The fable of education as a commodity
Voluntary work is a professional and endorsed principle in the society not only to the most learned but also to those who have middle class or low-class levels of education. It shows individuals’ commitment to improving the welfare of others which is good behavior in a human being. It also helps one to explore into the lives of other people which makes one respect the values of others. It facilitates empathy and mutual understanding between people from different backgrounds and enables people to explore into situations they would have not experienced.
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An ethical egoist would have a positive opinion about volunteer work. This is because it has various advantages towards the society that is, giving back to the society free to improve the welfare of the people. He or she would not think of volunteering as an action motivated by an agent like Deidre for her benefit. He or she would approve of Deidre’s attitude and concerned her work of improving the standards of living of the community.
Volunteering is a virtue and not an instrument of self-gain. It helps one to extend love and concern for other people; for example, volunteering to save people who are caught up in a disastrous situation like earthquake, flood and other natural catastrophes would be seen as a good habit.
A major ethical difference exists between doing work for altruistic reasons and doing voluntary work for one’s employment prospects. Doing voluntary work for altruistic reasons means that it does not directly benefit you or it may be harmful to you but it would be beneficial for the survival of others. For example, volunteering oneself into a flooded region to rescue people trapped in the floods would not directly benefit you but it would ensure the survival of another person.
On the other hand doing voluntary work in order to further employment prospects would mean that the work directly benefits oneself. It is for this reason that Deidre commends that there is a general shift in the society, regarding peoples level of education, that is what people have learned in school and life has been taken as something that belongs entirely to an individual to sell or trade.
In the past, Deidre observes, education was regarded as a cultural course that was meant for the benefit of the whole society. Everyone strived hard to ensure that what he or she gained in the education life would be directed back for the welfare of the society. Nowadays it has become a tool of benefit for an individual rather than for the advancement of the whole society. Individual’s contribution towards improving the societies welfare has faded away. Every member of the society expects a return for any service rendered to it. This has especially been associated with the younger generation that does not take the values of the society seriously. Hence from an ethical perspective volunteering is something to be praised and adopted by all for the good of the society.
The fable of the educational contract
From the ethical perspective, the deontologist as a specialist in the theory or study of duty, moral obligations would not approve of Anatoly’s work. This is because there is no room for new ideas and innovation, rather Anatoly relies on routines and approaches which were adopted earlier though shown to be effective in the past. New ideas, experimentation and innovative approach would yield more results if applied. There is no groundwork and negotiation time. Anatoly has also chosen to utilize his time on expected short-term gains rather than long-term gains.
This has left behind the most important aspects he is supposed to look into, that is, improving understanding and skills of the farmers in order to empower them to manage their current and future problems to avoid the recurrent of the problems they are facing. He has also focused his attention to the groups that do not need him most and neglects the groups that he would have otherwise worked with to attain long-term objectives. All this has been as a result of performance pressure of his contract. His list of priorities has been affected by the new reform from the government.
The deontologist would not approve of the system at all. This is because the program is not working to achieve the intended objectives rather it is working to ensure that the new breed personnel or officers do not lose their contracts in future. The educational part of this program has not been thoroughly exploited. The reason being, that Anatoly has got no adequate time to work with farmers who really need him. He directs his attention into solving financial and managerial problems which can be done easily by experts in those fields, like accountants and bank managers. The agricultural extension program from the deontologist’s point of view is not yielding the intended results and hence he/she would not approve of it. Many assumptions underlie the reforms which have been undertaken.
- First, the extent of the rural crisis is big to be solved with the given time of the contract. This is seen by the military situation Anatoly finds himself in making him work with less needy farmers and neglect the needy ones.
- Second, the time for innovation and experimentation approaches has not been provided for, making Anatoly rely on routines that have been used in the past.
- Third, the time for collaboration with other officers in the field was not provided to enhance the exchange of ideas and address the needs of the farmers.
I would increase the time of the contract to give room for experiment and innovation. I would also set aside time for collaborative discussions for the officers to exchange ideas on how best to address the needs of the farmers. I would also emphasize mostly on end results rather than rushing to please the authorities while most work on the ground remains undone. This would ensure that the officers reach all the groups of farmers and educate them adequately.
Herman. B. (1981) On the Value of Acting from Motive of Duty, Philosophical Review, Vol. 90, pp. 358-382.
Hill, Thomas E. Jr, (1991) Servility and Self- Respect, reprinted in his Autonomy and self-respect Cambridge: University Press.
