The Perpetual Crisis: Early and Modern Ideas on Education

  • Guillermo Farfan


Introduction: An underlying belief on the positive relationship between educating the young, on the one hand, and the economic, political, and cultural survival of a nation-state, on the other, seems present in virtually all modern and modernizing societies in the world (Chabbott & Ramirez, 2000). In the United States, this belief takes on many forms, but chief among them is the idea that education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) plays a vital role in the health and preservation of the country as a whole (Holdren & Lander, 2012). This belief can be justified, to some extent, by how reliant we all have become on the products of STEM disciplines. A democratic society in which large numbers of people are dependent on using these products but are otherwise unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the scientific and technological principles behind them is arguably setting itself up for failure.