2011 Abstracts Stage 3

A Second Enlightenment: A Revolution in Education

William Griffin, 2011, Stage 3

In this project, borrowing from the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, I shall argue that with the increase of technology, the spread of capitalism and the loss of ambiguity in language, a second Enlightenment is needed; in order to save man from destroying, and losing his ambiguous relationship with the world. I shall argue that the only way for man to avoid such fate is through a revolution in education. I shall draw on the educationalists Ken Robinson, and Mary Evans to demonstrate that contemporary education is failing children, for multiple reasons. Essentially modern education systems have turned into businesses, as such not only do they restrict creativity in the class room, but they are ensuring ‘cut-backs’ in creative subjects.

I shall draw on the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze to demonstrate why creativity and creative thinking are an essential attribute of any individual. Moreover I shall argue alongside Jean François Lyotard, that the modern world calls for order and structure which is dramatically limiting the creative abilities of individuals in our society. Thus my proposal is that the only way to change this ordered, scientific mind-set, inherited from the Enlightenment, is to revolutionise the way we educate children, so as to encourage creativity and critical thinking. Furthermore I shall argue that if this is not achieved, the conclusion could result in the end of mankind.

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