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What is Loyalty? What is Community? In what sense might either of these be considered proper aims of education?

By Brian Valenzuela Sotomayor

Introduction This essay focuses on the importance that loyalty and community represent within the aims of education, based on Platos (1997) turning of the psyche. I will explore loyaltys prerequisites and binding ties, existing within all human relationships and conclude that education should not only be concerned with loyalty, but that loyalty is absolutely essential in perpetuating its aims. I will establish the role of a community within the aims of education by exploring its cognitive dimensions, common identities and social agencies that determine the capacity of a community. Findings suggest that the common identity of a community along with the cognitive dimensions that form a sense of community including its level of commitment in catalysing the greenhouses of a community that are responsible for the turning of the psyche, as a collective, depends on the prerequisites of loyalty. Loyalty appears to determine the capacity of a community an important aim of education.

Should education be concerned with Loyalty?

efore exploring the significant importance that loyalty and community represent

within the proper aims of education, lets first establish the aims of education, only then can we begin to comprehend the significant role that loyalty and community possess.

The aim of Education


Conversed by Plato (1970) education is the route that must be taken (ibid, p1), but what is the aim of such route? Education, like all things of great importance, can be used in many ways and for different purposes, for instance; acquiring knowledge in good form (Plato, 1997: p16, 18, 22), education can embody intrinsic or extrinsic values (Peters, 2006: p57) education can be seek liberal or mechanical purposes ( Aristotle, 1984: p79), it can inspire knowledge, aspiring people towards that which is useful and desirable in life, such as excellence or a higher knowledge (Plato, 1970: p77-78). The theoretical definitions of educations aim deviate by their principles of procedure (Peters, 2006; p59-60). I will focus on Platos procedural principles of education, a preparation for the future involving a clear sight of things known and the power to know (1997, p18), Making the accent and see the good, by putting sight into blind eyes (1997, p21). Where education creates a persons life pivoting realization of pleasures (1997, p27) and desires (1997, p26). Plato envisions the aim of education as the turning of the psyche. Lets turn ourselves towards establishing the aim of education towards Platos symbolic representation of educations powerful nature and desired effect on the human mind, within his cave analogy:

imagine human beings living in an underground cave like dwelling, with an entrance a long way up, which is both open to the light and as wide as the cave itself. Theyve been there since childhood, fixed in the same place, with their necks and legs fettered, able to see only in front of them, because their bonds prevent them from turning their heads around. Light is provided by a fire burning far above and behind them. Also behind them, but on higher ground, there is a path stretching between them and the fire. Imagine that along this path a low wall has been built, like the screen in front of puppeteers above which they show their puppets., also imagine that there are people along the wall, carrying all kinds of artefacts that project above it statues of people and other animal, made out of stone, wood, and every material. (Plato, 1997, p20)

Lets Permit Platos turning of the psyche to physically represent the change of paradigm that is caused by an education of knowledge, for instance; picture the cave dweller, suddenly being compelled to stand up, turn his head, walk, and look up towards the light, hed be pained and dazzled and unable to see things whose shadows hed seen before (1997, p20), Plato goes also describes the benefits of such a turning of the psyche for the cave dweller; hed be able to study the things in the sky and the sky itself more easily at night, looking at the light of the stars and the moon, than during the day, looking at the sun and the light of the sun (1997, p20). This can be considered as the aim of education, leading those who seek to flourish, illustrated by the turning of the psyche which can lead us towards good knowledge, with its intrinsic and extrinsic values (Peters, 2006), to possibly serve both liberal or mechanical purposes (Aristotle, 1984), and provide the spoils of excellence and a higher knowledge (Plato, 1970). This turning of the psyche as a particular aim of education will be used throughout this essay. We are now ready to explore the pinnacle role that loyalty and community possess within the turning of the psyche.

