Journal – What Should Education Teach?

Jul 4, 2023

W.E.B. Du Bois was the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard. He fought for African American rights and cofounded the NAACP. Du Bois sought social, economic and political reforms to expand equality and access for minorities (Pullman & Van Patten).

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Then reflect on the following quote:

Education and work are levers to uplift a people. Work alone will not do it unless inspired by the right ideals and guided by intelligence. Education must not simply teach work—it must teach life.” – W. E. B. DuBois, The Negro Problem, 1903

Although this quote is more than 100 years old, the words still ring true for our society today. Please explain what you think “Education must not simply teach work—it must teach life” meant then and what it means now. 

Recommended Resource: Short History of W.E.B. DuBois – 

preview of the answer…

Attempting to establish the meaning of the assertion “Education must not simply teach work-it must teach life” by Dubois (1898), in my opinion, may be accomplished by analyzing the statement in light of the life and experiences of its maker. A cursory analysis of NAACP (2009) and W.E.B Du Bois- Mini Biography (2016) reveals that Dubois was not only an extensively educated and pioneering civil rights defender but also accomplished numerous feats as an academic and scholar through his numerous publications and editorial endeavors. Further, and of fundamental importance, his efforts were focused on…

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