The Role of Education: Machiavelli’s View
“Conduct your own rule as if you were striving to ensure that no successor could be your equal, but all the time prepare your children for their future reign as if to ensure that a better man would indeed succeed you.” (Erasmus 3). This is the quotation that best describes the purpose of education as what is perceived by Machiavelli. In his book he emphasized the interrelationship of manipulation, control and personal gain. Education is indeed important in changing one’s life and in achieving a position in the society.
Education is preparing the student for the actual battle of life, hence they should be guided to be critical thinkers and answer seekers. This is the philosophy that will govern on how education should be implemented so that students learn not only the 3 Rs but more importantly on how to cope with the challenges in life and in the real world. It is then the purpose why a student-centered classroom setting and a constructivist approach are necessary and should be administered in the educational system. With this curriculum set-up learners are given the opportunity and the freedom to have their free will and choice as to how they deal with the situation given to them in the classroom setting. It is then important that students’ skills in analysis, critical thinking and problem solving are developed and enhanced so that they can be prepared to face the challenges in real life situations.
The purpose of schooling is not merely focused on learning the basic things such as writing, reading and arithmetic. However, learners’ potentials should be developed to the fullest in order to prepare them to the real battle of life. This can only be achieved if learners are given time and opportunity to explore and find meaningful applications of their learning in their day to day lives. Therefore, honing them to be critical thinkers and problem solvers can be effective in making them more successful and productive citizens in the society (Gay 9). Moreover, students should be exposed to situations that encourage them to think rationally rather than feeding them with mere facts (Unger 6).
It is even highlighted by Machiavelli that in pursuing good education, all the liberal arts should be given emphasis in the education system (Phillips 3). Moreover, the teachers in order to successfully teach the children and mold them into better individuals should have gentle disposition and uphold irreproachable morals and values (Erasmus 4). True education does not only occur in the four corners of the classroom however it becomes more meaningful in the community and in the outside world. Therefore, there needs to be strong linkages between the school, the parents and the community (Unger, 2007). The provision of situations which motivate students to think critically should also be present in the learners’ homes and in the community where they belong. Moreover, families and communities must work hand in hand in providing the young learners opportunities to grow themselves holistically. Hence, spiritual, emotional, social, intellectual and environmentally-responsible individuals must be developed by the school, families and the society.
To sum it all, education is not only about gaining knowledge but it is more on utilizing these learning and information in a more meaningful life conditions. Moreover, it is about preparing individuals to be ready in facing the challenges of life and making them more responsible individuals for the community. Hence, young individuals must be trained to be critical thinkers and problem solvers in order to meet with the challenges of the changing and improving society.