What is education for? This is pretty much the most important and least important question that has to be asked and answered. Society needs to answer it, but usually doesn’t. Teachers need to know what they think the answer is, because this will constitute their philosophical underpinnings and determine how they react to every bit of ‘research’ that makes its way into their school. It will also determine how they will react to the politicians that Society elect to oversee the system. It will determine the direction of their cognitive bias. But, there are many, many daily decisions in the classroom that don’t require an answer to the question, and that is why the answer can remain cryptic (hidden within, influencing without revealing itself).
What is the answer to the question? Here are several possible ones:
1. Making children more intelligent.
2. Narrowing the gap between the haves and have nots.
3. Doing away with elites, oppression and servitude.
4. Lifting contextual scales from the children’s eyes and letting them see the World in all its glory.
5. Preparing the children for adulthood, and their place in Society.
6. Preparing the children for the world of work (in the global market place).
7. Equipping children to be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
8. Giving the children the skills they need to be in control of their own lives.
Note that it is not immediately clear what the consequences of each of these might be with respect to the influence on how schools would be, but there are definitely consequences. For what it’s worth, my favourite is number four. Yours (something else)?