Plato's Allegory Of The Cave As A Model For Education

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In book seven of The Republic, Plato proposes the allegory of the cave as a model for education. Plato makes clear that education in which students are passively receiving knowledge from the teachers is not correct, therefore he would regard our K-12 education as being wrong. Socrates, who is the main speaker in the work, explains the allegory to Glaucon, one of Plato's brothers. Socrates tells Glaucon to picture a group of prisoners who have been chained in an underground cave since childhood. They are bound such that all they can see in front of them is the back wall of the cave. Behind them is a sort of curtain wall, and further behind there is fire burning. The curtain wall enables the projection of shadows onto the wall that the prisoners …show more content…
Socrates suggests that the prisoners inside the cave represent us in our society, we are the prisoners that are only looking at the shadows of things. The cave serves as a representation of the world that we live in, in which things are not what they seem to be. The world outside that cave is represented as one of ideas, thoughts, and reality. With this world of Ideas, Plato illustrates the abstract representation of objects through unchangeable universal concepts. In other words, our senses only pick up the shadows of reality. To acquire the knowledge of the universal ideas of these forms, we need to use reasoning. The process of getting out of the cave, or being educated, requires assistance and effort. That is, in the process of learning, one struggles with coming out of ignorance and struggles to see the truth. We struggle to become critical thinkers because we want to resist the truth. We are blissful in our ignorance. The person who is leaving the cave is questioning his beliefs, whereas the person who opts to stay inside just accepts what is being …show more content…
In my school, we were given all the knowledge we needed to know for the exam, and we had to memorize it to write it accordingly. Socrates would reform this by having the teachers presenting us with certain facts, for us to use them to lead to a conclusion, which would be the truth. In the classrooms, we all sat in our desks and we would just write all the facts that the teacher provided us with, and we rarely had interactive discussions on the material. Socrates would change this classroom setting into being more discussions with only certain facts provided, for the students to be able to reach the universal truth present in the intelligible realm by

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