Education and Society


  • Does the society shape the education system or does the latter shape the former?
  • Let’s analyze that. If we say, that the society shapes the education system, we are not wrong because it is the society that creates the education system in the first place but the shaping part is the issue here. Do societies start out knowing what they want from the education system? More often than not, No, they don’t.
  • The education system is more often than not shaped by trial and error or in conformance with a borrowed education system from another society.
  • What shapes the educations system is a myriad of forces some of which can actually be foreign to the society.
  • Moreover, an education system is not static, it constantly changes in response to political, economic, social and other forces so when you start with one version of an educational system, check again in 30 years and might not recognize it because over the span of a generation a lot of forces have interacted and altered that system slowly and sometimes imperceptibly.
  • Now it is clear to us how we can start with one educational system and end 30 years later with a totally different version of it.
  • The changes in society are always reflected in the educational system be it a change in social hierarchy or scientific advances that introduce new sciences and change old ones.
  • The political, economic, social and scientific changes that happen in the society are reflected in the educational system and they explain the part about the society shaping the educational system but how about the educational system shaping the society? Isn’t that true as well?
  • The education system is intended to shape the society or to ensure the transmission of a set of social, political and economic values to future generations which is the mechanism by which societies maintain their identities or hope to. Therefore, the educational system shapes the society by either maintaining its shape or changing it.
  • When a society wakes up at a point and finds its educational system to be failing its citizens and more dangerously its future generations, that society has been asleep for too long and a new version of an educational system needs to be created by that society to reflect its values, hopes and dreams and that is not an easy task.
  • In summary, the educational system shapes the society in which it is created. The society creates the educational system and continues to shape it through its political, economic, social and scientific changes. It is a mutual relationship in which the creator has to beware of its creation that was created to serve it but could end up destroying it.


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