The community needs individuals to perform a wide array of crucial functions if it is to prosper but if a community elects to reward only a small number of those functions, say, entrepreneurial success, then a condemnation of that society ensues.
As a neo-Darwinian, John Dewey believed the key to survival is diversity not homogeneity; the racist is simply scientifically wrong.
Dewey acknowledged individual differences and inequality in the physical and cognitive performance of various tasks but posits a demographic community is primarily concerned with moral equality. Dewey, remarks, “moral equality means incommensurability, the inapplicability of common and quantitative standards” (Garrison, 2005).
For Dewey, every individual has a unique potential, regardless of any given physical or psychological inequality. The goal of education is to aid every individual to achieve their unique potential that they may make their unique contribution to society. The result is an aristocracy of everyone.
“It is a claim that every human being as an individual may be the best for some particular purpose and hence the most fitted to rule, to lead, in that specific respect” (Garrison, 2005).
Within the philosophical school of Pragmatism, it is believed that “learning occurs as the person engages in problem-solving; problem-solving which is furthermore transferable to a wide variety of subjects and situations” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2004, pg. 35).
Through informal and formal education we earn and learn the skills needed to perform chosen duties in life. Problem solving is a skill that can be used in many aspects of the working environment, for instance a doctor uses this skill to diagnose his patient while a security officer use problem solving so as not to jeopardise his or the lives of his charges.
John Dewey is considered a great educational realist; he saw education as a process of improving the human condition. He saw the school as a specialized environment that coincided with the social environment.
Within the educational curriculum, a person’s experiences and interests are explored which prepares him for the future and life’s affairs.
The human condition or situation as it relates to the Jamaican context may not always be promising. It could be perceived as one with no future. Such conditions may inevitably lead to a life of crime resulting in premature termination of life but the promise of education changes this dark reality.
The educated individual takes the knowledge, drive, and desire into the workplace where he uses his talents, skills, and abilities for the betterment of his society, his children, and ultimately his circumstances. This dynamism may even be the key element that changes a whole organization, it’s standing and indelibly leaves a mark on society.
Such direct or indirect implication of education and gender on work is numerous.
The type and quality of education an individual receives have implications.
As cited, our definition of work is one of the capabilities of completing a specific task or assignment. A person ethically cannot, ‘just get up’, counsel, and prescribe medication for someone.
They cannot ‘just open shop’ and begin seeing clients.
On the other hand, if he/she was adequately educated as a clinical psychologist, given information, and learned the ethical standards which govern his chosen profession, then and only then is he/she following and operating under the proper provisions for a clinical psychologist.
Education has far-reaching implications impacting on work, on the quality of service offered and on the ability to inflict no harm to clients while offering assistance. Without training, without knowledge, more harm, than good is the ultimate result.
With education, one is able to gain employment.
When this occurs, the person will boost work production contributing to the labor market and the means of production.
Even though women now make up a higher percentage of the work population and are even more qualified than men, men still get higher salaries than they do bearing in mind that they are in the higher paid jobs.
During the feminist movement, more girls sought career paths and enrolled in college to pursue a degree, than men; even though men were the breadwinners of the family.
Soon after this movement, more women than men were getting jobs in organizations while the men were seeking employment in construction and repair shops. The women at this time were stepping up into jobs; however, men were still the ones that were in senior management roles or mainstream in these organizations.
Similarly, Aristotle advocated that school-aged children should imitate the serious occupations of later life (Dunn, 2005).
Thus they should be taught the various occupational roles reflective of their gender and it is for this reason most children’s toys are gender-specific – males are given action figures and mechanical tools whereas females are given dolls or items for household chores.
Plato in an argument that was remarkable for his time, took the position that women were not, by their sex alone, unqualified to be guardians of the republic. However, in the selection of guardians only those traits and competencies long associated with male public leadership were sought.
Plato held that some highly talented women could develop these traits and competencies, but he scorned the traits and competencies usually identified with women. To become a guardian, a woman had to become like a man (Barrows, 1988).
We believe that the capability to work is not dependent on one’s gender.
We believe that there are great women in and before our time that have impacted and changed our economy and our nation.
We believe that one’s gender does not handicap you from performing and attaining excellence in the workplace; however, we do acknowledge that it is the discriminatory ideals, practices, and prejudices that impede any person of any educational background or gender from attaining their potential and creating positive influence and change in work.
Education and gender have had a positive impact on work.
Without education, no man or woman would be competent and capable to perform his or her assigned task efficiently.
Without education, we would still subscribe to those old ideals and policies that governed us, and not break the mold and charter new frontiers.
One’s education or lack of such, and gender should not be a deterrent in practicing excellence; however, education is like a masons tool that helps him to get the job done right.
According to Myaskovsky (2005) quoting Savoie, (1998), ‘Organizations increasingly rely on collaborative workgroups and teams to help them succeed. Typically, these groups are diverse, comprised of men and women from different cultural, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.
- (1996). Dewey, John: The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (On-line). Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/d/dewey.htm
- Affirmative action: A strong prejudice. 1995. The Economist, 335, 69-70.
- Ancona, D. G., & Caldwell, D. F. (1992). Demography and design: Predictors of new product team performance. Organization Science, 3, 321-341.
- Barrow, R., Woods, R., (1988). An Introduction to Philosophy of Education (3rd Ed.). London: Routledge Falmer, Taylor & Francis Group.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2000). Labor force statistics from the current population survey (Series ID: LFU800000002). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved from http://stats.bls.gov/
- Dunn, S.G. (2005). Philosophical Foundations of Education: connecting Philosophy to theory and practice. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
- Jackson, S. E., May, K. E., & Whitney, K. (1995). Understanding the dynamics of diversity in decision-making teams. In R. A. Guzzo, & E. Salas (Eds.) Team effectiveness and decision making in organizations (pp. 204-261). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
- Moreland, R. L., Levine, J. M., & Wingert, M. L. (1996). Creating the ideal group: Composition effects at work. In E. H. Witte & J. H. Davis (Eds.), Understanding group behavior: Small group processes and interpersonal relations (Vol. 2, pp. 11-35). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Myaskovsky, L., (2005). Effects of gender diversity on performance and interpersonal behavior in small work groups. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research. Retrieved from http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2294/is_9-10_52/ai_n15341182
- Noddings, N., (1998). Philosophy of Education. Westview Press, Perseus Books, U.S.A.
- Ornstein A.C. & Hunkins F.P. (2004) Curriculum ‘Foundations, Principles, and Issues’ 4th ed. Boston: Pearson
- Ornstein, A., & Levine, D., (1981). An introduction to the foundations of education (2nd Ed.) (pp. 112-113). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
- Philosophy of Education. Retrieved on http://www-scf.usc.edu/~sahernan/PHILOSOPHY%20OF%20EDUCATION.html
- Robert, A., Brumbaugh, S., (1987). Plato’s ldeal Curriculum and Contemporary Philosophy of Education. Educational Theory Spring 1987, vol 37, no 2.
- Sackett, P., Dubois, C., & Noe, A. (1991). Tokenism in performance evaluation: The effects of work representation on male-female and Black-White differences in performance ratings. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76, 263-267.
- Shaw, J., (1995). Education, Gender and Anxiety. Retrieved from http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=108927321
About the writer:
Poetess Denise N. Fyffe is a published author of over 30 books, for more than ten years and enjoys Training and Counseling. She is a freelance writer for online publications such as The 21st Century Worker, Rub Yuh Belly Food, Revealing the Christian Life, Jamaica Rose, Entertainment Trail, My Trending Stories among others.
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