The dispute about measures of individual freedom as contrasted to the unifying, authoritative body of power is one of the most intense ones in the USA. The reason for this lies within the scope of the US founding principles that gave practically unlimited authority to people who were entitled to govern themselves in contrast to other countries imposing much stricter regulations on their citizens. The United States of America have been propagating and declaring freedom for everyone as a basic principle of their functioning, thus exercising much less control over daily activities of its nation that it is usually witnessed with other states and government:
“Clearly, it was the plan of the Founders to limit government, and to a substantial extent they succeeded; for in the grand sweep of things, America has fared rather better than many other nations that sought also, in their own ways, to limit their governments” (Pilon, 1999).
Taking into consideration how propagated and nurtured individual freedom in the USA is, it becomes hard to understand how it can be impaired. And truly, the ability to limit individual freedoms was initially secured by the Founding Fathers who found out that the size of federal government affected the level of freedom in a negative way, so it should be kept on an adequate level in order not to decrease the number of liberties and not to prevent citizens from enjoying them fully. To understand the attitude of Founding Fathers to the government it is enough to recollect their mistrust and disapproval to governmental growth. While creating a new, free and independent state the Founding Fathers insisted that the government should not expend much of its authority on private sphere of civil life because such an intrusion would result in the violation of human freedom to make certain decisions and follow the chosen life paths. Thus, the discussion of what government can be considered good and functional is still continued:
“To advocate good government is to recognize the indispensable role that political authority plays in a healthy community. To advocate limited government is to understand that not everything necessary for a community to be healthy is the responsibility of government” (Messmore, 2007).
And indeed, one can witness the negative influence of extended government structures on the quality of their operations and productivity. Officials who have to correlate their activities and decisions with a huge number of relative institutions and agencies will act much slower and will fail to react to the urgent needs of the US citizens. If a certain group of population voices some needs or requests to the government and turns to its representatives, it will take much longer to give the constructive response to these needs.
In addition, it is highly important to mention the varied opinion of people living in the United States to the issue of limited government preventing outstanding theorists and politicians to find out the real value of government, its purpose and profile it should correspond to in order to suit the needs of the nation.
“Identifying the proper tasks and limits of various social institutions is bound up with a society’s understanding of the good life and the good community – its moral vision of its defining goods and purposes” (Messmore, 2007).
The way organizations, individuals or households understand the US founding principles and the way they have been altered in the course of time differs so significantly that at times it is hard to outline the overall attitude and opinion in the country existing towards the discussed issue.
This finding has revealed the fact that at times citizens feel securer when they witness the active intrusion of the US government into their life justified by their care for the nation they are responsible for. However, at times this care may become unbearable for the citizens and results in the excessive expenditures that are not substantiated by any reasonable arguments.
The work of Rauchut (2008) dedicated to the analysis of Kirkpatrick series also presupposes a certain measure of doubt about the role of government as it should be in the contemporary reality. The author analyses a great number of writings on the issue of the extent to which the state government should take part in human lives and makes a conclusion that according to all logical inferences the US government cannot have the power it has gained now. For this reason in his work dedicated to the American vision and values he asks a rhetorical question:
“How, then, has our government, founded on principles of limited government, enumerated powers, and checks and balances, grown beyond the warrants of its own Constitution to pursue the “mischief” that so many of us have come to accept as the normal state of affairs?” (Rauchut, 2008).
My personal opinion on the topic is that the US government surely conducts its functions in a much more responsible and efficient way than it is done in many other countries. However, the funds of all innovations initiated by the legal institutions are taken from the pockets of taxpayers; besides, all additional agencies and programs initiated by the government take additional time and raise additional concerns of the nation. This way the communication between institutions becomes vaguer and results in less action. For this reason I am for a more efficient but less numerous government that will fulfill its initial functions and responsibilities designed by the Founding Fathers.
Messmore, R. (2007). A Moral Case Against Government: How Government Shapes the Character, Vision and Virtue of Citizens. First Principle Series, No. 9, pp. 1-12.
Pilon, R. (1999). The purpose and limits of government (Cato’s letter) (Unknown Binding). Cato Institute.
Rauchut, E.A. (2008). American Vision and Values. Bellevue University.
“The Frogs” Comedy Analysis
It begins with Dionysus’ trip. At first it is described as an attempt to save the tragedy but latter it turns into an attempt to save Athens. His trip assumes a double function and purpose. The first one, the salvation of the theatre is easy to be identified. Meanwhile the salvation of Athens is a hidden purpose. Aristophanes elects a tragedian poet to save the city because he thinks that generally the art and particularly the tragedy are able to do a lot of things to benefit the city, even to save it. The frogs which sing with a beautiful voice symbolize the value of the poetry because this is the only reason of their song. This fact gives the meaning to the comedy title.
