Education and the secularisation of knowledge

Abdelouahed - Errachidia, Maine
Entered on April 28, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

Within the context of modern secular civilization and on the ground and background of its political, cultural, and ideological directions, a kind of education has been set up, giving birth to a new generation out of extremist and petrified livers. Education in the new sense is no more than a system of exploitation within which young people are to be made as robots and assigned to fulfil some specific limited tasks. This raises the question: what sort of education humanity is really in need of? And for what sake schools as social fabrics should be directed to ensure that humanity will witness a happy new future?

During the dark ages, the prevailing education in Europe was religious. It was the starting point of a people wishes to get saved and purified from sins. Their teachers were a group of popes, priests, and preachers, who pretend to play the role of mediation for they know God and understand his knowledge as embedded in the scriptures. Such education is extremist and exclusive in the sense that it restrains peoples’ productivity and imposes a total control over their minds and intellectual drives. Yet the claim of mediation and salvation which the church and those behind the screen spent most of their time living on, turned, by the time, into a very sophisticated system of religious, political, and economic exploitation.

It is from this turning point that most of westerners lost their trust in religion and religious beliefs. The change was so extreme and has resulted in some fallacy in the western mind structure and methods of thinking, learning, and living. For instance, the unsuccessful and tragic experience of western man with religious persecution led him to revolt against religious beliefs in general. This involves two unconscious mistakes: First, western man failed to make a clear cut distinction between beliefs and practices; he thought that beliefs and practices should be identical, and hereby the problems he faced with religious practices drove him to revolt them and against religious beliefs in general. This false projection involves ignorance of the fact that practices are no more than approximate images of beliefs and they may even operate as an exploitation of beliefs to hypocritically attain some political, ideological, or economic interests. Second, the mistaken conception of the relationship between, perhaps, theory and practice generated a negative value judgment toward religion in total. This over-generalization, in turn, paved the way to the spreading of new-old fallacies including atheism, secularism, rationalism…etc.

One wonders: what is the additional value of the modern ideological content to the educational record? None denies it purely technical. We admit the west has taken a very wide step as far as technology is concerned; it has made up, thanks to technology, new ways of learning and therefore opened new horizons for lifelong learning and continuing education. Yet I cannot personally see any equilibrium in the personality of a learner brought up at the bosom of wild capitalism and globalism. The only education that must take place there in such atmosphere is that which satisfies one’s bodily needs at the expense of human spiritual demands.

How Man, therefore, can get saved if grown up at the palm of a non-moderate education, and education that idolizes the pair ($ & S)/ (Dollar & Sex) and spends the highest premium, labour, and time to glorify them? It’s high time now to confess by concrete argument that education will never save unless it responds physically and morally, to the law of ethics and global moderation.

There are, after all, two broad systems of education: (traditional) and (modern). The traditional system of education often refers to the ancient perspective and set of practices carried out in the name of education: it is usually known of putting stress upon knowledge and ethics. It therefore seeks to answer tow basic questions: what is education? And what is it for?

The first tends to identify, specify and determine what to know to learn it by heart, and the second pertains to justifying and relating the aims of education to the moral and utmost end of human existence. Knowledge and values are, hence, two basic standards of the traditional system of education.

The modern system, however, is a revolt against the traditional one, and it refers to the modern approaches, theories, methods, techniques and principles of teaching and learning. It always tends to base the educational operation on modern science and technology, imparting a set of central concepts closed to the scientific field like computing and communication technology.

The problem with both systems of education, however, is that they approach the truth from partial perspectives; one proves one or two components of education, and the other glorifies some other factors and branches. Yet truth is to be fully constructed through a combination between the overall components and authorities of education: the authority of knowledge and values (the philosophy of education) and the authority of science and technology (the science of education).