What distinctions do you draw between education and indoctrination?

Role of Education In Society

In our previous essays and class discussions, we’ve examined how our personal circumstances (age, race, sex, socioeconomic status, etc.) all affect how we view the world around us. Similarly, the way in which we view the world, which we might generally refer to as our personal ideology, influences how we interact with the world, which in turn changes the world, albeit usually in relatively small ways; thus, our subjective view of reality and objective reality are interactive in nature, each altering the other in sometimes hard to predict ways.

For this module, we have read or will have read Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” (from The Republic), Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, Woolf’s “Shakespeare’s Sister,” and Newman’s The Idea of a University (selected passages). We also will have watched The Matrix in class. Although we can discuss these works in a variety of contexts, each one touches upon the themes of education and indoctrination, either directly or indirectly.


Keeping our readings/discussions from this module and the preceding paragraphs—as well as your own experience as a student—respond to the following prompt:

In a well-developed, argumentative essay, examine the role of education in society. What role does education play in modern society? What distinctions do you draw between education and indoctrination? Does education always include an element of indoctrination? If not, how can one differentiate between the two? Explain.

For this essay, you must cite three of our four core readings from the reality/education modules of the class (Plato, Marx, Woolf, and Newman); in addition, you must use the film The Matrix in a central way, probably as an allegorical representation of education and/or indoctrination.


  • Thesis-driven (explicit thesis statement as the controlling idea for your essay)
  • 4 pages minimum length (works cited page does not count toward this requirement)
  • Argument must feature a close analysis of the required readings/film
  • Correct MLA style throughout, including a complete and correct works cited page
  • Paragraphs organized around your own ideas, with synthesized evidence from our sources
  • 1 outside source from a peer reviewed periodical (likely from one of our databases)

Demonstrated skill for essay #3: synthesis

Readings (requires 3 out of 4):



Readings 3 & 4 are attached.



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