“The Frogs” is one of the most popular comedies of Aristophanes and of the Greek Antiquity. It tells the story of Dionysus, the god of the theatre, who traveled to Hades with his slave Xanthias to bring Euripides back from the hereafter. After they found the shorter way to arrive to Hades they went there. Once arrived to the river Charon, Dionysus heard a chorus of croaking frogs that were singing very beautifully. It is important to mention that this is the only scene in the comedy that features the frogs (Aristophanes, pg. 254). After the trip, Dionysus finally found Euripides, but he was in the middle of a conflict with the great Aeschylus to decide who the “Best Tragic Poet” was. The two poets competed with each other having as a judge, Dionysus. The competition included some activities. One of them was the verses recitation from their plays. At the end of the competition came the winner who was Aeschylus. At that point Dionysus found it difficult to decide which from them he had to take with him. To make up his mind and end the debate between the two poets, Dionysus decided to take with him the one who would give the best advice about saving the city (Athens). Aeschylus was the one who gave the best answer so the god of the Underworld allowed him to return to life in order to succor Athens in a moment when it really needed this. As main character of this comedy we can mention Dionysus, Xanthias, Aeschylus, Euripides and the chorus of frogs. To be able to analyze the comedy it is important to enter into the reality of the time when the play was written. In 405 B.C Athens was passing through the most difficult period of all its history. The Peloponnesus war was ending and the destiny of the city was unpredictable. It was at the point to lose its sovereignty on the Greek world and as a result it was passing through strong conflicts and an under pressure situation. Greek Democracy was replaced by oligarchy and the politic situation was much tensioned. The two greater tragedians of that era, Sophocles and Euripides, were dead. In other words it seemed that Athens was losing its politic and cultural splendor. All leaded to think that the future would be bad comparing to the past.
This was the atmosphere where Aristophanes wrote his nostalgic play where the only way to give to Athens again its splendor, is to bring the dead people back to life. In other words Aristophanes wants to tell that the old path is the one which has the potential to make Athens as it was in its most successful years. It is clear that behind the comedy is hiding a political theme. The old way in the play is represented by Aeschylus and Euripides. The play suggests a peaceful war end and also suggests that men of known integrity are the ones who should be in the ruling positions in Athens. We can say that “The Frogs” contains solid and serious messages regarding peace and state organization. This message is not always easy to be identified in the comedy. Dionysus trip at first is described as an attempt to save the tragedy but latter it turns into an attempt to save Athens (Aristophanes, pg. 354).
In other words his trip assumes a double function and purpose. The first one which is the salvation of the theatre is easy to be identified. Meanwhile the salvation of Athens is a hidden purpose. Why does Aristophanes elect a tragedian poet to save the city? This happens because he thinks that generally the art and particularly the tragedy are able to do a lot of things to benefit the city, even to save it. After reading and analyzing the comedy we are able to find the meaning of the title. It was often considered strange because in the play there is only one episode where the frogs are present. Even if a single episode may appear not relevant, in reality it may become a symbol of the entire story. The significance of all the other events takes the meaning from this symbol so the single episode acquires importance. The frogs which sing with a beautiful voice symbolize the value of the poetry because this is the only reason of their song. Following this interpretation becomes clear that the title is meaningful because it underlines the power of the poetry which, according to Aristophanes, may bring even to the salvation of Athens.
Aristophanes. The Frogs. Stilwell, KS. Digiread Publishing. 2005.
Information And Communication Technology In Education
Globalization and technological change has created a new global economy which is powered by information and communication technology. Information and communication technology have become the basis for educational reform. This paper discusses ‘The use of information and communication technology in education’. Information and communications technology transforms the conventional educational system to a more modern and a better quality system. Information and communication technology helps transform the educational system in several ways. According to Cox (1997), information and communications technology helps in increasing the motivation levels of the students. Information and communication technology makes use of a combination of things and hence helps students learn faster.
Moreover, through networking information and communication technology can not only reuse the information again and again but this also increases learners motivation and helps students to participate in real world events. Information and communication technology also helps in a faster transfer of knowledge and skills (Intel, 2008). On the other hand ICT also helps in training teachers and instructors. It has been found out that the use of information and communication technology in educational institutions can empower students and hence motivate them to learn. The proper use of information and communication technology can change the teacher centred conventional method of teaching to a more learner centred or student centred learning. Hacking is an important issue in using information and communication technology in education. Equity in the use of information and communication technology is yet another issue in the education system. Information and communication technology supports active and collaborative learning. ICT enhanced learning promotes integrative approach to teaching and learning.
