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About Proper Evaluation Whether a Person is Educated

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According to “A Yaqui Way of Knowledge”, the aim of this education system is to create “a man of knowledge” who has overcome four enemies of learning: fear, clarity, power and death. First, the man has to defy his fear, which accumulated through each task of learning and after doing that, his purpose will get stronger. A clarity of mind could wipe fear, but also bring blinds. Without defying clarity, the second enemy, a man would never doubt himself and stop yearning for knowledge. Then power comes. To surmount it, he must realize that he never truly owned the power he seemingly conquered, holding everything in check and keeping carefully all the time. The last enemy is old age, or death, which brings a desire to lie down. A man could be said “with knowledge” only if he overcomes his tiredness.

Thus, under this system, evaluating whether a man is educated, we first have to see his attitude towards new and difficult tasks. If he goes forward without fear, and is not self-satisfied, keeping desiring knowledge and questioning himself, he achieves those first three criteria. However, the forth requirement takes a life-long time to check. As the Chinese proverb says: “Live and learn.” If this man never yields to his death, he could be the man with knowledge. To be noticed, in this system, “a path is only a path”, one of the many. As long as it is not caused by fear or ambition, dropping a way would never be a shame if your heart directs you to do so. People should try as many times as needed to find the path “ with a heart” and keep checking it. Meanwhile, learning for everyone is different caused by different personal experience. Thus to be a man with knowledge, he also has to ensure that the way he applied must follow his heart and based on his own experience. If this man could always overcome his fear, never satisfy with himself and learn though the whole life with ways fit his heart and experience best, he could be said to have proficiency under this system.

For functionalist as Alex Inkeles, the goal of education is to create a competent person with efficient personalities, which is also said by Inkeles to be the objective of socialization. Competence here stands for the ability to obtain and perform in valuable social roles. An educated man with competence should perform the social obligations placed by their culture and society. Also, socializers emphasize the importance of long-run adaptiveness of society. Education should allocate individuals to the most appropriate job according to their talents, ensuring that with the equal access to opportunities, the most talented people should be assigned to the most significant occupations.

Thus under this system, to evaluate whether a person is educated, we have to check whether he is competent. He has to equip himself with skills necessary for work which learned at schools. And he should treat schools as places of work without emotional elements such as love and hate, and treat teachers as authorities who grant rewards and penalties. (Robert Dreeben) He has to view his assigned job as the obligation given by the society and the culture, having a feeling of solidarity. Meanwhile, an educated man should know how to apply the most effective way to achieve goals and obtain modern skills like time management and arithmetic, having certain levels of information and modern styles of thinking. To be noticed, Inkeles analyzed the interaction between people and the social system and he stated that qualities required to be a man with competence are unevenly distributed among people with different socio-economic status. Apart from obvious obstacles such as discrimination and color bars in labor markets, differences in these capacities which caused by distinct socialization practices and living experience, also stops the disadvantaged group to participate the modern society effectively and enjoy equal opportunities. Overall, if a man could put effort on learning to compete for important work and be equipped with efficient personalities and skills required by that job while having a feeling of solidarity and obligation, he demonstrates his competency and a high level of proficiency under this education system.

Different from functionalists who emphasize the end-product, pragmatists underscore the process of education and bring democracy into it. Stated by John Dewey, aims should be foresight of existing conditions while being flexible to alternate with changing circumstances. The same happened to education aims, which have to be founded upon intrinsic needs, curiosity, experiences and interests of children and ready to be adjusted. Pragmatists believe that education should achieve social efficiency while developing personal culture, which help children develop their own values and prepare them ready for future communities. Individual differences of children should be taken into account when conducting education, or the specialty of each child would be destroyed, leaving a dull uniformity. To be noticed, social efficiency mentioned above should be obtained by the positive use of people’s native abilities in jobs instead of the negative constraint of them.

Under this system, to evaluate whether a man is educated, we first should pay attention to the economic side, which emphasizes his industrial competence, or his ability to earn his own living and afford his children. However, the success of education is not only measured by these “external products”, but also by the achievement of distinct cultures, such as whether he could demonstrate his own value and experience in a community. From the social side, the evaluation should be carried out based on the way his personality developed. Is it based on trained native capacities or specific industrial callings and social status of his family? If this man achieves his working and learning capacity based on his native tendency and actively participate in the process of education, he reaches this requirement to demonstrate democracy in education. Overall, if a person could adjust to the new environment well and quickly while showing his strong values and experience based on native capacities, he could be said at a high level of proficiency of education under this system.

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