The Obligations of Education

December 7, 2011

Political Theory


In lecture Professor Manty discussed the two concepts of obligations. At first look, education can fall into both categories, tacit consent and reciprocity. The theory of tacit consent is when you don’t do anything and just agree with what you are

supposed to do, it is like going with the flow. Going to school just because that is what you are supposed to do and going through the motions is the form of tacit consent. If people choose to do well in classes it is because that is what is expected of them and they just go along with it all. The other side of this argument is how does the theory of reciprocity apply? The theory of reciprocity is that your ability to live comes from contributions of others and you owe it to those people to do well.  This is when students do well when school because their parents are working hard and spending money for them to be at a school like Michigan, then it is your responsibility to at least owe them the time and work they put into you into your academics.

I think that in many situations it is assumed that education falls into a middle ground between tacit consent or reciprocity, especially in the case of colleges and education. Everyone is supposed to go college and is expected to do well so that is one of the motivations that drive me. I know that this is what I am supposed to do so I go through the motions; I went to grade school, then high school, then college and take the classes that I am told to take and do well because that is what I am supposed to do. However, my mother works hard for the money that she is spending on my education and she has given me so much in my life, so I owe her my effort to do well and succeed and in turn repay her from what I achieved from the education she allowed me to receive.

However, think about all of those people who don’t have the opportunity to go to school? They don’t even have the opportunity to just go through the motions or owe their education to others because they don’t have any. Education is a fundamental right and everyone should be able to express his or her human rights. Many children in poverty are deprived of education everyday. So do you take your education for granted? Education is something that you should be thankful for, but many times you go through your day not realizing how good you really have it. So instead of the theory of tacit consent and theory of reciprocity being combined. Shouldn’t education not be something that people just go through the motions of and accept because that is what they think they are supposed to do. Students should try in their education and do well because they owe it to not only the people who supported them enough to get there but also society in general. There are many places in our society where children do not have this opportunity and the people who are given an opportunity this good should be thankful of what they have received.

So in the end, education is not something that people should just do because they think that is what is expected of them. Education is an opportunity that not everyone receives, so those who do should be more than thankful and appreciative. These students shouldn’t go to school just because they go through the motions but because people have worked hard to them to get to this place in their life and have given them this chance for a reason. Education is not something people should take for granted; students owe their parents, their teachers, and the society because without them their education would not be possible. Do you take your education for granted? Do you think that your education is something you owe to someone? Have you thanked your parents lately for giving you an opportunity this great to attend a school as wonderful as Michigan?

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