Plato’s Educational Plan Plato’s Educational Plan [Institute’s Plato’s Educational Plan United s is considered the most pluralistic and leader in the sector of education that has advanced rapidly since three decades. Presently, the country is providing educational opportunities to its citizen through public education system that is governed mainly by the United States Government. Education is not a contemporary thing and has been a significant component of human lives since centuries in different perspectives. In this respect, Western philosophy has been able to provide a number of philosophers that contributed considerably in the field of education, such as Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, etc. Specifically, this paper will discuss some of the aspects of educational theory presented by Plato, and will endeavor to analyze it with respect to contemporary public education system in the United States.
It is essential to discuss the educational plan presented by Plato, in order to acquire a comparison with the contemporary education system. According to Plato’s philosophical discourse, philosopher kings have the highest authority in the society. In other words, Plato proposed functional state where everyone is given a different responsibility according to his capabilities. Moreover, educational plan of Plato has divided the society in three classes, producers, guardians, and lastly, the Philosopher King. In Plato’s society, primary education on general level is provided to individuals until the age of eighteen, which is followed by severe physical education for a period of two years. (Griffith, 2000) Upon completion, individuals performing ill in their studies are listed in the category of producers that involves merchants, artisans, and laborers. On the other hand, painstaking mathematical education is received by individuals performing well during attainment of primary education, as mathematics was considered the most essential study required for understanding of ‘forms’.
Conclusion of this phase of education results in another assessment of individuals, where unsuccessful candidates are propelled into the category of Guardians. In Plato’s society, Guardians play a more significant role, as compared with producers’ category. Guardians involve warriors, administrators, policy makers, and auxiliaries. Successful individuals move on with studying dialectic for a period of five years. Lastly, most successful members of the society participate in managing city as an apprentice for a final period of fifteen years. Plato’s society is a meritocratic society, where best of the best receives the highest position and authority in the society. Individuals acquiring truth, justice, and light of knowledge and philosophy are able to become the philosopher kings in Plato’s society, and play momentous role of an exemplar in the society.
However, the United States and most of the countries in the globe practice a democratic education system rather than the proposed meritocratic educational system of Plato. Nowadays, individuals accomplishing their PhD are considered the most educated members of the American society. However, they are not given a Platonic authority as used to be in times of Plato. Successful individuals in Plato’s educational plan were given the opportunity and responsibility of ruling the society as guardians. (Voegelin, 2000) In addition, guardians are allowed to choose their philosopher king. On the other hand, American society practices a democratic society where anybody either educated or uneducated is allowed to select ruler of the society, which has been criticized in Plato’s educational plan.
Additionally, American society does not believe in such divisions based on Plato’s educational system, and nowadays, it does not matter whether an individual is educated or not, a number of other factors play an imperative role for becoming the philosopher king in American society, such as status, money, public relations, etc. Furthermore, individuals unsuccessful in Plato’s society were not allowed to acquire further education that has been greatly criticized by contemporary education system, as every individual regardless of his performance is allowed to acquire further education until the university level. In this respect, Plato’s meritocratic society can be differentiated from contemporary American democratic society in a varied manner. some of which have been discussed in this paper. Conclusively, the paper has discussed some of the significant aspects of educational plan of Plato’s meritocratic society, and compared it with contemporary education and political system of the United States. It is hoped that the paper will be beneficial for students, teachers, and professionals in better understanding of the topic.
Eric Voegelin. (2000). Plato. University of Missouri Press.
Tom Griffith. (2000). the Republic. Cambridge University Press.