Table of Contents
I learn, therefore, I am human. I grew up knowing that going to school is a universal norm across the world. It is cultivated in children who perceive it as a mandatory stage, and not necessarily as a process, which prepares people for their future. Later in life, people learn benefits of education to their future careers and economic stability, and further their level of education. I am in the process of learning, and this shows my human nature in pursuit for benefits of education. Enlightenment has also expanded my knowledge on significance of education, which is the basis of other fields, such as criminology and science, and affects other aspects of life. Learning, for example, engages people’s minds and helps to understand people’s behavior into crimes. Such an understanding will help me in my law profession and in my advocacy goals. I have become a lifelong learner, understanding the role of social science on crime rates and criminology is important to my legal career and below is a discussion of the relationship between education and criminology, which has motivated my interest in undertaking a doctorate program in education.
Education and criminology
Aims of education include development of people’s characters, “preparation for adult life, development of citizenship,” establishment for civic life, and transformation of personality (Sigh, N.d., p. 48), which are achieved though offering information that people need in a society. Informing an individual on criminal law in a country is an example of the role of education in preparing the person for life in which legal provisions dictate conduct and failure to follow laws leads to fines or imprisonment. Providing knowledge on legal and moral laws also allows learning to develop citizenship and to nurture personality in people. The knowledge, developed in formal and informal institutions, have direct relation to the subject and the profession of criminology.
Understanding the scope of criminology also establishes its relationship with education. Acquisition of knowledge on criminology and its scope is a process of learning that can take place in a classroom or through personal initiatives such as research from secondary sources. A review of a text by Joyce (2014), for example, informs on elements of a legal wrong, social construction of definition of crime, and ways in which the criminal justice system works. Such knowledge is important to people who aspire to work in the criminal justice system and who must acquire the knowledge though formal education. The information is also important to members of the society, who can acquire it informally, and who needs it to avoid consequences of being charged with a crime. The author notes that the scope of criminology is wide and relates to many academic fields such as politics and biology, a relationship that identifies with education.
Criminology in education curriculum
Education programs play an important role on concepts and tools that are used in criminology. Police are law enforcement officers and research shows effects of higher education on their ability to deliver services. Higher level of learning has been reported to promote flexibility among police officers as those with higher education are less authoritarian and are therefore able to solve problems in their environments than their colleagues who lack the education and are more suited for the traditional peacekeeping and law enforcement. Experience from the academic institutions, and not the criminology course concepts that the officers learn, is responsible for the improvement and this establish importance of education environment on efficiency of operations in the criminal justice system. Criminology courses have also influenced transformation of police training programs in police training institutions and this shows importance of the academic concepts to quality of delivered services (Paterson, 2011). Consequently, education, especially higher education, can have positive impact on other aspects of criminology to improve service delivery in the criminal justice system.
Role of education in criminology
Besides improving service delivery in the criminal justice system, education prevents occurrence of crimes among citizens. Research has shown that increase in level of education leads to a decrease in crime rate. Similarly, employment reduces number of crimes and this could be because of effects of education that helps people to engage in jobs (Yildiz, Ocal, & Yildirim, 2013). Expanding the education system to accommodate more people, such as young school dropouts, has also helped to reduce juvenile crime rates and improved economic aspects of life (Machin & Marie, 2012).
In order to broaden my horizons, I wish to pursue a doctorate degree I education because it is an important tool in criminology. I plan to use it to expand my social science knowledge for improving my competence as a legal expert and my influence. This is because learning elements of criminology promotes obedience to law, reduces crime rates, and informs training and practice in the criminal justice system towards efficient service delivery and competence in social science moderates this.
My interest in people’s rights and in the need to ensure cohesion in my environment developed during my childhood. Leadership role in elementary school established my place as a custodian of my peer’s needs and knowledge of many cases of aborted justice inspired me to study law so that I could represent the needy in their pursuit for justice. I have achieved my primary goal of becoming a legal expert but the need to change the criminal justice system has motivated me to expand my knowledge into social science and education for a greater impact on the society. Given an opportunity to be part of your institution, my academic interest, extra curriculum activities, and life experiences will influence goals and interest of the university’s students and contribute to the institution’s leadership.