Loyalty Does it really matter?

ccording to Healy (2008) within a civic sphere humans define themselves in terms

of loyalty to a person (whether emperors, princes or popes) or to an institution (empire, state, nation, church etc) (ibid, p744). This is an undeniable historical truism. Fletcher (1993) similarly identifies loyalty as containing the Historical Self, illustrating that people are defined by their personal ties (ibid, chapter 1). Before exploring the common identity that is necessary for a cohesive society (see Keiningham et al, 2009), I will firstly be focusing on loyaltys importance within human relationships, as we begin to develop its establish loyalty role within educations turning of the psyche,

Fletcher (1993) identifies loyalty as the preference that is placed towards one thing over another (see Fletcher, chapter 1). Lets apply such a preference to ethical character; such as responsibility, perseverance and the respect for others, these ethical characteristics all represent the prerequisite demands of loyalty (ibid, p167). For example, loyalty represents quantifiable states of commitment towards the experience of strong emotional ties, in which maturity is of the upmost importance amongst such ties (ibid, p167). From a holistic stance Loyalty could become the invisible ties that bind us together in our lives as citizens (Healy, 2008; p745). Deeper within this theoretical triad, Napoleon Hill (1937) illustrates loyalties pinnacle role within all human relationships as more than a binding force within society, stating that loyalty does not only apply to human relationships and citizenry; it applies to all aspects of life, to quote, lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life. So, the titles question above, seems almost evidently answered, loyalty does matter, to disagree would be to agree that human relationships across all walks of life are of no
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importance. On the other hand, to agree is to place loyalty an agent of moral and ethical considerations. To illustrate consider the following quote by Fletcher (1993);

The ethic of loyalty takes relationships as logically prior to the individual, while liberal morality thinks of the individual, existing wholly formed, choosing to enter into relationships. For the former, the family and the nation define the individual; for the latter, the individual chooses to contribute to the identity of the family and the nation. (ibid, p252)

Fletchers former prior logic of being loyal represents an act of preference achieved once the demands of loyalty are satisfied (Keiningham et al, 2009) such as the prerequisite of responsibility and ethical character. This represents loyalty as an agent of morality and ethics, followed by its latter affect towards a persons invisible and loyal ties that bind citizens together meanwhile creating a selfdefinition (Healy, 2008;?). Loyalty represents a pinnacle role within all forms of human relationships across all walks of life, but what importance does loyalty possess within a community? I will now illustrate loyaltys pinnacle role within a community meanwhile establishing both their roles towards the turning of the psyche, our predetermined aim of education.

The capacity of a Community and loyalty

A communitys capacity contains four characteristics (see Chaskin, 1999; p5-6); firstly its Sense of community, a cognitive dimension; collective values, norms, visions, trust and ownership, along with a mutually recognised belonging towards an ascribed membership (ibid, 5-6). This ascription, with the prior account, is established by loyaltys demands. Chaskin (1999) envisions this sense of community as a communal psyche in which schools, the traditional and primary catalyst creates a common identity, a sense of belonging to a community (ibid, 174). Within this community citizens are bound by an invisible tie, a web of horizontal forms of loyal relationships within the civic sphere (Healys, 2008; p745,) According to Keiningham et al, (2009) a common identity is a requirement for a cohesive society (ibid, p165). Consider the following example of a common identity based on loyalty that has been driven by an unorthodox turning of the psyche;

We tend to forget that evils like slavery, racism, and elitism were the norm for society not so long ago. Change occurred not because it was the natural course of things, but because loyal citizens critically considered the issues and challenged conventional wisdom. (Keiningham et al, 2009:176)

The second characteristic of a communitys capacity, is its Level of commitment, particular individuals, groups and institutions, that according to Keiningham et al, (2009) involves the schools of a community; the greenhouses of a community that catalyse human capital (ibid, p166), an instrumental value, where people come together in ways that support a common good (Crenshaw & John, 1989: p6). Chaskin, (1999) states that social agency causes such a catalyst, a large system of actors (ibid, p8), sustaining the functioning and strategic building of a communities capacity, but only once levels of social interaction are engaged, supported and built (ibid, p4), a visible tie of loyalty. According to Hargreaves (1994) this form of human relationship, entails a willing exchange of organisational loyalty for personal stability and seniority. This solidifies our prior establishment of loyalties importance towards human relationships within a community, built be levels of established loyalty. Loyalty appears to be a vehicle that can drives all mechanisms within a community, what about the solving problems within the 20th century. For instance, (Klenowski, 2009) argues that public education must address social and economic inequality as a democratic force (ibid, p1), which is evidently being driven by the self-interests of the economy, often proceeding over social good; consumption instead of community involvement, temporary teamwork over long-term emotions of loyalty (Hargreaves, 2003; p3). These problems exist amongst groups of people and institutions, a shared mutual circumstance, lives similarly affected by the needs of circumstance. This common identity according to

