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HOW SCHOLARS CAN TALK OF THE SAME THING YET DIFFERENT
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Education, from my deeper perspective, is a form of learning where systematic knowledge instructions are given from one party or generation to another through teaching, research and training. Therefore, liberal education is a type of education that empowers individual to attain a free mind where they can be able to deal with complex, diverse issues in the dynamic world. This essay provides a comparison and contrasts of Rodriguez and Delbanco arguments on education as shown in their cases “the achievement of desire” and “college at risk.” With the two authors having a different approach to education, it is essential to consider focusing on the basis of their differences and similarities to enhance a deeper understanding on the topic. In this light, this paper will provide an account of their differences in their attitude and then demonstrate how liberal approaches have made a difference in Rodriguez’s attitude.
The arguments presented by Rodriguez in “the achievement of desire” and Delbanco in “college at risk” vary in various aspects. Whereas both authors agree that education is meant to bring change and transformation (Rodriguez 6) (Delbanco 220), the approach to each one of them varies greatly as shown by the two cases. In essence, Delbanco approaches education from a liberal perspective while Rodriguez education perspective focuses much on social change; a child Rodriguez, who is absorbed in the education system, is a perfect example of the “scholarship boy”. He desires to achieve so much that he sets himself definite boundaries between him, the family and the world around him. Rodriguez does not mention on his social life or friends at all because he does not have time for it. His entire life freeze around taking studies seriously although he only mimics ideas from without a necessary having in-depth understanding, Rodriguez quotes “the great mimic; a collector of thoughts, not a thinker; the very last person who feels obliged to have a thought of his own” (Rodriguez 8). On the other hand, Delbanco argues that the education is not supposed to create a kind of change that makes individuals alien to society. Rather, he argues that education is supposed to create efficient individuals by making sure they fit better in society. At no particular time is education supposed to rob an individual from society. On the contrarily, liberal education is seeking to understand in order to develop a critical thinking that is essential in a healthy democracy.
According to Delbanco most students go to school without a define road map of what to do, they are in school because they just found themselves there. Because of the lack of purpose they get bored while others just get self-possessed, with their eyes at the glory or passing exams. Most are in the process of discovering themselves without a real feel of liberal education. They seem completely unaware of liberal education. He says that they are driven by pressure to perform and achieve. With time, these pressure pile in them and leaves them feeling empty and discouraged. It is this pressure that Rodriguez succumbs to, and he uses books as a decoy. Although Rodriguez passed through all the stages of a “scholarship boy” he feels to have missed out on an important part of his life. He admits that reading greatly changed his life and made him lonely and empty. He observes that when readings with the old nuns it was exciting. The praises he received made him even want to study more. His need to read is another symptom of the Scholarship boy who was starting to get empty. Rodriguez proves this point when he says, “a book so enjoyable to read can’t be very important” (Rodriguez 6). The simple fact that he would read something so complicated as The Uses of Literacy implies he is a “scholarship boy” one who is supposed to understand what others find difficult to. At this point of his life, he demonstrates self-realization and that he was in search of something important that is lost. Of which I say, emptiness created a void that needed to be filled with reading. This ultimately leads him to discover how wrongly he took his study, and he chooses to discuss it in his writing.
While the sole purpose for education according to Rodriguez was to create ‘scholarship boy’ Delbanco states that there are three purposes of education. The most widely known is to generate a labor force that is efficient and competitive in the job market. With the changing technological development individual need to be educated to feel this market niche (Delbanco 220). The second purpose is based on citizenship where every citizen entitled to have a basic education. An educated society makes governance easy in upholding democracy (Delbanco 221). The third purpose which is the most significant according to Delbanco education is supposed to make people to life (Debaco 222). Although he is aware that this kind of education is expensive, Delbanco supports his argument by saying, “it will be much more costly to fail.” (Delbanco 226).

The present Rodriguez is one who has lived his life; he has a personal experience of being a scholarship boy. He understands the advantages and disadvantages of being a scholar boy at heart. He knows of the existence of “scholarship boys” in the world today. He finally given his comments on the essay admitting to longing to be with his family and also saying that personal ambitions are less important compared to tradition. Rodriguez acknowledges liberal type of education compared to the tradition way of education where he only mimicked facts caring little about what their practical application are. He admittedly agrees to the fact that education is more than school and it includes the entire environment where an individual life revolves. Therefore, an exclusion of surrounding environments makes education less beneficial to an individual. Further, he states the desire of education will never end and therefore an individual should not prioritize it over his/her family and traditions. Because of Rodriguez acknowledges on liberal type of education, I believe that the liberal education type of approach would have changed his attitude on education.
I personally agree to the fact that liberal education is at risk due to the current underfunded community colleges and the piling pressure students are subjected to in the process of finding the winners. But, these facts are supposed to scare, “to succeed in sustaining college as a place where liberal learning still takes place will be very costly.” Rather, I believe they are meant to caution the government to react strategically by putting in place mechanisms that work. For instance, the government may use of mechanisms that come along with the development like the internet, globalization, and internationalization.