Kevin, Graduate Student, CA
"The purpose of education should be to give children the tools to ask themselves "what makes me happy?" and "how can I achieve this happiness?"
Imagine your (or one you care about deeply) is now in their 30s-out of school and starting into adult life. What do you hope for them about their life? What would make it a 'good' life?
I want them to find meaning in different aspects of life and have meaningful relationships. I want them to have a meaningful job--a job that they are interested in and that involves services to others (directly or in other activities). I would want them to be economically secure. I don't want them to be poor or living in poverty--to sustain themselves comfortably with the ability to travel and buy goods.
Do you think schools are currently playing a positive role and doing what they should (for you you/your child and everyone)?
When I think about the child I was thinking about in the first question, my answer is no. I'm thinking school was not a place of flourishing and preparation for them. I think this was accidental, not intentional, but it still concerns me a little bit. I taught at Normandy Elementary (roughly 900 kids attended) in South Los Angeles. 77% spoke English as a second language. I saw so many students who just were never progressing academically or even enjoying being there.
Schools are teaching and preparing kids to compete but not with the reality of what that competition is or looks like; schools reinforce disadvantage. Sometimes, though, in the middle, they give people what they need.
What is the purpose of education?
I think the purpose of education should be to prepare and help people understand the life they want, to help make their visions come through. I think education should give kids the tools to ask themselves "what makes me happy?" and "how can I achieve this happiness?"
I think the current purpose of education can be positive and negative depending on perspective. I think the purpose, as of now, is to preserve and allocate advantage but it doesn't do a great job at the latter part. We have designed schools to preserve advantage and this is one of the reasons the system isn't working.