Consider the view that education makes people smarter, not better.

Essay by blazeandiceUniversity, Bachelor's July 2009

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Education is the knowledge acquired by learning and instruction. For this purpose, many go to school hoping that they would become smarter and hence better individuals. However, this may not be true. In my opinion, education may have made people smarter but not necessarily better.

Education makes people smarter not better as it indirectly teaches people how to exploit others. This is because we are being educated in such a way that we are constantly looking for ways to maximize earnings or output in the real world such that we would not even be bothered about the ethical values we may be violating. For example, in subjects such as economics, we are being taught on how to maximize outputs and cut costs. One of the ways mentioned in cutting cost is to hire people from developing areas so that the labor costs will not be as expensive. However, this would mean that we are actually paying these workers less than they should be earning and therefore exploiting them which is morally wrong. Therefore, education makes people smarter but not better as it causes people to violate their morals just for the sake of profit maximizing.

Education makes people smarter but not better people as in the process of undergoing education, many have learned to be unscrupulous in order to obtain the results that they desire. For example, in a recent survey conducted, 75 percent of college students admitted that they have cheated before while almost 85% of college students said cheating was necessary to get ahead. This proves that students nowadays feel the need to cheat in one form or another so as to get better results which would help them get into better positions in schools or when working in the society. Hence, emphasizing on the fact that education does not make one become a better person as it encourages them to cheat in order to get into better positions in the society instead of discouraging such acts. Therefore, education makes people smarter but denies them from shaping their morals properly and hence making them worse off as people.

Education makes people smarter not better as it causes people to neglect their morals. This is because education causes the emphasis on building up a person’s upright character to lessen. For example, due to the competitiveness that is inborn within humans, even in our daily lives we can see many adults will comparing their children in academic areas. Seldom have we seen parents praising their children because they have better moral values than others. As a result, both the child and the parents will tend to focus too much on the academic results and hence neglecting the ethical aspect of the child’s education. With respect to this, some may argue that children are still being taught on moral values during ethics lessons in class which would help reinforce the moral values. However in many instances, these lessons are rarely held and are viewed as less important as the education system is more result-driven. Being taught lesser ethically then they should be these children may think little of having morals and may eventually become immoral citizens. Therefore, education makes people smarter not better as in the current education system, there is still insufficient emphasis placed on ethical education.

Education may make people smarter and better as a person as it educates one on the negative effects of certain actions and teaches them how it could end up affecting the environment. For example, in schools, we have been taught about things such as not to use Chlorofluorocarbon items as it depletes the ozone layer which protects us from the harmful ultra-violet rays. This allows us to become a better person and care for the environment by using less of the harmful products which we have learnt about. Without education, even if we are morally upright people or responsible citizens, we may not have known about such harmful effects and would continue to use such products and harm the environment. Therefore, it is possible that education may make people smarter and better as it allows us to learn more about how we can do a part to help save the environment.

In conclusion, I agree to a large extent to the view that education makes people smarter, not better. This is because most of the time when we are being educated, much of the focus is on results. Even in instances whereby education makes people smarter and better, it also relies largely on whether one feels the responsibility to be an upright person as well as his or her personality.