Effective Yet Bad Education

'Effective yet bad education' is instrumentally good but not intrinsically good education.

Effective Bad Education Learning Worthwhile education Research (Disciplined Inquiry) Induced Learning Accidental Learning Discovery Learning Compelled Learning Education Effective Education


The value of education is characterized by its instrumental goodness and intrinsic goodness:

See also: education system

Education can be effective but not worthwhile. For example, students could be taught to hate people from different ethnic or racial backgrounds. Learning to hate is not rationally justifiable as a goal of education if Kant's (1785) Categorical Imperative is accepted as a moral maxim:

Act as though the maxim of your action were to become, through your will, a universal law of nature” (p. 24).

Terrorist organizations such as Al Quaeda and ISIS teach their recruits to make bombs and to carry out suicide bombing to kill others. While this kind of education may be effective, it is bad education. Such terrorist actions cannot be rationally justified if Kant's Categorical Imperative is accepted as a moral maxim.


Determination of worthwhile goals of education should be part of philosophical educology. For example, Steiner (1981) argues against education which is oppressive in Educology of the Free.