November 10, 2014

the cultivation of freedom (2014)

the dominant note of an education in a liberal democracy should be the cultivation of freedom, not of employability. We rightly want people to have gainful employment, but American citizens should do their work with a spirit of independence, creativity, and self-reliance.

The powerful trends in education right now are all about standardization, rubrics, passing tests, and compliance, which read as forms of servility rather than freedom. Insofar as the private goal of education is about jumping through the hoops necessary to get hired and the rationale for public education is about growing the economy, I worry that we’re striking a blas√© Hobbesian bargain of giving up our freedom to big corporations and government agencies in return for the promise of security.

Scott Samuelson (2014)