Can Education Change Culture?
No definite answer to this.
Bin Laden’s lieutenant is well educated, but believes that death and destruction can alter things to his liking. An Islamic radical culture has shaped his psychology, framed his mind. He, evidently, has very strong feelings against the Western Culture. How could he be helped to see clearly the strengths and the weaknesses of both his and the Western Cultures ? Only some one close to him could answer that, but it is very likely that the intensity of his feelings dispossesses his thought process from the necessary flexibility to perceive in ways other than his own. Rigidity of mind renders communication difficult, not infrequently, impossible The lack, or, difficulty of communication creates problems, within families, communities, nations, the human race. It is the cause of great upheavals that have affected humanity. If people could communicate, make mind contact, with one another, the history of mankind would be different. Bin Ladden and his group have grudges, not entirely unjustified, but instead of presenting them in communicative ways they choose violence and violence breeds violence.
Sarah Palin and her “brood” have “rediscovered” how the US Constitution, a product of bygone times, can improve the “American way” of, present and future, life in the US, but at least they communicate; perhaps in ways that range from the sublime to the ridiculous, but they none the less, communicate, , hence the growth of the Tea Party Movement. They present their grudges and feelings not with violence but in the communicative ways of the American culture. Badly communicated messages can result to violence, which shows that communication should be carefully delivered, lest there be misapprehension and unintended consequences, like the
According to UNICEF there are 1.2 Billion young people, aged 10 to19, in the world today. Of these 88% lives in the developing world. Half of these young people can not attend secondary school. Many tens of millions of them do not have adequate care and nutrition. One fifth of the world’s population is in the stage of forming a mind frame. What will that be ? How will it affect the world in the future ?
A little under one Billion lives in the developing world, but only about half a billion can have some education, with seven hundred millions left in the darkness of ignorance and illiteracy. It is, therefore likely that the world will witness violence as punishment of those who do not condone bigotry, like the recent assassinations of the Governor of Pakistan’s
If six hundred million young minds are not educated enough to discern and thus cede to a culture of bigotry the world will probably go on the way it is now.
Can education form a way of thinking, an attitude in life, an appreciation of commonly shared values ? No definitive answer to this, but it can help to a large extent, because education provides the mind information, stimuli, helps it develop and developed minds can communicate, as a rule. Culture is formed in ways that are compelling to the individual, such as Economic, Religious, Ethnic influences, even the influence of the Physical Environment. It is therefore very difficult for the world to develop a common culture.
What has come to play a vital role in communication, the prerequisite of culture formation, is technology. Human contact has vastly improved by technology and this had a profound effect on c u l t u r e s across the globe. Face book has exposed the Arab Countries to the western culture, the western way of life. It made them understand the benefits of Democracy and Freedom and bred in them a desire to have the same. As the exposure grew so did their desire and their gradual change of “culture” from piety and submission to resent and revolution. The events in
Education can change cultures. Technology does change cultures.