McLuhan: People need to know how to live in modern world, education system not doing that

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March 18, 2014 by Welcome to the Jungle

Marshall McLuhan
By Haley C.
Marshall McLuhan is a Canadian who is a media expert and has many interesting quotes relating to education and the media. The choice of which quote I would use was very difficult but it had to be done. For this assignment I choose “Education, which should be helping youth to understand and adapt to their revolutionary new environments, is instead being used merely as an instrument of cultural aggression.”
bored kidsI think the quote, “Education, which should be helping youth to understand and adapt to their revolutionary new environments, is instead being used merely as an instrument of cultural aggression,” is talking about how in schools children aren’t being taught to use the tools that they have available to them. When McLuhan said this quote he continued on talking about there is a huge generational gap between the people in power and the children in schools and those people in power aren’t allowing the education system to move forward.

McLuhan is saying that people need to know how to live in a modern world and the education system isn’t currently doing that.

When considering the meaning of this quote I immediately thought of a quote by Alvin Toffler which said, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” I thought Toffler’s quote went nicely with McLuhan’s because they are similar in nature. Children aren’t being taught the skills they need for today’s world, nor are they being taught how to adapt to changes in the world.
I think this quote relates to media studies really well, since the media is one of the biggest parts of our evolving world. Media is constantly changing, something new and innovative comes out each day but children are being taught how to use any of these amazing new technologies in schools. They are being taught how to type on computers that barely function, and are using programs that are obsolete. The media is also a very dangerous thing; it has a huge influence on children and it is constantly gaining more and kids aren’t being taught how to protect themselves against this influence. Bringing the study of media into a classroom, where kids can have an open discussion about it and really dive deep into how it affects their day to day lives is one of the best things and most valuable classes the education system can offer.

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