5. Theory of Education

Table of contents

Education in today’s democratic societies is in crisis, as can be seen from the increase in juvenile delinquency, the degradation of the sexual morality of the youth, the frequent occurrence of school violence, and so on. Yet, a proper theory of education, able to overcome this confusion, is difficult to find anywhere, and present-day education seems to have lost its sense of direction. Appropriate relationships between teachers and students are diminishing. That is to say, students do not respect their teachers, and teachers have lost their sense of authority and enthusiasm. In consequence, the relationship between teachers and students has largely become one wherein the teachers are merely selling knowledge, very often based largely on “political correctness,” and the students are buying it, so that schools have turned into places for buying and selling knowledge. Communist ideology has infiltrated these circumstances, turning schools into places teeming with disturbances.

The democratic idea as regards education is to cultivate democratic citizens who observe such principles of democracy as the sovereignty of the people, majority rule, equality of rights, while at the same time respecting the rights of others, fulfilling their own responsibility, and claiming their own, legitimate rights.

Against this democratic ideal of education, however, Communists lodge the following charge: “In a class society, can the ruling class ever truly respect the rights of laborers and farmers? To fulfill one’s own duty and mission in class society means to be a loyal servant to the ruling class, does it not? That is not true democracy. True democracy is a democracy for laborers and farmers, in other words, a people’s democracy. Therefore, a true democratic education should be one for the sake of the people. Thus, in order to offer a true education, we should overthrow capitalist society and construct a socialist society.” Many people have been persuaded by such an argument.

This Communist challenge against capitalism will not lose its persuasiveness as long as social structures of exploitation, oppression, injustice, corruption, and so on remain in capitalist society. Therefore, these social evils must be eliminated. To do this, a movement for a new view of value based on God’s true love must be launched and, along with it, a new theory of education must be established.

Such a new theory of education should be established based on the standard that God originally intended human beings to achieve as they grew. Such a theory can then give proper direction to today’s educational institutions, which are in confusion, and can provide a vision of education for the future society. In other words, it is a theory of education that enables us to prepare for the future ideal society. The Unification Theory of Education presented here is just such a new theory of education.

Theories of education usually have two aspects. One is concerned with the ideals, goals, methods, and so on, of education, and corresponds to what is called the philosophy of education. The other aspect deals with education as an objective, observable phenomenon, and is called the science of education. The science of education inquires into educational curricula, student evaluation, learning techniques, student counseling, school administration, educational management, and so on.

These two aspects in education stand in the relationship of Sungsang and Hyungsang. The philosophy of education is the Sungsang aspect of education, whereas the science of education is the Hyungsang aspect of education. Unfortunately, while the science of education has made admirable progress up to the present time, propelled by our modern tendency to hold science in high esteem, the philosophy of education has been relatively neglected, and so is in steady decline. The fact that education today has lost its direction implies the absence of a sound philosophy of education. Therefore, what is urgently needed today is the establishment of a new philosophy of education. The Unification Theory of Education presented here is offered in order to meet that precise need.