John Henry Newman advocates for an educational system, where the learners get the knowledge and skills that change their minds and help to adapt to the society. Newman points out that the educational system should not force the learners to accept some set beliefs and ideologies. On the contrary, it should provide the learners with skills necessary to conceive the ideas that will help them find their place in the society. Newman believes that this method of education will discover the potentials of the learners to the highest degree. What is more, the whole society will benefit from this, since all these people will utilize their skills for the good of their society.
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The liberal arts university emphasized such type of education, which aimed at learning itself. In this university, people are not prepared for certain careers or future responsibilities. Contrary, the university helps to develop a special way of thinking. The learners of this university form a special attitude towards society they live in and can thereafter fit it perfectly. These people are capable of solving problems of the society. The liberal arts university recognizes the dynamism of the society and helps to manage this diversity. Thus, the students of such university feel comfortable in almost all spheres of the society.
In his book The Prince, Machiavelli reflects Newman’s ideals. Machiavelli advocates for the society that is defined by ideologies of self will and understanding of human nature (Machiavelli 79). These ideals must address the ethical concerns of the society. Newman advocated for methods of maintaining the ethics of the society. As such, Machiavelli and Newman supported the same ideals of the society.
According to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, people are created to experience things; thus, they will distinguish appearance and real things. Some educational systems force people to accept some ideas that were not experienced yet. Plato says that people deal with shadows, and they cannot tell the truth; they do not know the truth. Therefore, according to Plato, people must have experience in order to apply their knowledge (Plato n.pag.). In this light, he seems to advocate a system that will enable the learners to discover their potentials.
Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligence also advocates for a discovery education. Gardner says that the learners have different potentials of learning new things (Howard 73). Therefore, the educational system should help to develop this knowledge. However, the educational system is unfair since it does not allow students to discover while learning; it focuses more on preparing them for the future professions. Thus, a lot of potential is left unrevealed, because the learners are mostly focused on their future careers. Howard advocates for an educational system that values knowledge for the sake of education itself.
The readings of the above-mentioned authors advocating for a self-discovery system of education have contributed to my own appreciation of studying. They helped me to understand that the main point of education should not be only studying the subjects. On the contrary, one should value the process of learning and discovering different things in order to integrate the knowledge and skills in the future. Therefore, the learners will be able to find their places in the society and take an important part in its developing. Newman and other philosophers knew this, and they wanted people to be provided with a relevant knowledge and an ability to adapt to the society.