Raven Symoné

Raven Symoné

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The End of Education

Postman’s The End of Education brings readers through the cons of todays educational system, pinpointing where education suffers the most due to modern day ideals. Postman explains that there are three narratives, or gods, of modern day education, that are destroying todays schools. The three modern-day narratives, known as the gods of Economic Utility, Multiculturalism and Technology all contribute to Postman’s belief in the inevitable “end of education”.
Primarily, Postman argues about the god of economic utility, and perhaps the most important narrative in my opinion. This particular god “guarantees” students an ultimatum: if you work hard in high school, you will be successful in your future monetarily. This narrative essentially is seen as detrimental to education as it guarantees students to work towards an economic goal, not to work hard for a love and passion of learning. This narrative also is unrealistic, as jobs are becoming less and less about your alma mater, and more about your physical experience in that certain skill. 
Secondly, the god of multiculturalism worries Postman, as he believes it "makes cultural diversity an exclusive preoccupation" (Postman 51). In a simpler sense, through this Postman means that multiculturalism is essentially harmful to the educational system as it implies that the idea of diversity and acceptance should only be applied at school and nowhere else in your everyday life.
Lastly, Postman speaks about the god of technology. Postman believes that technology is causing students to have a more individualized learning experience, which completely contradicts “...the value and necessity of group cohesion", a necessary component of education (Postman 45). The negative connotation Postman gives to technology, as well as economic utility and multiculturalism, reflects on his opinions on not only modern education, but today’s society as a whole: a negative, condescending view, which he seldom considers changing. 
Postman’s relatively outdated book, in my opinion, undoubtedly provides some relevant points that still reign true today. For example, the god of Economic Utility absolutely still applies today, as I can say that I am personally affected by it myself and am completely encompassed by it’s misguided use. Moving past this fact, I think looking at the facts is necessary to truly understand the effects of this book: being published in the 80’s, this book clearly did not have a massive impact on educational systems as technology, economic gain, and multiculturalist pushes still exist profusely in school. Taking this into consideration, it is clear that although Postman addresses some facts that are accurate and need to be changed in order to move forward in education as a society, the antiquation of this book has caused it to be “just another one”, unable to have the massive effect it should have on school today. If this book was published today, on the other hand, I think it could definitely have a larger impact and higher advantage than the one it has right now being of little to no importance to most students, teachers, and other workers in the educational field. Postman’s The End to Education surely brings some good thoughts to the table, but is unable to be acted upon as, to put it blatantly, is an unwanted series of words to a multitude of uninterested readers looking for something modern and fresh to dig into. 


  1. Jake, I really like your post. I am in the same boat as you when you describe how the god of Economic Utility was one of the biggest reasons and motivations for why you go to school. I too find it saddening that this book has not created any change in our educational system despite the fact the book has been published for so long. Like you said in your post, the difference in time at which the book was published explains why the book has gained few momentum. I think if the book was published now, the ideas conveyed in the book would have a better chance of being seen. Maybe then our educational system would be changed some, if not all, to the ideas Postman displayed. However, I believe students would still follow the god of Economic Utility even if they new what it stood for. Overall, nice post.

  2. This book had a similar effect the first time we read it, in AP Lang two years ago. I do think it's better to lead an examined life than an unexamined life--if in fact this "god" does fail any of you young people, at least you will have thought out why learning and growing is important to you.