Relationship between Education and Work

free essayWithout a doubt, education plays one of the key roles in determining the type of employment and sphere of occupation that an individual will choose in life, and this fact has been recognized since times immemorial. Hence, both authors under consideration in their respective works indicate that there are two major types of education and thereafter explain how these types correlate with employment opportunities and development of society in general. Despite of some differences in Smith’s and Dewey’s views, they are both similar in their explanation of the relationship between education and work as well as a justification of a need to revise the current system of education in order to improve it.

Views of Smith (2000) as to the relationship between education and work are presented in Part III “On the Expenses of Public Works and Public Institutions” of his well-known book An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations Thus, Smith (2000) emphasizes that public institutions are responsible for providing people with two main types of instruction, including education of youth and education of people of all ages. He also indicates that education in general seems to correlate significantly with social classes, i.e. education received by “people of some rank and fortune” differs from education of “the common people” (Smith, 2000). In turn, these two drastically different types of education impact employment opportunities of individuals and affect their overall level of intelligence. Hence, people of fortune and rank have access to a wide range of superb educational opportunities and it is up to them to ensure that they constantly develop their minds, as well as receive well-paid jobs that leave them a sufficient amount of time for leisure, life-long self-education, and constant self-improvement (Smith, 2000). On the contrary, common people have fewer choices and opportunities when it comes to education and are mainly taught some basic principles of one selected trade that they engage in during their entire lifetime (Smith, 2000). This trade usually leaves them little time for leisure or further education, which causes their intellectual stagnation and degradation. In this way, Smith (2000) clearly states that education is highly valuable in life of individuals and society in general, and that the relationship between education and work is mutually influential and direct.

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Similar views on education and work are presented by Dewey (1916) in his work Democracy and Education, namely in Chapter nineteen titled “Labor and Leisure”. Yet his arguments mainly focus on the comparison of his contemporary system of education with that of Greeks as well as on justification of changes to be introduced in the former. However, Dewey (1916) also supposes like Smith (2000) that there are two main types of education depending on social classes of individuals, which later determine their employment choices. Hence, according to Dewey (1916), there are two types of living, including “merely living” and “living worthily”. Those who merely live, i.e. artisans, women, servants, and other workers engaged in menial work and production of some material things, receive education that allows them to work in spheres aimed at “furnishing the means of subsistence” for those “adequately equipped with intelligence” (Dewey, 1916). Respectively, the author calls the two types of education received by these two social classes as “the base or mechanical and the liberal or intellectual” (Dewey, 1916). Nonetheless, there is currently the mixture of the two types, which negatively affects all individuals receiving education. Thus, Dewey (1916), just like Smith (2000), places immense value on education and considers that there is a direct relationship between education and work.

On the whole, both authors under consideration suppose that education plays a key role in determining employment opportunities and defining individuals’ life in general. They also agree in terms of claiming that there are two main types of education depending on the social class and resources available for accessing education, which subsequently predetermines a type of work that an individual can engage in. Therefore, their arguments prove high value of education and existence of direct relationship between education and work. Besides, it can be concluded that both Smith and Dewey consider education to be good not only for work, but also for leisure and overall intellectual development of individuals.

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Both texts under consideration were annotated and thoroughly analyzed before I started writing the above essay. Before starting to generate the ideas for the essay by discussing the authors’ arguments relating to education and its role in employment and life, I read both articles several times in order to get the main idea of the texts. The first reading envisioned mere reading, i.e. without any marks, comments, and highlights. Its purpose was to get acquainted with the texts and develop the overall strategy of their analysis. While reading the texts for the second time, I highlighted some statements that seemed to correlate with the topic of the essay the most or that seemed to be the most significant, i.e. containing main ideas and arguments or just memorable quotes. While reading the texts for the third time, I paid attention to these highlighted statements and sometimes deleted highlights or added in other places that I had skipped or missed before. Besides, I included some comments that could help me navigate across the text. This way, both texts included highlighted statements and comments that assisted me with identifying the main authors’ claims and summarizing their ideas. These notes were of immense help while writing the first draft of the essay since they instantly showed passages and statements that could and should be used for answering the essay questions. The process of writing itself occurred in several stages as well, but the annotated texts were used the most while writing the first draft and polishing the final one. It should also be noted that some time has passed after writing the essay and reviewing the final draft, when I reread both texts before and after doing the latter task to make sure that I covered all main ideas of the authors in the essay. This time gap helped me to get a fresh look at both my essays and the authors’ texts, which facilitated the revision process and contributed to the production of the final version of the essay.