Adam Smith's View Of Higher Education

712 Words 3 Pages
According to Yeager, Nelson, Potter, Weidman & Zullo (2001) in many ways higher education should be seen as a business as it “produces and sells educational services to customer” (as cited by Winston, 1999, p.13). However, at the same time, while education is indeed a business in some retrospect, it should not be regarded as only a business either.
Over the last several decades, many economists have attempted to solve the array of issues surrounding the idea that education should be seen as a way to strengthen society and its ability to maintain a stabilized economy that is ever growing. However, throughout history, an idea that originated by Adam Smith, the founding father of economics, is that education should be used counter the negative side-effects of economic development (Gilead, 2015, p. 625). While his suggestions may not be in agreement with the majority of society today, his insight offers the critical issues surrounding the field of higher education, a perspective which may offer techniques that could be beneficial if used sparingly.
Taking a closer look into Adam Smith’s rejection of the idea that education
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625). On the other hand, he noted that society fostering the division of labor limits the majority of individuals to a few simple tasks or job opportunities. While such tasks would not necessarily require an education, they may leave the majority of the population with a sense of unfulfillment regarding their occupation. Building further on this idea, Smith stated that while the division of labor improved the material living conditions for the majority of the population, it rendered the worker ‘‘as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become by confining their everyday mental activities to performing one or two very simple operations” Gilead, 2013, p.

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