“What education fails to teach us is to see the human community as one. Rather than focus on the unique differences that separate one nation from another, education should focus on the similarities among all people and places on Earth.”
1. It is important for the education to teach us the unity. It is important for us to identify with others since no one can live without others.
2. While it is also important for the education to teach us the diverstity for us to better understand and respect others.
3. Which is more important is hard to say. Both the unity and the diversity should be taught.
View1: It is very important for education to teach us unity. Since all nations interact with each other more and more thoroughly, no one is an island in the world.
Evidence: unify citizens from diverse backgrounds, reduced ethnic, religious or political factions and wars. Improve cooperation, mutual altruism and finally harmonious humanity
View2: While it is also important for education to teach us diversity in order to improve understanding and respect between nations.
Evidence: democratic ideal of tolerance, educating people about diversity might even produce a unifying effect—by promoting understanding and appreciation among people from all backgrounds.
This view of education seems to recommend that schools stress the unity of all people instead of their diversity. While I agree that education should include teaching students about characteristics that we all share, doing so need not necessarily entail shifting focus away from our differences. Education can and should include both.
On the one hand, we are in the midst of an evolving global community where it is increasingly important for people to recognize our common humanity, as well as specific hopes and goals we all share. People universally prefer health to disease, being nourished to starving, safe communities to crime-riddled ones, and peace to war. Focusing on our unity will help us realize these hopes and goals. Moreover, in our pluralistic democracy it is crucial to find ways to unify citizens from diverse backgrounds. Otherwise, we risk being reduced to ethnic, religious or political factions at war with one another, as witnessed recently in the former Yugoslavia (南斯拉夫). Our own diverse society can forestall such horrors only if citizens are educated about the democratic ideals, heritage, rights and obligations we all have in common.
On the other hand, our schools should not attempt to erase, ignore, or even play down (v. 降低, 贬低, 减少) religious, ethnic or cultural diversity. First of all, schools have the obligation to teach the democratic ideal of tolerance, and the best way to teach tolerance is to educate people about different religions, cultures and so on. Moreover, educating people about diversity might even produce a unifying effect—by promoting understanding and appreciation among people from all backgrounds.
In conclusion, while it may appear paradoxical to recommend that education stress both unity and diversity, it is not. Understanding our common humanity will help us achieve a better, more peaceful world. Toward the same end, we need to understand our differences in order to better tolerate them, and perhaps even appreciate them. Our schools can and should promote both kinds of understanding by way of a balanced approach.
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