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Educational Implications of the Yom-Kippur War / השלכות חינוכיות של מלחמת יום הכיפורים
אהרן פ. קליינברגר and A. F. KLEINBERGER
Studies in Education / עיונים בחינוך
H. 4 (סיון תשל"ד / יוני 1974), pp. 5-12
Published by: University of Haifa / אוניברסיטת חיפה
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23390233
Page Count: 8
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Although there is a general feeling that after the Yom-Kippur War the educational system in Israel cannot continue in its previous routines, it is not at all clear what changes have been necessitated by the war. The author suggests that the most urgent task of the educational system consequent on the war is to assist the young generation to develop attitudes and behavior guided by the "reality principle" rather than by "pleasure principle". A person is said to be governed by the "pleasure principle" if his aspiration for immediate and full satisfaction of his desires determines his relation to, and perception of, himself and the world. Such a person expects and believes that the world as well as his own powers and attributes are adequately arranged for the full satisfaction of his desires. He is addicted to wishful thinking. A person is said to be governed by the "reality principle" if his relation to the world and himself is objective and rational. Such a person controls and regulates his desires in accordance with environmental conditions and with the limitations of his own powers. He takes into account the cost of immediate satisfactions in terms of long-range consequences, of forgoing satisfaction or for the sake of more important desires and of the efforts and sacrifices involved. Moreover, whereas the former person disregards rival desires on the part of other persons or groups, and denies their justification and right to satisfaction, the latter recognizes their existence and validity, according to the principle of "universalizability". Being governed by the reality principle is part of what we mean by an individual's mental health, being governed only by the pleasure principle is a sign of mental pathology. Similarly, if a majority of the members of a society and in particular its ruling élite are governed by the principle, this is a case of social pathology. This is exactly what happened to Israeli society, especially since the end of the Six Day War, as is apparent from its behavior and attitudes in the spheres of economics military security and foreign affairs. The Yom-Kippur War exposed this social pathology in terms of malfunctioning caused by wish-distorted perceptions and judgments, and of resulting psychological instability, despair and aggression. It is the most urgent task of the educational system to contribute to the reinstatement of the reality principle, in order to make Israel a sane and rational society. The author makes some tentative suggestions of how to utilize to that purpose the teaching of history and economics, and the social and moral training in "universalizing attitudes" towards other people's desires.
Studies in Education / עיונים בחינוך © 1974 University of Haifa / אוניברסיטת חיפה