Education is the institutionalisation of an utterly subjective point of view about myriad different areas of knowledge (commonly accepted ‘facts’) upon an individual. Now it is arguable if it is right to indoctrinate an individual with a subjective account about certain cases. It is also doubtless that education always enforces prejudice, as it cannot be told just objectively.
(this is simply not in the nature of human beings) Generally a society does need education, because without education there could never be criticism or the discussion if something is right or wrong; mankind would be reduced to its normal animal-like schemes of behaviour, which would basically mean ‘the right of the stronger’. Nevertheless education is also a powerful tool of oppression, in the sense that a whole society can be manipulated through the indoctrination of certain areas of knowledge or values, which are just beneficial for a minority.
So the biggest arguable point about education is its natural subjectivity. The power to institutionalise knowledge or educate can be misused by certain regimes to create a society of slaves. The best example where this happened was Hitler-Germany. Virtually from birth on children and youths were to be brought up as good nationalists, which would dedicate their whole lives to the Fi?? hrer and his idea of a racially pure state.
Prejudice was enforced on a whole population as he indoctrinated upon them that Jews are on one evolutionary stage as animals; this shocking example demonstrates the power of education in the sense of brainwashing and the disadvantage of passing on a dangerous, purely subjective piece of knowledge and indoctrinate it on a whole population. Most comparable to that is our play “The Crucible”, where Christian laws are misinterpreted and led to a massacre where many innocent people were killed. “Woman, before the laws of God we are swine! We cannot read his will! “(p.
106 reverend Hale) demonstrates the total addiction of a person to one thing, the extinction of witches after God’s will; due to his authority his will is imposed on a society and random people are being accused of using witchcraft. This demonstrates that education leads in many cases to subjective judging resulting in prejudice and the wrong interpretation of a situation; additionally it demonstrates how vulnerable people, that are not educated and so believe everything they hear, are for mass-hysteria (from which the catastrophe resulted). They only way to get rid of this nai??
ve behaviour is to educate them, so criticism is possible and consequently an opinion. Nevertheless this example also points out that in these times education was only accessible for a privileged minority. Certain people are forbidden education due to their strata/position in society; this is demonstrated by Bernd Shaw’s play “Pygmalion”, in which a flower girl is educated by a professor in linguistic skill; this is due an experiment on peasant slang. With doing that she on one hand improves her social conditions as well as her chances for the future, but also makes herself dependent on the good will of Prof.
Higgins, whose social position is significantly better than hers. “(… ) Eliza: you are to live here for the next six months, learning how to speak beautifully like a lady in a florist’s shop (… )”: to get into the higher middle-class Strata, education is essential and so a tool of pressurizing an individual that has no choice that to accept the conditions. So education has to be accessible for every stratum, not just for a minority because this would again lead to oppression, due to the fact that knowledge is power.