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Utilitarianism in Education

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Sakan Alkibsi

on 26 October 2014

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Transcript of Utilitarianism in Education

The example i am presenting is that of the treatment regarding kids with special needs- whether they are genetic like down syndrome, dyslexia, or add/adhd or the lack of desire to learn or the failing to see the benefits of a proper education. According to the utilitarian doctrine, the minority of such cases commands them to be disregarded. Say in a class of 20, 5 follow this category, 10 excel in almost everything, and the other five are average students. The utilitarian system would focus on the majority because it is them who would "most likely" benefit the majority. The others would be completely disregarded. This is when the "Teenage/Student Warehousing" concept first aroused.

How Did it Work
Individual Happiness

Education systems nowadays try to tend to those with special needs at a young stage, and then slowly insert them into the pool of average/excelling students. Also, students are constantly being reminded of the importance of a proper education and hazardous outcomes of the opposite. Also, guidance councilors and other guiding figures are more frequently present in the students' environment to help lead the way.
Background info
- Utilitarianism dominated as the form of government in England's Victorian age of eighteenth century.
- Utilitarianism as a government was propounded as a value of system which evaluated its productivity by its overall utility. or in other words : "the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people."
- Back then in the Victorian era, education in schools was extremely destructive to the students’ flourishing minds.
- Any imaginative or aesthetic subjects were eradicated from the curriculum, while analysis, deduction and mathematics were emphasised.


By: Shahad, Aya, Salma, Widad, and Sakan
Utilitarianism in Education
Greatest Happiness
-The belief that a certain action is right if it promotes the “Greatest Happiness”- the outcome that pleases the majority, with no to little regard for the displeased minority. Sometimes, the outcome can result in negative drawbacks to the minority.
The modern world is trying to establish a doctrine that tends to every individual’s happiness. Of course, given the exponential growth of our population, such a pathway is pretty difficult to follow, but it is achievable.
Utilitarians Equality
- Utilitarians believe that the intrinsic value of happiness it is unaffected by the identity of the being in which it is felt.
- Thus each counts for one, and none for more than one and my own interests cannot count for more, simply because they are my own, than the interests of others.
- Utilitarians deny that there are differences between individuals or between groups of individuals, because in there believes there is no logically compelling reason for assuming that a difference in ability justifies any difference in the consideration we give to their interests.

Equality Now
- Treating all staff and students fairly.
- Creating an inclusive culture for all staff and students and develop it to their full potential.
- Ensuring equal access to opportunities to enable students to fully participate in what they interest in the learning process.
- Making certain that any learning materials do not discriminate against any individuals or groups.


The Difference Between Then and Now
Academically, subjects in schools, such as writing, art, choir, and others that involve thinking and imagining, are being taught. Students are granted a chance to express themselves through writing, drawing, or singing. That reflected the rise of a modern world, where countries where recognized for different kinds of arts. With art being the international language, Europe, for example, witnessed the renaissance. However, utilitarian systems banned students from even thinking of self-expression since they were based on the idea of ‘strictly facts’ from such a young age that they couldn’t even discover their own talents or even personalities.
In addition, sexism in the modern world classes has significantly decreased with the rise of the feminists. Students are judged based on how much they can give regardless of their gender. On the other hand, utilitarian education embraced sexism by showing that males have a higher capability in learning than females do, which is portrayed vividly in Charles Dickens’s “Hard Times”. As a result of all that is mentioned, students as well as people have begun to be treated as human beings with liberty of expression. They have begun to be called by names in class and not by numbers; an act that has vanished dehumanization
References
- http://www.utilitarian.org/utility.html
- http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/equality-diversity/about/equality-diversity
Conclusion
The changes that have happened throughout the past few decades have awakened us from returning back to the dark ages. When we realized that every single person in a community is important, we started living lives of humans, not robots' nor animals'. Thinking outside the box has given us opportunities to learn more about our bodies, environments, and the outer space.
It has given us cures to the most fatal diseases and injuries. But most of all, it has distinguished us humans from any other creature.
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