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Excellent Society-Ideal Education: Educational Models in the Optimistic Utopias

Journal: Journal of Education and Future (JEF) (Vol.2012, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 119-132

Keywords : Utopias; education; educational fictions in utopias.;

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Background: That struggle of human being who tries to understand/investigate the world in which he lives about seeking the excellent/ideal has been seen in every age/every country. Utopia being an expression of this trial is the literary/philosophic name of tradition dreaming for an ideal society. This article proposes that this tradition is to be formed in educational aspect as well. In other words the question whether we can be inspired from utopias in our trial of growing educational ideals is being discussed. Purpose of the Study: This study aims to benefit from optimistic restructuring of utopias on behalf of education. To this end; to distinguish the place/importance of education in dreams of ideal society of utopias, to wonder to what extend ideals of utopias can come true in today’s social/educational practice and make implications about the present/and the future state of education. For these purposes, it has been considered that besides of political and philosophical functions, utopias also have pedagogic functions and educational models of five utopias have been examined. Sources of Evidence: Utopias which have been examined are Plato’s “Republica/State”, Farabi’s “Medinet’ül Fazıla/The Virtuous City”, More’s “Utopia”, Campanella’s “Civitas Solis/The City of the Sun” and Bacon’s “New Atlantis”. This choice is made according to chronological order with the purpose of examining positive utopias. Also those works which are accepted as classical utopias. Main Argument and Conclusions: In utopias which have been examined, it is seen that education is accepted to have prior importance. It can be said that, Plato, More and Campanella’s works are “utopias about education”. Plato’s utopia has an effect that has been carried to other utopias. This effect is that education should be controlled by state and an utilitarian education would create the perfect society. For Plato and Farabi basis of education is mathematics. This basis has changed as training on agriculture and work for More, training on profession for Campanella, and training scientists for Bacon. As for environments of education, in Plato’s and Farabi’s works an environment for education/school has not been described. More, uses the concept of school but does not describe educational locations. Campanella and Bacon suggest school buildings /educational settings with a special architecture. These utopias have been designed in “city” or “island” societies that symbolize educational/scientific relations with other societies but are also politically abstracted. Classical utopias argue discipline for education. As Plato and Farabi argues a prohibitive/discriminatory system of education; European utopias of education suggest a more egalitarian system.

Last modified: 2013-11-22 16:01:17