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Despite the disastrous failure of his one practical attempt to create a perfect school, Russell constantly strove to invent a system of education free from repression. Here Russell dissects the motives behind much educational theory and practice - and attacks the influence of chauvanism, snobbery and money. Energetically discussed and debated are discipline, natural abilit Despite the disastrous failure of his one practical attempt to create a perfect school, Russell constantly strove to invent a system of education free from repression. Here Russell dissects the motives behind much educational theory and practice - and attacks the influence of chauvanism, snobbery and money. Energetically discussed and debated are discipline, natural ability, competition, class distinction, bureaucracy, finance, religion, sex education, state versus private schools, education in Russia, indoctrination, the home environment and many other topics. Described by reviewers as 'brilliant', 'provocative', 'sane', 'stimulating', 'practical', and 'original', this book contains the essence of Russell's thought on education and society.


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Despite the disastrous failure of his one practical attempt to create a perfect school, Russell constantly strove to invent a system of education free from repression. Here Russell dissects the motives behind much educational theory and practice - and attacks the influence of chauvanism, snobbery and money. Energetically discussed and debated are discipline, natural abilit Despite the disastrous failure of his one practical attempt to create a perfect school, Russell constantly strove to invent a system of education free from repression. Here Russell dissects the motives behind much educational theory and practice - and attacks the influence of chauvanism, snobbery and money. Energetically discussed and debated are discipline, natural ability, competition, class distinction, bureaucracy, finance, religion, sex education, state versus private schools, education in Russia, indoctrination, the home environment and many other topics. Described by reviewers as 'brilliant', 'provocative', 'sane', 'stimulating', 'practical', and 'original', this book contains the essence of Russell's thought on education and society.

30 review for Education and the Social Order

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shadin Pranto

    যেকোনো ধরনের গোঁড়ামি বুদ্ধিবৃত্তিকে নষ্ট করে দেয়। আমরা প্রতিক্রিয়াশীলদের সমালোচনা করি। অথচ প্রগতিবাদীদের চরমপন্থাও প্রতিক্রিয়াশীলদের চাইতে কম ভয়ংকর নয় বলে মনে করেন বার্ট্রান্ড রাসেল। এটি মূলত তাঁর প্রবন্ধের বই। যেখানে তিনি শিক্ষা এবং সামাজিক জীবন নিয়ে খোলামেলা কথা বলেছেন, প্রথাগত মতের বাইরে অবস্থান নিয়েছেন। শিক্ষা নিয়ে বার্ট্রান্ড রাসেলের সাথে প্রমথ চৌধুরীর মতাদর্শের আশ্চর্য মিল লক্ষ করা যায়। দু'জনই এমন শিক্ষাব্যবস্থার পক্ষে যেখানে শিক্ষার্থীদের মানসকে দাস বানানো হবে না। বরং প্রশ্ন করা যেকোনো ধরনের গোঁড়ামি বুদ্ধিবৃত্তিকে নষ্ট করে দেয়। আমরা প্রতিক্রিয়াশীলদের সমালোচনা করি। অথচ প্রগতিবাদীদের চরমপন্থাও প্রতিক্রিয়াশীলদের চাইতে কম ভয়ংকর নয় বলে মনে করেন বার্ট্রান্ড রাসেল। এটি মূলত তাঁর প্রবন্ধের বই। যেখানে তিনি শিক্ষা এবং সামাজিক জীবন নিয়ে খোলামেলা কথা বলেছেন, প্রথাগত মতের বাইরে অবস্থান নিয়েছেন। শিক্ষা নিয়ে বার্ট্রান্ড রাসেলের সাথে প্রমথ চৌধুরীর মতাদর্শের আশ্চর্য মিল লক্ষ করা যায়। দু'জনই এমন শিক্ষাব্যবস্থার পক্ষে যেখানে শিক্ষার্থীদের মানসকে দাস বানানো হবে না। বরং প্রশ্ন করার, ভিন্নমত পোষণ করার ক্ষমতাকে বিকশিত করবে। সেক্স এডুকেশনকে ভীষণ গুরুত্বপূর্ণ মনে করেন বার্ট্রান্ড রাসেল। এই শিক্ষার অভাবে মূল্যবোধের অবক্ষয়ের কেমন করে বিস্তার লাভ করে তা লিখেছেন প্রাবন্ধিক রাসেল। যুক্তিবোধের সঙ্গে মনুষ্যত্ববোধের মিশ্রণে এক আদর্শ মানুষ বার্ট্রান্ড রাসেল। শিক্ষা এবং সমাজ নিয়ে তিনি খুব আদর্শবাদী মানুষ। এক্ষেত্রে খানিকটা বাস্তববাদী হলে তাঁর মতামত আরও বেশি গ্রহণীয় হতো।

