Ever since we began our discussions about education, I’ve been nagged by a memory of a video I’d watched in high school. It was a video my psychology teacher showed us in class one day, not because it was particularly relevant to the topic we were discussing, but because he was one of those teachers who liked to make you think and question your values. The video was a spoken word that differentiated education from schooling. After some descriptive Google searches, I found that it was called “Why I Hate School But Love Education.” The video itself was thought provoking in itself, but then I scrolled down to the comments. People seemed to fall all over the spectrum on this issue. Some pointed out, as I thought when I watched the video, that the successful people he used as examples were not representative of the larger pool of uneducated people. One comment referenced people living in third world countries and the poverty they endure as a result. As thinking philosophically often does, this led me back to the definitions. I approached the issue as Socrates would. I wondered how this commenter was defining education. One response seemed to consider smart vs. dumb, another differentiated education from use of knowledge, and still others used education and knowledge interchangeably.
Rousseau’s convictions concerning education seem more in line with the propositions of the video. Both stress the importance of learning because you are interested in learning, as opposed to memorizing facts that will be forgotten after the test. They highlight the importance of education through things outside of school (or by man). One of the biggest factors of education that both the video and Rousseau seem opposed to is the pressures of society on the individual learner. I wonder how the commenters would react to the ideas proposed by Rousseau.