Sample Essay

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Education and a democratic/republican government go hand in hand. “Education was necessary not only as a means to make the republican machinery work but also to be a line of defense for liberty against encroachment by potentially overzealous governments.”(Carpenter)

His philosophy was often “labeled as utilitarian, empirical, and experiential.”

(qtd. in Carpenter) Pestalozi said “the test of any educational theory lay in its practical applications…[and] to see himself as a moral being and use his attainments for higher purposes” (qtd. in Carpenter) Pestalozi’s and Jefferson’s ideas were similar in the way that they both required something from the student. Although Jefferson understood that education freed a person from any oppression he also believed that education would help a person give to society and shape the future state of the nation. “For Jefferson, the finished product–the student venturing into the real world-was the ultimate goal of education. The practical application for republican citizens was their ability to function in the body politic.” (Carpenter) Pestalozzi believed that both the rich and poor should be educated but what they are taught and how they are taught should be modified so that each individual gives back to society what is requires of him to make his country better. (Carpenter) “In his 1814 letter to Peter Carr, Jefferson wrote his belief that it is the duty of [our country’s] functionaries, to provide that every citizen in it should receive an education proportioned to the condition and pursuits of his life.” (qtd in Carpenter) Jefferson’s idea is good one because it ensures that a population is well educated to make decisions about his society. Although instead of democratic, his ideas sometimes seem a utilitarian as James Carpenter points out.

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