Our Founding Fathers...Plato?
I was going to post on something else, but this just baffles me. This if from Wikipedia:

Plato is the earliest important educational thinker...He saw education as the key to creating and sustaining his Republic.

Woohoo! I agree with that. Education is vital in preserving our form of government and true liberty cannot be found without true education. How we educate our youth will have an effect on how we are governed when they mature.

He advocated extreme methods: removing children from their mothers' care and raising them as wards of the state, with great care being taken to differentiate children suitable to the various castes, the highest receiving the most education, so that they could act as guardians of the city and care for the less able.

Um. Come again? What does removing the child from the home to be raised by the state have to do with creating and sustaining a republic? Take those with promise regardless of caste and train them for leadership and stewardship. Take those with the least promise, regardless of caste, and train them for the lower segments of society. This is starting to sound like the German educational system. Homeschooling is illegal. Tracks are determined by 12. And Bush wants to do what with No Child Left Behind? All kinds of talk about having children decide their career tracks earlier and earlier. Granted, neither Germany nor America have made them all wards of the state...or have they? In my introduction to teaching in TX, I was told that the state, not the parent, has the rights over the child. This is why the state could remove children for suspected abuse. And the notion seems backed up by at least one federal judge:

In Fields v. Palmdale School District in November, the judges ruled that the right of parents "does not extend beyond the threshold of the school door."

Increasingly, it seems, our children are considered wards of the state. We only parent them by the consent of the state.

Back to Plato.

Plato's belief that talent was distributed non-genetically and thus must be found in children born to all classes moves us away from aristocracy, and Plato builds on this by insisting that those suitably gifted are to be trained by the state so that they may be qualified to assume the role of a ruling class.

That sounds eerily familiar. Trained by the state to assume the role of the ruling class. Here, that would be the "marketplace." Bush's priority seems to be training tomorrow's workforce. Find those talents early and set those children on their career tracks as soon as possible so that we may have an educated ruling class to take over the "leadership and stewardship" of society. And we can have a well-trained workforce to keep the gears of consumerism turning.

Plato should be considered foundational for democratic philosophies of education both because later key thinkers treat him as such, and because, while Plato's methods are autocratic and his motives meritocratic, he nonetheless prefigures much later democratic philosophy of education.

Yikes. I thought Dewey was bad enough.

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