Benefits of Education to Society and Individuality

Academic Paper, 2018

7 Pages, Grade: 1.25

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Benefits of Education to Society and Individuality Snowie Y. Balansag


“Learning is a treasure that accompanies its owner everywhere”

-Chinese Proverb

Basically, education is the progression of learning, or the gaining of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. On the article written by Dib (1988) he argued there were three types of education approaches to wit: formal, informal and non-formal settings. People can learn even without attending formal school program. They may learn by the use of their observation, experience and other factors which may result to contribute to the society on their own different ways (Kyndt, Dochy, & Nijs, 2009). But there were advantages of attending formal education (Camillus, 1975). On the paper of Sjøberg & Schreiner (2005) citated by Stocklmayer, Rennie, & Gilbert (2010) they argued that students in developing counties still chooses the formal education for better career opportunity. Nevertheless, formal, informal and nonformal education still serves its main purpose which is mold young ones for their future profession of interest.

Based on the article written by Biesta (2009), he argued that the purpose of education must create difference according to the functions of education. He enumerated the functions of education into qualification, socialization and subjectification. To further understand the differences, I itemized the three functions of education according to article written by Biesta and other literatures I gathered. Another part of this paper, I collectively listed the benefits of education to the society and individuality. On the article of Arslantas (2015) she considered if there were relationship between the social function of education and subjectification. Hence, as the central part of this paper, I address my main question about the purpose of education as personal development and improvement versus social good at theoretical level.

Functions of Education

Biesta (2009) argued that role of education is to prepare people to their future profession. He added that the major function of education in schools and other institutions depends to the qualification of the person. It is important to have a good qualification for employability, because typically, employers took qualification as intellectual ability and competence of the applicant (Gordon, 1984). Dore (1976); Ashby & Dore (1978) called this phenomenon as “diploma disease”. On the follow up article Little (1997) with the diploma disease or she termed it in other terminologies onto “qualification escalation”, she argued that qualification is used as selection of a person to continue to another education or employment and schools are now become extra ritualized to the process of gaining more and more education.

Moving forward to the second function of education, according to Biesta (2009) socialization function is a collaborative effect education from particular social, cultural and political guidelines. Even though socialization in not the exact objective of education programs and practices, it always has a connection in learning. Functionalists gives various arguments regarding socialization. According to the citated theory of Durkheim by Riley (2014) argued that school gives the learners feeling in which they will be a part of wider life. For instance, from the start students learning is still limited, and as they learn and understand more the concepts of life, they become more productive. The views of the functionalists to education is that it engages with the selection method to sort out people to their ideal professions in the economy. On the reexamination article of Wrong (1999) to the theory of Moore, he agreed that individuals have different mental capacity and talents. Sorting learners to their different field is a part of the role of education system.

According to science, every individual is unique (Valizadeh, Liem, Mérillat, Hänggi, & Jäncke, 2018) Education also contributes to the individuality or as called by Biesta, subjectification. The subjectification function may be simplified as the opposite of socialization function through education will always has an individual impact to different people. Riley (2014) raised his concern with the fear of loosing educational individuality through standardized methods. He argued that education leads to the freedom of expression of an individual and enrichment the character. Additional is Nibletts’ (2008) argue where he said that as people permits the traditions of the certain culture, the more people lose their ability to do, think or feel contradictory to it. Hence, Wilkinson (2009) suggested the individual curriculum where education system should consider to analyze the situation where individual differences in education plays a big role in learning.

Benefits of Education to Society

The education may contribute to the society in various forms. I listed the collection of researches by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (2013) regarding the benefits of education to society. First are the majority high tax contributors who are well educated people, because of the qualification and competencies of the economy, the people strive for more education for them to be qualified or promoted into better job position (Holland, Liadze, Rienzo, &Wilkinson, BIS 2013). The more tax revenues the members of society contribute, the more projects of the government are being served resulting better lives of the people, hence, fast economic growth. Second is they become open-minded to greater innovation and market flexibility (Florida et al., 2006). The economy of different countries is now competitive, by this they need to improve their strategies and products to attract better business opportunities such as having many investors leading to expansion of the companies, by this they are not only giving more tax revenues to the economy but also giving more job opportunities to the members of the society (Machin, Vignoles, & Galindo-Rueda, 2003). Third, good education may also reduce burden on public finances from better co-ordination with other social policy areas such as in health and crimes (McMahon, 2009). If the members of the society can afford health services due to their income capacity, they reduce the budget needed to for the health department which can be diverted to other branches which the budget needs the most, parallel to this is their understanding on how can take care of their selves and their family by having healthy lifestyle. The education also reduces the rate of crime such as theft (Lochner & Moretti 2004), since if the government has a fund to give the low income or unemployed people some trainings and vocational courses. By this, the people are receiving an education which makes them employed or may give them opportunity to open small business to supply their everyday life. On the article written by Zimmerman, Woolf, & Haley (2014) they argue that there was direct linkage between the health and education in the society is due to participatory activeness with the members of the society in the form of different campaigns, seminars and workshops to educationally reach those poor communities to understand and elevate their knowledge in health education.