A doctorate program in education, with focus on social science and its effects on criminal law and criminology, is my current academic interest. Even though a correlation exist between education and criminology and this will empower me towards my main objective of ensuring justice to the needy, many, especially undergraduate and some post graduate students, are likely to perceive career contrast in selection of my current program. The perceived contrast is likely to draw interest to my objective and upon understanding it, is likely to inform and influence students on the need o diversify into different but correlated fields of study for optimal realization of goals. A legal expert may be interested in defending people’s rights but knowledge of factors criminal practices forms basis for preventive approach to protection of rights and to establishing grounds for legal arguments. Social science, though different from law, shows that education is a factor to crime rates (Yildiz, Ocal, & Yildirim, 2013) and that a person’s environment influences likelihood of involvement in crime. Learning and control social process theories of crime, according to Cole, Smith, & DeJong (2015), explain this. The relationship between my academic interest and my profession, communicated through such forums like career workshops, will motivate other students to identify complimentary programs to their career choices for competitive advantage in the job market and for optimal realization of their career goals. The benefit will also extend to the institution that will pride itself in developing competent professionals.
Participation in social clubs is my most significant extra curriculum activity. It will help me to interact with other students in the institution, learn from them, and transfer my acquired knowledge and expertise to them. Career development club and community service clubs attract my interest the most and if they do not exist in the institution then I will help in creating them. Through the career development club, I will help other students in understanding need to expand their education for effectiveness in their careers, for their benefits and for a long-term positive corporate image of the institution. Students also form a forum for community service and mobilizing them to help needy members of the society, will orient the students to expectations in the society and in the job market, prepare them for their professions, and develop a bond between the institution and the community. With the current competitive trend in which academic institutions compete for clients and seek self-reliance in financial stability, such services will market the institution to potential clients and partners that are sources of revenue. My extra curriculum activities interest will therefore empower students in their careers, influence further education for the students’ effectiveness in their careers, and improve the institution’s competitive position in the nation.
My life experiences offer rich knowledge and wisdom that will benefit both the institution’s leadership and students. Through different leadership roles, I have become an effective transformational leader and my interaction with the institution’ students, through clubs and other organized forums, will empower and motivate them to overcome their challenges and succeed in their goals. Sharing my experiences, which include financial and social challenges during my earlier stages of education and strategies that helped me to overcome, will achieve this. In addition, I have been an advocate of constructive leadership and people’s rights, a trait that I plan to use to improve the relationship between the institution’s administration and student leadership. This will also promote communication of students’ needs and expectations and help the institution to improve its services and attract and retain students.
I have studied law and I would like to pursue a doctorate program in education. The program will help me achieve my goal of improving the criminal justice system and together with my extra curriculum activities and my life experience, will help develop other students in their careers and improve the institution’s corporate image. I will help in empowering other students in their career pursuits and in improving relationship between students and the institution for improved services, and in establishing the position of the institution in the society.
- Joyce, P. (2014). Criminology and criminal justice: A study guide. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Machin, S. & Marie, O. (2012). Youth crime and education expansion. German Economic Review, 13(4), 366-384.
- Paterson, C. (2011). Adding value? A review of the international literature on the role of higher education in police training and education. Police Practice & Research, 12(4), 286-279.
- Sigh, Y. (N.d.), Education in emerging Indian society. Delhi: APH Publishing.
- Yildiz, R., Ocal, O., & Yildirim, E. (2013). The effects of unemployment, income and education on crime: Evidence from individual data. International Journal of Economic Perspectives, 7(2), 32-40.
- Cole, G., Smith, C., & DeJong, C. (2015). Criminal justice in America. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.