If a society selects as its fundamental principle, the right of all to pursue happiness, and such a society recognizes education as a necessity in fulfilling this principle, what elements would comprise the curriculum?
Instead of sentence syntax analysis or trivial historical narratives or the application of esoteric formulae, society’s incoming members would concentrate on the pitfalls and dilemmas facing society and the ways in which these troubles are mitigated. And instead of decade-long sequestration from the very society they are to inherit, these incoming members would be exposed to the inner workings of their society throughout their entire education.
Each member must be instilled with an appreciation of the necessary struggles surmounted in shaping a just society. Without an appreciation and understanding of what happens when certain restrictions are not in place, some may feel overly constrained, perhaps seeking change to allow for more chaotic freedom, unwittingly reducing protections and introducing a daily struggle into the lives of all.
Every citizen would need be aware of potential problems, their likely manifestation, and their remedy. What happens when a society is overburdened by intense competition, selfishness, fearfulness, hatred, isolation, punishment, and confusion of purpose? Why must society strive towards cooperation, friendliness, generosity, inclusiveness, forgiveness, tranquility, and a solidarity of purpose? Only with this knowledge, can a people effectively participate within their society or even determine its well-being.
In order to ensure equal treatment and opportunity for all, individuals must understand the pain of injustice. Compassion must be a primary component of study. Consequences of actions must be drilled until concern for the suffering of others is paramount in the thoughts of all. This is the foundation atop which society honors its pact: the right of individuals to live a self-determined life, utilizing inborn talents and worldly resources in the pursuit of happiness.