Chaskin (1999) is powered by a communitys facilitation in sustaining the wellbeing of individuals, social interactions and organizations within its physical environment (ibid; p3). It is now evident that common identity within a community is only possible after the ties of loyalty have been established; therefore loyalty does not only lead a community, but facilitates social intervention through levels of social agency (Cheskin, 1999: p7). This is where education enters the equation. This facilitation encapsulates Platos notion of educations aim of acquiring knowledge in good form (ibid, p16). For example, it is impossible to escape the realization that our society, like any society rests on common beliefs and that a major task of education is to perpetuate them. (Harvard Commission, 1945), But in certain circumstances what about when learning something that is greater than oneself? According to Keiningham et al, (2009) this requires an agent; people who inspire us, people who help light the way for us through their own example. And loyal societies need common heroes (ibid: p174). These heroes in an educational sense could represent our teachers, the role models in a community, those entitled to lead and responsible to inspire. To quote Professor Josiah Royce;

There is one contribution which childhood...makes to a possible future...the well-known disposition to idealize heroes and adventures, to live an imaginary life, to have ideal comrades, and to dream of possible great enterprises...If I had never been fascinated in childhood by my heroes and by the wonders of life, it is harder to fascinate me later with the call of duty. Loyalty...is an idealizing of human life, a communion with invisible aspects of our social existence. Too great literalness in the interpretation of human relation is, therefore, a foe to the development of loyalty. (1908: p260)

Conclusion. Loyalty binds people together by its prerequisite demands of maturity and ethical character, forming commitments of instrumental value towards its cognitive dimension that applies to all aspects of life, arising from collective responsibilities, values, norms, visions and trust. This commitment is manoeuvred by social agencies, such as schools, the green houses of a community, in which the aim of education, based on the turning of the psyche, sustains the functioning and building of a communitys capacity through its levels of social interactions, both lead and entrusted to those, or that, which is worthy of loyalty, as they perpetuate common beliefs that holistically form a common identity. This common identity, facilitated by loyalty and delivered by its community through social agency and perpetuated by the greenhouses of our community where the turning of the psyche facilitates and models maturity, ethical character, responsibility and commitment towards the development humanity. To agree with this point is to agree that loyalty and community is essential in turning children towards these characteristics and noble pursuits, leading them to flourish, the accent to the good, putting sight into blind eyes; where the realisation of such pleasures and desires bequeathed; a commitment to such an end, is only possible by a communities capacity to sustain the invisible ties that tie citizens together.

Bibliography Aristotle. (1984) the Complete Works of Aristotle: Liberal v. Mechanical Education, In Curren, R (2007) Philosophy of Education: An Anthology, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, pp77-82 Chaskin, R T (1999) Defining Community Capacity: A framework and implementation form a comprehensive Community Initiative. Chicago. Urban Affairs Association Crenshaw, E., John, C (1989). The organizationally dependent community: A comparative study of neighbourhood attachment. Urban Affairs Quarterly 24(3), 412-

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Fletcher, G.P (1993) Loyalty: An Essay on the Morality of Relationships, New York, Oxford University Press. Harvard Commission, (1945) In Keningham, T., Aksoy, L, Williams, L (2009) Why loyalty matters. United States. Benbella. p172 Healy, M. (2008). School Choice, Brand Loyalty and Civic Loyalty Journal of Philosophy of Education 41, (4), pp743-756 Hargreaves, A (1994) Changing Teachers, Changing Time: Teachers work and culture in the postmodern age, New York, Teachers College Press. p64 Hargreaves, A (2003) Teaching in the Knowledge Society, New York, Teachers College Press. p3 Keiningham, T., Aksoy, L, Williams, L (2009) Why loyalty matters. United States. Benbella Klenowski, V (2009) Public Education Matters: Reclaiming Public Education for the Common Good in a Global Era. Australian Educational Research, 36, (1). pp1-26. Napoleon Hill (1937) Think and Grow Rich. In Keinington, T., Aksoy, L, Williams, L (2009) Why loyalty matters. United States. Benbella. p164 Plato (1997) Republic in Plato: Turning the Psyche , Hackett Publishing Company Inc, In Curren, R (2007) Philosophy of Education: An Anthology, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, pp16-25 Plato (1970) Plato: The Laws; Knowing how to Rule and be Ruled as Justice Demands, In Curren, R (2007) Philosophy of Education: An Anthology, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, pp26-27 Peters, R, S (2006) Education as Initiation, In Curren, R (2007) Philosophy of Education: An Anthology, Oxford, Blackwell Publishing, pp55-67 Royce, J (1908) The Philosophy of Loyalty. New York, MacMillan. p260
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