Benefits of Education to Individuality

Individuals may gain different benefits due to having good education. In the political aspect, they have greater propensity to vote, the also has less propensity to commit crime (theft) since they can learn new and alternative ways on how to earn money. They have long life expectancy since they know health education and more likely to engage in preventive care, they are less likely to smoke, drink and to be obese because they know the health consequences when smoking, alcohol and food are abused (McMahon & Oketch, 2013).

There were researches made on how education benefits the individuals, on BIS research paper no. 146 (2013), they cited the different benefits of education to individuals divided into non-market and market based. In line with the non-market benefits, they argued that individuals who attained education has greater propensity to vote right, to volunteer, trust and tolerate others, low propensity to commit (non-violent) crime, better educational parenting, longer life expectancy due to the capacity to afford (expensive) medical care, less likely to smoke, to drink excessively and to be obese due to individual health awareness and more likely to engage on preventive care, has better mental health, and better mental health. Additional is the capability to contribute to the economic growth and satisfying their self-fulfillment

Furthermore, educated individual have greater life satisfaction, this may include their ability to afford good shelter, capability to buy not just their needs but also wants since individuals who has higher educational attainment has more probability to earn better than those who have lower educational attainment. Furthermore, they tend to be extra flexible which motivates them to learn more for their wholistic satisfactory. Hence, they are not just helping the economy (because they are paying taxes) but also helping themselves on their deeper self-understanding (Jiménez, D., Artés, J., Jimenez, J, 2011).

Personal Development and Improvement vs Social Good

Personal development and improvement are one of the purposes of education for individual. Bhatta (2009) saild that “healthy society was not possible without educated individuals”. She believed that the educational framework which targets the purpose of personal development is a good basis of human ethics. “Education, however, has the power to change the perception and knowledge of the individual, and therefore has an ethical dimension” (Taylor, 1999). Taylor explained that by the use of continuous education, the individual awareness develops to divide moral and immoral concepts or decisions. Tucker, Duncan, & Davis (2011) argued that personal development planning is important to develop the skills of the learner to improve their employability. Which has the same insight with the study of Bullock & Jamieson (1998), they also added that individual student needs a supportive autonomous learning. Taylor (1999) also argued that personal development can be encourage and supported, but the possibility to change their perception and outlook. Secondary to this is the argue of Bissoli (2014), where she explained that people who has mature personality can dominate their behavior. She also added:

Personality is a system constituted of distinct psychological functions that, when integrated, characterize the singular form that every individual act in the world. It is a stable system. Thus, developed personality is characterized by certain univocal reactions to events (relative unity of behaviors, the individual’s reaction to what happens around him or her) and by unit values

Bissoli believed that education plays a big task in personal development by depositing the person an entire human work makes him effective person. And an effective individual can further benefit the society. On the implication of the study conducted of Wright (2013) he said that the search in the individual goals may lead to successful society. And the social good can be attained by allowing individuals’ freedom to choose to what they really aim rather than shaping them to what to decide.


“Man can only become man by education”


As enumerated, having good education affects the market and non-market part of the individual and society but these are just a branch of the benefits of education. But all of those are related to the life of a living man. On the declaration of Nyerere (1978) quoting “Development is for Man, by Man, and of Man” he explained that the politics, society and economy must free individual to liberate or develop himself because in the end, man can only make himself not by others. Education incorporates all the information for better understanding of man to help a man decide and create their own decisions.

In the end, accomplishing an education is a major benefit of an individual and for bigger picture, on society. People are not only aware on their day to day life situations but can also explain and perform critical thinking on their challenges in life. Some people may need to foresight the benefits of accomplishing education to give them a motivation to strive in pursuing their field of interest.

People who keeps on aiming for better education do further not just achieving better qualification for employability but also continuously shape their holistic personality. Society and social good receives a secondary benefit in having good quality education.


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