  2. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    Mostly this one will just be a couple of quotes I’ve selected from the text to perhaps use in an essay I’m writing – but that will probably never actually make it. This book starts and ends with a discussion of the difference between educating people as citizens and educating them as individuals. There are problems with both extremes, although, today we no longer seem to think of them as extremes on a continuum. Essentially, the argument is that since the state is the main force responsible for Mostly this one will just be a couple of quotes I’ve selected from the text to perhaps use in an essay I’m writing – but that will probably never actually make it. This book starts and ends with a discussion of the difference between educating people as citizens and educating them as individuals. There are problems with both extremes, although, today we no longer seem to think of them as extremes on a continuum. Essentially, the argument is that since the state is the main force responsible for providing education to the young and since the state is greatly interested in its own preservation, education will tend to be indoctrination. To the extent that education by the state is about developing citizens it will also tend to be about developing ‘yes-men’. This is an interesting alternative to Dewey’s view that education in a democracy is about developing citizens who can think for themselves. The issue here is really Aristotelian, and his golden mean. Individuals are pains, citizens are morons – fortunately there is a grey area in the middle and my advice, for what it is worth, is aim for that. There are lots of speculations at the end of this about how the Soviet Union is likely to progress and how this might present a challenge to capitalism in ways that capitalism ought to be challenged. These must be read with the fact this was written between the wars firmly at front of mind. Otherwise, a lot of this is interesting, often insightful and some of it even amusing. It is written in a very plain style, which I always feel is a plus, but it is hardly ‘systematic’ and suffers from appearing to be ‘the thoughts of Bertie’. Some quotes and page numbers: “Educators in every country except Russia tend to be constitutionally timid, and, either by their income or by their snobbery, to be adherents of the rich. On both grounds their teaching tends to over-emphases the importance of the law and the constitution, although these give the past a paralysing hold over the present.” 13 “There are, however, certain respects in which the advocate of change is likely to give better education than the advocate of the status quo. Animal habit is sufficient in itself to make a man like the old ways, just as it makes a horse like to turn down a road which it usually turns down. None of the higher mental processes are required for conservatism. The advocate of change, on the contrary, must have a certain degree of imagination in order to be able to conceive of anything different from what exists. He must also have some power of judging the present from the standpoint of values, and, since he cannot well be unaware that the status quo has its advocates, he must realise that there are at least two views which are possible for a sane human being. Moreover, he is not obliged to close his sympathies against the victims of existing cruelties, or to invent elaborate reasons to prove that easily preventable sufferings ought not to be prevented. Both intelligence and sympathy, therefore, tend to be less repressed by an education hostile to the status quo then by one which is friendly to it.” 13 “Persons reaching a certain level in examinations will be allowed to place after their names the letters L.T., meaning ‘Licensed to Think’. Such persons shall thereafter never be disqualified from any post on the ground that they think their superiors fools.” 15 “The causes of this failure are partly intellectual , partly psychological. To begin with the intellectual causes, which lie nearer the surface: the spirit of the public schools is one of contempt for intelligence. Masters are selected largely for their athletic qualifications; they must conform, at least outwardly, to a whole code of behaviour, religious, political, social, and moral, which is intolerable to most intelligent people; they must encourage the boys to be so constantly occupied that they will have no time for sexual sin, and incidentally no time to think; they must discourage whatever traces of mental independence may survive here and there among the cleverer boys; and in the end they must turn out a finished product so imbued with the worship of good form as to be incapable of learning anything important for the rest of life.” 47-48 “Democratic education unadulterated has evils which are as great as those of aristocracy, if not greater. Democracy as a sentiment has two sides. When it says ‘I am as good as you’, it is wholesome; but when it says ‘you are no better than I am’, it becomes oppressive and an obstacle to the development of exceptional merit.” 49 “I have dealt hitherto with incidental disadvantages derived from class-distinctions, but I have only touched upon the greatest disadvantage, which is ethical. Wherever unjust inequities exist, a man who profits by them tends to protect himself from a sense of guilt by theories suggesting that he is some way better than those who are less fortunate.” 92 “The first thing the average educator sets to work to kill in the young is imagination. Imagination is lawless, undisciplined, individual, and neither correct nor incorrect; in all these respects it is inconvenient to the teacher.” 95 “For the sake of examinations, young people have to learn by heart all kinds of things, such as dates, which it is far more sensible to look up in books of reference. The proper sort of instruction teaches the use of books, not useless feats of memory designed to make books unnecessary.” 103 “The fatigue of intellectual work is largely due to the effort of forcing oneself to give attention to what is boring, and therefore any method that removes the boredom also removes most of the fatigue.” 103

