of her deep habitual sleep”. On the other hand Nussbaum notes that institutions of higher education now see that their curricula do not do so much when it comes to forming citizens in readiness for a society that is pluralistic. Nussbaum says o page 44 that“…these nations are recognizing that their curricula for higher education do nothing to form citizens of a pluralistic society”.
In comparison, Delbanco asserts that there are very few colleges that work on informing their students about what to think because they only focus on steering resources to only those people who are most productive in their researches. Delbanco supports this view by noting that there is little that is done for the undergraduate curriculum.
One key similarity that Nussbaum and Delbanco have in common is that they believe that the student ends up suffering because the education systems in institutions of higher learning suffer from commentary sickness. In attempt to address this problem, Delbanco and Nussbaum provide readers with their contrasting views showing why the modern-day graduate has little to offer the society. In their view, the hierarchical power structures that lead to colonialism are evidently portrayed in classrooms because education is now based on how teachers deposit their knowledge “into” students creating an education system concept that is similar to the “banking” systems.
Works Cited
Delbanco, Andrew. College: What it was, is, and should be. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2013.
Nussbaum, Martha. "Liberal Education & Global Community." 90.1 (2004): 42-47. Read More
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