The purpose of education is development of the person. When one is taught and knowledge is then attained, that knowledge is the intellectual development of the person. This development is important for maintaining life, economic prosperity, and so forth. Hirsch, an American educator, advocates that universal literacy is a necessity in life because it leads to effective communication. Hirsch believes literacy is the basis for many changing tasks, which is an important component in the development of the person. Hirsch states, "Ultimately, our aim should be to attain universal literacy at a very high level, to achieve not only greater economic prosperity but also social justice and more effective democracy." (1.2) Once literacy is properly taught, individuals are able to retain much information about what they read and hear because they have an understanding of it through background information. "We know instinctively that to understand what somebody is saying, we must understand more than the surface meanings of words; we have to understand the context as well. The need for background information applies all the more to reading and writing. To grasp the words on a page we have to know a lot of information that isn't set down on the page." (2.3) This is considered the development of the person because being literate allows individuals to operate as well rounded citizens. Literacy shapes individuals into knowledgeable human beings thus proving that the purpose of education is development of the person.
The purpose of education is not development of character but the development and expansion of one"s knowledge. Hirsh has also stated that "the chief function of literacy is to make us masters of this standard instrument of knowledge and communication, thereby enabling us to give and receive complex information orally and writing over time and space" (2.2). You stated that "Hirsch, an American educator, advocates that universal literacy is a necessity in life because it leads to effective communication". Education leads to effective communication not because it has developed people"s character but because it has developed their knowledge and has given them a shared collective group of information. Ones character can be developed by means outside of the classroom and the education system, however the shared knowledge that one needs to effectively communicate with others can not be learned out side the classroom, and therefore the chief goal of education should be to develop this knowledge. A person"s character development should only be secondary.
You stated that, "The purpose of education is not development of character but the development and expansion of one"s knowledge." Education can profoundly develop one"s character, however I did not imply that it was the only thing develops one"s character. Education is an immense part of a human being"s life. Education is in an individual"s life from the age of five or even younger to a grown, young adult, which therefore makes education an immense component to one"s development. Through the education of factual and traditional materials, as Hirsch proposes, individuals are able to run a smooth society, which all factors in to their development. This is solely because in order to run a smooth society, education is the basis to a smoothly run society. One"s character development comes from education because when educated and knowledgeable, there is understanding of the world and its complexities and contradictions.