The fable of Accountability
Peters approach to his work is commendable. He does not sit to see his assigned business studies section eroding away. He takes a challenging measure in order to be ahead of other business studies programme providers. His brave introduction of the gravy train program is commendable. However a consequentialist would not commend Peter for this brave action. This is because a consequentialist is intolerable and has a source of self-importance.
The program is really demanding and the whole faculty is involved. Academic staff is not left behind. Managing the time to meet expectations of the client offers a changeling environment to the faculty. The faculty is caught up in a situation where it has to balance time for individual students’ work, individual tutorial assistance for every session and the group’s tutorial work. The environment for studies is also another challenge to the faculty. The commuters who are not enrolled are to be kept far from those who are enrolled to offer a good studying environment.
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This is to be done putting in mind that those who are kept away from the enrolled commuters can still enroll as learners in future. Problems arising from Peter’s brave action are also to be addressed by the faculty in order to ensure the program runs successfully. Hence the program is involving and challenging and a consequentialist wouldn’t tolerate the amount of work involved in this program.He or she would give a negative judgment about the program.
- First, the assumption in this initiative is that most people in the gravy train are business personnel and hence the programme would work very well.
- Secondly, the assumption that the business personnel had adequate time to undertake the learning while still having their own work to do while in the train.
- Thirdly, the assumptions that the already turned away commuters would enroll in future to become students.
- Fourth, the assumption that the accountabilities specification would bring about high standards in delivering the education.
- Fifth, the assumption that the whole staff would conform to the laid down standards and therefore make the programme a success.
The system seems challenging and as a consequentialist I would bring several changes.
First, the standard tuition fee should be balanced with similar programs in order to attract more students. This would increase the faculty’s income. A portion of this income would be used to motivate the faculty staff in order to encourage them to work even harder. I would also set aside one or two days a week where the program will not be carried out in the gravy train to allow the academic and the faculty staff to analyze the results of the programme. I would also put up measures to enable the commuters turned away not to feel neglected, for example setting up audiovisual learning lessons for them without necessarily putting too much emphasis on it. This would make them feel part and parcel of the programme.
Brandt, R. (1959) Ethical Theory, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Lyons. (1992) Utilitarianism, in L. C. Becker and (eds) Encyclopedia of Ethics, New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., Vol.II, PP.1261-1268.
The fable of Educational Requirement
From the ethical perspective Yanita approaches her CPE in the right way. A rationalist as a person advocating for rationalism knows that practical and technical approaches are better ways of solving problems rather than functionalism. They should also appeal to experience and reason rather than to the non-rational is to be employed in solving problems.
Her approach gives her a room to continue with her specialization as children’s ear nose -and -throat specialist due to her initiative and enthusiasm. She strongly supports the CPE requirements because she is already an expert in this field. This comes from the fact that she leads in the field and her judgment and expertise are widely sought after in making policies or in difficult cases. Her decision would be commended.
Her decision is morally defensible because neglecting a course in financial planning for retirement would be harmful to her. This is because her retirement period is quite near and she should balance in being a CPE specialist and also getting skills on how to manage and plan herself financially when she retires. Yanita has overcome odds and obstacles to emerge as a leader in her field and concentrating too much on a hundred continuing education units (CEU’s), would not bring so much difference in her specialization. But, taking a course in financial management during retirement would add more value to her and bring a major difference. Her decision is therefore defensible.
Several assumptions do exist in this system.
First, it is a must to comply with the system for one to qualify to be an ENT specialist. This assumption has been disapproved by Yanita who through her own initiative and enthusiasms has emerged a leader in the field despite the fact that she has not undertaken the minimum 100 (CEU) to qualify as an ENT specialist.
Secondly, the system assumes that whatever individuals bring for assessment is right and it is generally accepted by the authority. This is a loophole that has made Yanita obtain documentation on financial planning for retirement as a course on professional practice management.
Thirdly, the system assumes that the requirement is just for those who do not put serious efforts through their enthusiasm and initiative and therefore gives Yanita a room to misrepresent and falsify financial planning for retirement courses to appear as though it meets the required guidelines.
As a rationalist I would appreciate efforts of those who have become specialist through their own enthusiasm and initiatives by loosening the tight requirements- to undertake a minimum of 100 continuing educational units. This would help and encourage talented people like Yanita to enter into the field without fear of authorities. I would also ensure that assessment of all specialists is strict. This would be done by reducing falsifying and misrepresentations of information thereby ensuring that standards in the field are not compromised.
Baier, K. (1958) The moral Point of View, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Benn, S.I (1986) A theory of Freedom, Camberigde University Press, Chapter 3.