Use of Information and Communication Technology in Education
Technological change has been fostered in the past decade due to the increasing use of internet and communication technology. More and more people have started using internet as compares to before. In the first decade of its official beginning or its advent, internet was mainly used for research purposes. Even though almost all of the facilities of internet were present at that time, it was difficult for a common man to use it for quite many reasons. One important reason was the high initial cost of the equipment. On the other hand, only people who mastered UNIX operating system had the privilege of using the internet. However, today with user friendly windows systems and cheaper rates of computer equipments, computers and internet is available to all. In 1989, Tim Berners had tried very hard to make internet accessible to all by making the use of internet easy, however it was really in 1993 when the actual mass use of internet began. (Naughton, 2001)
Globalization and technological change has created a new global economy which is powered by information and communication technology. This technological change has brought serious concerns for educational institutions. Information and communication technology have become the basis for educational reform. This paper discusses ‘The use of information and communication technology in education’. How it represents educational transformations, how this transformation embeds the meaning of change in organizations and what are the pros and cons of such education, are a few questions which will be answered in this paper.
According to the World Bank
“ICTs consist of hardware, software, networks and media for collection, storage, processing, transmission, and presentation of information (including voice, data, text and images” (World Bank, 2003).
Hence in other words it can be said that Information and communications technology is used to create, store and manage information. It includes computers, internet and even radio and television (Blurton, 2002).
It was in 1980s when relatively low cost microcomputers were available. Due to this the issue of the use of information and communication technology in education was brought up. In the 1980s, the term microcomputer was used for information and communication technology which was later replaced by IT and then finally ICT. In 1992 e-mails started to become popular and the schools and colleges started to accept it as a quicker medium of information sharing. It was expected that microcomputers will make education more effective. However researches reflect that information and communication technology is merely a supplement to the existing curriculum and cannot fully replace it (RUCST, n.d). However, the governments of the developing nations are constantly trying to raise the educational standards be embedding information and communication technology in the curriculum. For this reason the ‘New Relationships’ plan which was announced in 2004 has suggested the government of UK to share management information nationwide with the help of internet technology (Bromley Information management strategy, 2006).
Information technology and education
Information and communications technology transforms the conventional educational system to a more modern and a better quality system. Information and communication technology helps transform the educational system in several ways. It not only motivates the learner but also facilitates this learning process (Haddad, 2002). The acquisition of basic skills in ICT is relatively easier and lead to a more creative human being.
According to Cox (1997), ICT helps in increasing the motivation levels of the students. It is true that students easily get bored with conventional teaching methods and if new methods of teaching are introduced which make use of ICT, it can definitely increase the motivation level of the students. This change can be noted by the positive effect on the behaviour and skills of the students (Comber, 2002).
Information and communication technology makes use of a combination of things and hence helps students learn faster. For example in a slide show put up with the help of a projector, information and communication technology makes use of text, images, motion and sometimes sound to motivate and pursue the learning process and hence transforms the traditional education system. Moreover, through networking information and communication technology can not only reuse the information again and again but this also increases learners motivation and helps students to participate in real world events. information and communication technology also helps in a faster transfer of knowledge and skills (Intel, 2008).
For example: television programs like sesame street not only helped children learn alphabets and words with the use of text, sound, colours and shapes but was relatively a faster way of learning too. This also motivated children to learn. On the other hand ICT also helps in training teachers and instructors. For example the Cyber teacher training centre (CTTC) developed in Korea provides a better way of vocational training for teachers. This training program helps the teachers to think creatively and bringing new ideas for teaching the students. Moreover, it also saves time as the teachers do not have to gather in a face to face meeting (Jung, 2002).It is essential for the teachers to have technology literacy so that they can impart this knowledge to their students. This includes use of computers, internet, web content and other networking and software programs (United Nations, 2008).
Even with so many benefits the use of ICT in education is not up to standard. According to a survey, the teachers use ICT mainly for word processing purposes rather then bringing in innovative methods of teaching. On the other hand the use of e-mail for contacting parents and information sharing has increased, but yet again needs improvement. The survey also reflected that the use of Information and communication technology in school’s classrooms was also very minimal. The graph below shows the how often IT is used in class. (Amas, 2008).When the respondents were asked how often they use ICT in the class it can be seen that 24% said that at least once a week and there were 45% who said never. This reflects the negligence in case of Information and communication technology use in classrooms.
It was then asked whether these schools had a website. The following pie chart reflects the number of schools having a website. In the primary schools almost 61% did not have website where as in secondary school almost 16%.
