Education and Cultural Values: Ways to Become Better Citizens

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One of the most admired and quoted of the Founding Fathers and a lifelong champion of education, Thomas Jefferson, believed that American would never succeed as a country, nor have universal suffrage, until it had a sound educational system that taught skills and ways to become better citizens. Ignorant individuals have no basis in understanding democracy, and are not capable of self-government. However, with the application of education, he believed that the masses could rise to the occasion of good citizenry (Van De Mille, 2006). The United States, in fact, offers free and appropriate public education for 13 years- Yet the system is in crisis in many ways, among which, waxing and waning between the focus on teaching academic and life skills or being the agent of morality and values. To become global citizens, though, it is imperative that schools focus on teaching skills, not be the complete agent of teaching family and cultural values that is the job of the parent, particularly in an educational and societal environment in which there is an increasingly diverse population. Education, in the modern area, is the way we pass knowledge from one generation to the next. In an era of increasing technological complexity, this knowledge is vital for our children to learn to be able to become productive global citizens. Since the real object of education should be to prepare learners for a work force, whether that is technological or vocational, educational institutions must

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