I've been following the discussion/call to action on the Purposed.org.uk site. Started by Doug Belshaw and Andy Stewart the idea is to get educators and others to write 500 word on this question,
"What is the purpose of education?"
I've started a post in response to this questions a number of times thinking it would be an easy question to address. After all, as a father, teacher and learner I spend a large portion of my time immersed in its trimmings, the purpose of all of it should leap fully formed from my brow, right? But, every time I started a post it seemed I was making a laundry list to be checked off:
- Education provides experiences they might not have otherwise.
- Education develops skills students can use later.
- Education builds productive, involved citizens.
- Education [Fill in your favorite edu-cliche here].
I was disappointed in my uninspired responses to this simple question expecting something more meaningful. So I did what I usually do, I asked the kids. I asked about a dozen 14-16 year olds what was the purpose of their education. This thing that they've spent an inordinate amount of their lives in, but probably was never asked, to what ends. I did get a couple, "Nothin'. " responses, but most were thoughtful, reasoned, and sounded like something we might say,