The fable of vocation
Fatima is to be commended for the good work she is doing to the community. Fatima has really done a good thing by starting up a community-based Adult learning center.The community has also supported Fatima’s efforts through their advisory networks and even voluntary work they do under different programs. The related issues that arise from this project are; many women are able to acquire education after their many years of raising their families and in doing unpaid household work. The result is that some go back to the work force whereas others gain self-esteem and self confidence. It helps them also acquire the relevant skills in life. This is because the courses address many different non-vocational issues, for example, child development, personal development, public speaking skills and craft skills parenting.
The reforms have downplayed Fatima’s efforts. They focus on major problems affecting the contemporary society and neglect the need for other useful skills in life. Apart from unemployment and under-employment there other problems being faced by the communities and Fatima’s motive was to address them. The center was started to assist adults acquire the skills in all spheres of life and not education alone. Fatima and her management committee can not afford to run the new reforms because the community is small and it is hard to get the number for fully fee supported courses at a cost that can be afforded by participants.
Her tutors have also a major problem. They only took a few courses in their fields. The reforms require them to be certified as competent in the assessment and basic training skills. The management can not afford to pay for its wide range of tutors to take the modules. Fatima’s response to the reforms is negative. The fact that she opts to step down from being the director shows her dissatisfaction with the reforms.
Several assumptions were made when introducing the reforms.
First, that the only problems faced by the communities are those of unemployment and under employment. The reforms neglected other social issues like, parenting, child-development, craft skills to mention a few. This was the real objective of the center.
Secondly, the assumption that the problem of unemployment and under employment is caused by ill or under educated job seekers. Commentators see this as a problem caused by structural, systemic and other issues.
As a communitarian, I would suggest that the reforms be affected without affecting the objectives of the community–based centers like that formed by Fatima. This is because there are many social problems faced by the communities which can be solved by such canters.
In addition, I would also suggest that the government offer full funding for such centers because their efforts are directed into improving the welfare of the communities.
Lastly I would also suggest that the government offer support to such centers for through their participative approach, the government can be able to identify other problems affecting them other than unemployment and under employment. Fatima’s work need to be supported.
Etzioni, A. (1993) The spirit of community: The Reinvention of American Society. New York: Touchstone.
Glendon, M. (1991) Rights Talk.
The fable of educational partisan
Lucien’s driven reforms are made to address the major problems experienced in the industrial sector. The vocational and training sectors have for a long time taught theory rather than adopting industrial practical approach system of learning. Any post modernist would therefore support Lucien’s driven reforms because they focus on the need to produce more quality workforce to satisfy the demands of the industrial sector.
A post modernist would look at Lucien’s approach to policies as well calculated. His assertiveness that the vocational education and training sector is unresponsive, inefficient and bureaucratic shows his intention in implementing the new reforms. Any post modernist would therefore support Lucien’s efforts to implement industrial friendly reforms that are practical.
His persistence in remaining unstoppable to implement new reforms shows that he is concerned with the development of the nation through the industrial sector rather than individual benefits that vocational and technical educators hold. He sees the need for industrial groups setting the pace in advancing the quality of education. This will bring the practical approach rather than the theoretical approach that has been used by other players in the education sector.
A post modernist would see Lucien as a person who focuses on quality and not quantity. Students will gain skills and knowledge which is applicable in the industries making learning more, interesting and realistic to them because they will gain hands on experience before they get employed.
Several assumptions underlie the new reforms.
- First, that the industrial group would provide the best quality of education required
- Secondly, that the vocational and training education providers would see the need to have a more empowered skillful work force and therefore support the reforms led by Lucien.
- Thirdly, that the views and ideas of vocational training educators do not amount to anything. The industrial group ideas are taken more seriously. The vocational education providers are sidelined from all policy-making processes which may also result in low-quality education.
As a postmodernist I would make the vocational education system more realistic by ensuring that the students do not only get the theoretical part of the courses but also the practical part of it. Modern equipments have to be used in practical lessons. I would also ensure the two groups collaborate in delivering quality education. Learning materials and syllabus content would be designed by experts from the two groups without overlooking the importance of each one of them. I would also introduce the use of information technology to ensure that the students are updated on current developments issues.
This would enable the students know what kind of equipments and how they are used in industries They would also get information on new production technologies in use making them more efficient skilled workforce, and suggest a joint assessment system where both groups are involved. This would ensure that the two groups get satisfied with the quality of education that the students obtain hence reduce wrangles among the two groups.
Rorty, R. (1988) Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Manchester, Manchester University Press.
Anderson, P. (1998) The origins of postmodernity, London: Verso.160pages.