154. "Both parents and communities must be involved in the local schools. Education is too important to leave solely to a group of professional educators."
Educators, parents and communities can and should join efforts to create a healthy learning environment for children.
A. First of all, we should never look down upon the key role that professional educators play in fostering the younger generation.
B. Meanwhile, both parents and communities can make significant contribution to school education.
C. Without a constructive family and community environment, it would be almost impossible for school education to fulfill its noble mission.
191. "Education should be equally devoted to enriching the personal lives of students and to training students to be productive workers."
In my view, preparing students for the mundane aspects of work should be secondary to providing a broader education that equips students with historical and cultural perspective, as well as thoughtful and principled personal value systems and priorities.
1. One reason why educators should emphasize personal enrichment over job preparation is that rote technical knowledge and skill do not help a student determine which goals in life are worthwhile and whether the means of attaining those goals are ethically or morally acceptable.
2. Another reason why educators should emphasize personal enrichment over job preparation is that specific knowledge and skills needed for jobs are changing more and more quickly.
3. A third reason why educators should emphasized personally enriching course work—particularly anthropology, sociology, history, and political philosophy—is that these courses help students understand, appreciate and respect other people and their viewpoints.
201. "The purpose of education should be to provide students with a value system, a standard, a set of ideas--not to prepare them for a specific job."
1. By helping students develop a thoughtful, principled value system educators actually help prepare students for jobs.
2. Another reason for my viewpoint lies in the fact that technology-driven industries account for an ever-increasing portion of our jobs.
3. Besides helping students develop their own thoughtful value systems, educators should instill in students certain basic values upon which any democratic society depends; otherwise, our freedom to choose our own jobs and careers might not survive in the long term.
4. Admittedly, values and behavioral standards specific to certain religions are best left to parents and churches.
213. "Too much emphasis has been placed on the need for students to challenge the assertions of others. In fact, the ability to compromise and work with others--that is, the ability to achieve social harmony--should be a major goal in every school."
Encouraging students to think critically does not necessarily conflict with our pursuit of social harmony.
1. Critical thinking is key to students both academically and politically.
2. It is necessary for students to criticize the views of each other in their studies, which does not necessarily lead to conflicts among them.
3. Compromising is harmful in academic pursuits.