Monthly Archives: September 2013

On Education – What should we be trying to achieve?

In looking at my life today – what I want to achieve and the legacy I want to leave behind, I began think about what education really should bring about.

I began to ask myself: What is education really supposed to bring about? What is the purpose of sending kids to school? Is it to read and write? Is it to get a good job, make a lot of money and keep up with the Joneses? Is it to stuff useless facts into a child’s head so that he can get into a good college, where he can do more of the same?

What is the REAL aim and value of education?

I think that education is only as valuable as it teaches people to think and live effectively. Education is supposed to give the individual the data they need to best survive and accomplish their goals.

Education should teach people to communicate effectively, so that they can understand and be understood. This would, of course, include reading, writing and grammar (simplified so that people can actually understand it and use it to communicate more effectively).

Schools should teach children how to learn, so that the student may learn anything he or she so desires or needs for life. This of course would include the ability to observe what is, and the oft neglected dictionary. It is a fact, that is often neglected in the modern day of context clues, that in order to get a precise of what someone is saying, you must understand the words that are being used.

Children (and people in general) should be taught to reason; to assess situations, weigh the factors, determine what is correct and incorrect, and finally to determine the correct course of action.

An education should provide students with sufficient data so that they can understand the world around them, the people that live in it and how it all works. It should be applicable knowledge and should enable them to effectively live life and achieve their goals. This of course would include some understanding of society, governments, religion, mathematics, science, etc.

Education should prepare people for life. We all need to know how to properly feed our bodies; to care for our possessions; to cook, clean, sew and iron; to file our taxes; to get a job; to take care of our cars.

An education should include the formation of positive character: the value of giving back and caring for those around one; that each individual has the responsibility and ability to bring about a great change in the world.

In summary, education should prepare people for life, by giving them the ability to learn; to understand and evaluate that which is around them. It should provide enough basic data to the individual so that he can survive and make his own way. Finally, education should build character and teach people to care for each other and the world around them, for no man is an island. 

What do you think?

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