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What is Education?

Plato defines education as that which makes good men, for he held the idea that good men act nobly. Plato believes in education because he outlined two visions in education and even some of methodologies to be used in education. His book Republic outlines these two visions which are namely; education of the warrior guardians and philosopher king’s education. He also uses the pedagogical method of education through Adeimantus and Glaucon to offer us a more restrained account of education.

Plato argues that there will be no end to political and human troubles if communities do not have philosophers as kings or if people who are at the moment being called rulers or kings apply philosophy with clear or enough integrity. He believed that the best rulers could only be produced through systematic and careful education. This kind of education would give rise to the renowned images of the sun plus its educational implications. Plato summarized three main purposes of education. One of the purposes was self knowledge for he believed that an educated man becomes wise when he knows himself.

The other purpose was individual moral good, he held the idea that the acquirement of knowledge was vital to man because it made him happy and virtuous. He deprecated the use of knowledge just for material success in life claiming that knowledge is both morally and ethically vital for all men. The other purpose of education was skill in terms of thoughts; he believed that it was mandatory for each man to develop his ability when critically reviewing propositions through the process of reasoning.

Plato also suggested some of the characteristics of teaching methods can be perceived at different levels in the contemporary informal educators. For example he believed that educators must always have a deep care for future and well being of those they work with (students). Education was perceived to be a moral enterprise meaning that it is the responsibility of the educators to search for virtue and truth therefore guiding the people they are teaching. Plato also gave out the Socratic teaching methodology whereby the teacher should explicitly know each his or her teaching subject and his knowledge limitation.

Plato also linked educational requirements with different stages of life. He was also concerned with the human mind and body in education for he believed that exercise, story telling and games (music and sports) could uplift the status of the mind. What is Enlightenment? Plato defines enlightenment as a source of light that illuminates the persons mind. He uses symbolism to show how the darkness can be illuminated by the sun in the world. The use of sun symbolizes how people open up their minds due to education just as the presence of light or sun turns away darkness.

Plato’s concept of enlightenment can be seen with in the way he dealt with the problems and even solutions of human imperfections and weaknesses. This is because through this he exposed secrets relating to the inner nature of human self or what the crown or ordinary man was not able to comprehend. Plato argues that this realization played a major role in self recognition for he compared it with when people are living in the darkness then they perceive a glimpse of the sunlight. Realization exposes some of the innermost secrets related to human nature just the way the light of the sun illuminates visible things.

What is Education? Thoreau was a pioneer for adult education. This is because he embodied and also invented the notion of the continued education or what is referred to as long life learning. He is perceived as a pioneer because he worked as a lecturer and also as an organizer in the lyceum movement. He also participated in the intellectual activism which was fostered by transcendentalist movement. Thoreau fundamentally advocated for continuing education for he acknowledged that no system or formulation was permanent or sufficient, that for one to be responsively alive ought to be a continuous learner.

Thoreau perceived the school or an educational institution as a place where anxieties that harass our existence-soul and body, society and self, intellect and emotion can be reconciled. Thoreau also looked at the way student’s interpreted situations and even class work. He says that students should not just appreciate the beauty of landscapes but make some rational inferences about its possible relationship with the human world, formulate a good hypothesis and test that hypothesis via further activity.

Thoreau’s action molds the intellectual curiosity about the immediate world we always move about, the readiness to take the risks when proved erroneous and the reverence for other and past cultures. Thoreau was a model of inter-disciplinarian because he maintained that all disciplines in education were equal no matter the nature of their complexity. What is Enlightenment? Thoreau defines enlightenment as the state of wakefulness. Thoreau’s Walden goes through the concept of wakefulness within oneself.

Thoreau believes that many people are still in the darkness for says that “The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred million to a poetic or divine life”. This line express the idea that true enlightenment starts when an individual natures his or her wakefulness or responsiveness. Thoreau believes that it is only when a person awakens his senses and mind that he may start to experience actual awareness.

According to Thoreau awareness involves being conscious of ones‘s surroundings and existence and also being in a constant state of self and physical examination. Self awareness is facilitated by the deep insights into one’s soul and mind. According to Thoreau to be alive is to be awake and the opposite is true. He says that it is only after one has awakened his mind that he gains his awareness of his physical and intellectual possibilities. He also believes that people should experience the natural and physical world to the fullest.

For he says “let us first be as simple and well as nature ourselves… ”. Thoreau also thinks that if human kind can really find a way of casting off the traditions of a degenerately evolved world then the race could enlarge its intrinsic consciousness and may awaken the ordinary instincts laying inactive within. This kind of awakening can theoretically result into a life characterized by the ease of mind and pristine simplicity. He holds the idea that a person who lacks the sense of both external and internal cognizance can differentiate wilderness and home.

He perceives home as where one feels very comfortable for he says “… would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion”. Thoreau concept of home is connected to secluded and unconstrained surroundings. Wilderness can be linked to the urban life for he is complacent with that kind of a situation. Thoreau idea of enlightenment basically condemns the typical human life while advocating for a life full of earthly awakenings unfettered by very tedious schedules of work and social traditions.

He argues that the process of self examination is vital for it takes people closer to their origins, nature and also their instincts. He also believes that people should also expand the level of their consciousness so that they could explicitly see life and even define their personal sense of the concept of asylum (Associatedcontent. com 1). Works cited. Associatedcontent. com. Enlightenment in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. 2010. Retrieved on May 10th from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/417763/enlightenment_in_henry_david_thoreaus_pg3. html? cat=38

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