It has been found out that the use of information and communication technology in educational institutions can empower students and hence motivate them to learn. The proper use of information and communication technology can change the teacher centred conventional method of teaching to a more learner centred or student centred learning. However, even with so many advantages associated with the use of information and communication technology in education; there are some pedagogical issues too which can impact the education system in a negative way.
Hacking is an important issue in using information and communication technology in education. Students can hack into teacher’s computers and find the examination papers archived or can hack in to each other’s computers to cheat on tests or homework. Teachers who use information and communication technology in their classrooms have noticed that students can lose concentration if they fall prey to any kind of distraction which can come from the use of internet or the simple use of computer. Equity in the use of information and communication technology is yet another issue in the education system. The access to the computers, internet etc should not be favoured and each student should be able to access the ICT facilities equally.
An increase in the costs associated with the installation, damages and repairing can increase with the use of ICT in education. Hence, the biggest disadvantage of using ICT in educational institutions is the increased cost which might be a result of this implementation and might recur in future. Another issue which has been under discussion is the difference between the developed and underdeveloped nations which might result in inequity in the use of ICT in classrooms. Another disadvantage associated with the use of ICT in education is the need for having the same technology at home in order to access the information. This might not be possible for some students and hence traditional teachers believe that computers might never be able to replace teachers. Use of ICT results in decreased interaction of students as they tend to break down into smaller groups in an ICT embedded classroom.
The use in education
Information and communication technology supports active and collaborative learning. It helps the students to manipulate current information which is available at fingertips to remain updated and connect to the world. They can compare themselves with other students all over the world. ICT enhanced learning promotes integrative approach to teaching and learning. As ICT based learning is usually student based, therefore it helps the students to explore and learn rather than just sit and listen to the information being poured to them. The level of information absorbed in and ICT embedded classroom depends on the technology being used. According to Haddad (2002), there are five levels of technology which can be used in a classroom. This is presentation, demonstration, drill, practice, interaction and collaboration.
Here are a few advantages of ICT use in education.
- It not only increases students’ motivation towards studies but also increases the teacher’s enthusiasm to teach (Becta, 1998).
- Increases the c communication effectiveness between pupil and teachers (Becta, 2002)
- Enhanced and frequent feedback from the parents and student help the teachers to increase the motivation of students to study
- Parents can be as more involved in the student activities and can even have virtual meeting with the teachers which can enhance the level of communication (Flecknoe, 2001)
- Material and information can be easily shared by teachers and students
- Students have an increased sense of commitment, achievement and self worth (Cox, 1997)
The following reflects and summarizes the main advantages of using information technology in education.
From the above research it can be concluded that information and communication technology plays a very important role in education. With more use of this in the classrooms, the entire education system can be reformed. The use of information and communication technology helps boost the morale and increase the motivation level of students. Children are always ready to do something new. Introducing new methods of teaching and use of multimedia in classroom will help the students learn more. It is truly said that a picture is better than a thousand words; therefore it will take a teacher sometime to explain a certain phenomenon to children, whereas the use of visual aid will make it easier with a long lasting impact in the minds of the children.
Amas (2008). Education and ICT. Web.
Blurton, C.,“New Directions of ICT-Use in Education”.
Bromley information management strategy (2006) ICT in education (administration) development plan (2004-2006). Education and libraries directorate.
COMBER, C., et al., 2002. ImpaCT2: learning at home and school: case studies. ICT in Schools Research and Evaluation Series,No. 8, DfES/Becta. Web.
Cox. J., 1997. Effects of information technology on students’ motivation: final report. NCET.
Flecknoe, M., (2001). The use of virtual classrooms for schoolim provement. BELMAS Annual conference, Newport Pagnell, Web.
Haddad,Wadi D. and Jurich, Sonia (2002),“ICT for Education: Potential and Potency”, in Haddad,W. & Drexler, A. (eds),Technologies for Education: Potentials, Parameters, and Prospects (Washington DC: Academy for Educational Development and Paris: UNESCO), pp. 34-37.
Intel (2008).ICT, Education Reform, and Economic Growth: A Conceptual Framework; Foxit Software Company, 2004 – 2007.
Jung, I.,“Issues and Challenges of Providing Onloine Inservice Teacher Training: Korea’s Experience”; Web.
Naughton, John: A Brief History of the Future: the origins of the Internet, Phoenix, 2001, pages.
RUCST (n.d). Pedagogical aspects of ICT. Web.
United Nations (2008) ICT Competency Standards For Teachers; Competency Standards Modules. By the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
World Bank. 2004a. World Bank Development Indicators 2004. Annual Report, Washington DC. Web.