Vice-President of Exeter Rethinking Society
Omer is reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Exeter with a specialisation in contemporary capitalist critique, especially in the phenomena of reification. His further interest areas include conflict and nationalism in the Middle East.
Swiftly approaching the end of my economics degree, I find myself -much like many of my more critical colleagues- questioning what it is that this great university institution has made of us. For we are now technically ‘economists’, even If we are a little wet behind the ears. It is said that we have entered an elite group of individuals, capable of wielding a unique economic insight; understanding the fundamental human condition through the lens of economics. It is exactly that last sentence where the issue lies. In this short reflection I shall make the case that rather than being agents capable of doing economic analysis, interpreting the basic economic question and applying critical economic thinking to problems we may be faced with, the modern-day economics course is one which gives its students hammers, to whom all economic issues swiftly become nails. In doing so I shall employ Kuhns paradigm shift.
Education is playing a fundamental role in structuring individuals and society at large. It is a mechanism that decides and shapes our learning journey through the educational norms and values it advocates. Such norms and values include: exams and testing, transmitting knowledge, high-achievement, etc. But one has to be critical or even suspicious towards those educational conventions which educational systems around the world have established. Are they fair? Do they fulfil particular needs? If yes, whose needs come first? Are these norms and values effective variables to achieve the ‘right’ education? This article will attempt to de-construct the concept of ‘education’ and will highlight different lenses that would bring a fresh understanding of its policy, structure and implementation in the 21st century.