View Thread > Development and the Internet > Learning - Question 1 > The Politics of Education
Looking at your own community, how do people perceive education – how does it relate to personal and professional development of the individual and the society? What sorts of individual and social investments does it merit? Is any technology currently used to serve educational aims? Is it generally viewed as a unique opportunity? What is the perceived role and importance of technology and education?
Two things dominate conversations here: football and politics, which has its own share of footballs. Education represents the current political football, being closely intertwined with the other political favorite, moral responsibility and right.
The Hope Scholarship guarantees public higher education institutional availability to students who graduate from a state high school with a "B" average and maintain it in their college course work. A state lottery provides funding and also funds technology. The obvious point to make would relate to the morality of funding education and technology with money from gambling, but it does not seem to be an issue.
The community perceives education as an economic asset. Individuals who "get an education" expect to make more money as a result and report that as their primary reason for attending college. College students work and borrow money to "get my degree," Not education. The community in general perceives the existence of an institution of higher education, and especially one that teaches technology, as beneficial to the community economically.
Georgia emphasizes technology in education. Rogers' theory of diffusion of information describes how the community accepts it, with educational institution populations as well as citizens ranging from innovators to laggards. Faculty in some colleges receive tenure because of their technology contributions, while faculty in other colleges are denied tenure because they study technology.
With state revenues down and calls for budget cuts being made, the politics of education are more likely to focus on those areas of greatest cost; personnel and technology.