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ollie

    It’s tough categorizing Bertrand Russell books because they tend to read like in-depth analyses but at the same time these are just Russell’s opinions and experiences that he’s recounting. The thing is of course that Russell has a very persuasive and charming demeanor to him that makes him very convincing. It’s undoubtedly why his writings brought him such success. Education and the Social Order is a perfect example of what we’re talking about. Bertrand Russell never stopped considering what a pe It’s tough categorizing Bertrand Russell books because they tend to read like in-depth analyses but at the same time these are just Russell’s opinions and experiences that he’s recounting. The thing is of course that Russell has a very persuasive and charming demeanor to him that makes him very convincing. It’s undoubtedly why his writings brought him such success. Education and the Social Order is a perfect example of what we’re talking about. Bertrand Russell never stopped considering what a perfect school for children would look like. Maybe he felt like he had some experience since he had both tried and failed to create his own school. In this book, Russell basically argues that we have two choices when it comes to education: educate people as citizens or as individuals. Note that citizens function to benefit society and the state, while individuals are left free to pursue their personal desires and be selfish if they want to. We probably just need a happy medium. It’s funny to think how Christianity began as a rebellion against the state but took on a character of obeying the state. Of course here enters Russell’s favorite comparison, which is US/European systems vs the Soviet system. In the Soviet system, the individual is sacrificed so that the system, taking on the role of the church, can survive and hopefully benefit the individual. And when one looks at everything from purely a matter of class-struggle, things like science suffer greatly. But if an individual culture fosters freedom in its citizens and encourages them to ask questions, you end up with a difficult situation for the State. This along with issues of heredity, discipline, home vs public schooling (including the dysfunction brought on by isolating boys and girls), sex, patriotism, herd mentality, religion, and much more are all touched upon however briefly by Russell, and all with his trademark lucidity and wit. Education and Social Order might be a short book, but it packs quite a punch.

  4. 5 out of 5

    SaBa Ch

    :/

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael Broadhead

    It has some very important implications for educators when it comes to competition vs cooperation. Thought-provoking for the most part, but is held back sometimes by overemphasising intellectualism to the point that it could be emotionally damaging to students. That being said, it is a great book to help spark questioning of our educational system. Much of it is still relevant today.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Golshan Mahjoub

    reading it was such a challenge for me since I usually don't enjoy this kind of books. I found some ideas out dated yet his writing style was delightful and witty.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John Jose

    The clarity of Bertrand Russel's thought reflects in his writing. All of his ideas on education is relevant today. Should read more of this master philosopher.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melusine Parry

    Very shallow.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laikhuram

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sanish

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hiba

  12. 5 out of 5

    Altan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debapriya

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Nicassio

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ruward

  16. 4 out of 5

    Safa Fatima

  17. 5 out of 5

    Helvy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brennan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Prakhar Verma

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cornellia

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gilson Landry S. Brasil

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Francis

  23. 5 out of 5

    Motorpsico

  24. 5 out of 5

    PINAR EKER

  25. 4 out of 5

    Majeed IbnuMuhammad

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sreekar

  27. 4 out of 5

    Serkan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vn

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sachin Khallal

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