This semester all my classes seem to link up on a common theme, even though from the outside, they don’t seem to have a shred of similarity. I’ve been taking DWA 101, ECON 102, Intro to Islam and this Education class and yet the theme of oppression through education keeps on surfacing. This prompted me to delve into further research into the topic of what the value of education really is.
In a sense, what I have just done is what higher education, especially liberal arts education is trying to achieve. Through the exposure of different fields of education, one should be able to apply their knowledge through the broad spectrum of subjects and use it in future life. This is only one of the goals higher education is trying to achieve. While battling through your higher education, you should be able to absorb more knowledge previously unknown to you and provide you with a specified field to work on, or at least a platform for you to search. For some students, pacifically those who board, higher education is a time in your life for one to search within oneself to see what they want to achieve in life. This should be a time where they develop a more mature thinking and for those who are away from their family- a transition into adulthood. What my parents believe, in what puts value in your higher education, is the network of people you meet and befriend. In theory (although it remains pretty solid in Occidental) is that people who attend higher education should be more motivated and driven, hence in a cynical way befriending them represents a long term investment into your future network.
Now that I have covered the conventional view of the “value of higher education” I would like to share my research on what education really represents. Education could be seen as a form of oppression. It seems as if the ideology of education could be a way of dividing up classes. This way of differentiation allows society to value its citizens differently. Throughout history, the way people broke through the realms of their class was through education. It is common knowledge that higher education is a privilege and a chance to proceed to higher levels of society. So in my cynical way of looking at education, higher education’s value is merely the protection of class systems and a way to differentiate citizens. In order not to be left behind or to be looked down upon, one has to go through the traditional forms of education or face the consequences of being demoted.