What’s the Point?


Few days ago I sat down to check my twitter stream and saw these posts come by from ABC3340, a local news station. I was immediately upset, especially the one in the middle.

All education is what?! Workforce training?! So when you get a job, you no longer need to learn. So we are just “training” children? Most disgusting idea ever.

Biggest complaint of educators and education reformist is that our schools are set up for the early 1900’s to turn out factory workers. Our goal is to change our schools from sitting in rows and turning out robots. Yet we have a governor whose “plan” is to do exactly that. A governor who went to med school, not a political science major. Yeah, school did not prepare him for his job.

This also got me thinking, what is the purpose of school? Of course learning content is part of it, but is that main goal? Should it be? Or should we be producing problem solvers, lifelong learners, thinkers? What if we don’t? I love that we have many manufacturers in our state, but only a small part of our population work in that field.

What do you think our purpose is? I would love to hear!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. @jimconn says:

    “What is the purpose of school?”
    I think a lot of the problems we have with education “reform” in this country are traceable to this very question, and the fact that we have no common response to it. How are we going to reshape the educational system to meet the needs of students if we don’t actually agree on what those needs are?
    Yes, some level of job prep is necessary (prep, not training), but are schools supposed to be the suppliers of workers, or the educators of citizens? There’s some overlap in those goals, but they are not the same thing, and until we’re able to agree on an answer to that question, we won’t be accomplishing either task.

  2. rpugliese says:

    Hey Jim, I read an article last summer about a study done comparing schools in working class neighborhoods (in New Jersey I think) and schools (right down the road) in upper class neighborhoods. The schools in working class neighborhoods tended to have teachers who grew up in that neighborhood and the classes were taught in a way that stifled creativity and assumed that most students couldn’t handle higher level thinking. The schools in upper class neighborhoods were not surprisingly, the opposite. The results of the study was that our schools were basically helping to keep the status quo and maintaining the gap between classes. Schools were made free to all in this country by our founding fathers to make a country of people who could be active citizens in our nation, involved in all aspects of running it and able to make decisions on our laws and our politicians. So they need job skills but also history and civics and community based knowledge to be active citizens. It’s good that you care, your children will thank you.

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